Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Need For A Savior - Dec 22

Every Christmas shopping season it's the same. Every man (and woman) for themselves and a vacant parking space at the mall is pure gold. I think it's important to discuss the need for a Savior.

The Heart of the Problem

We are still saying 'Peace' when there is no peace. If Man is supposed to be intrinsically good, why all the madness? I do not believe that Man is good. Actually, I believe the reverse is true. Man's heart is incorrigibly wicked and corrupt beyond measure. Can this corruption be neutralized by a better environment, more wholesome programming on the TV or politically correct language? It is not through lack of effort we have tried this.

The Heart of Man

We want to do good and we aspire to do good but we cannot do good because we are supernaturally bound and in darkness. The 'good' that we do is based primarily on self-interest. That is, we do 'good' if it gives us the advantage. Such is our state in an unsaved world.

Scenario One: The Darkened Room

Imagine this. You're bound to a chair in a pitch black and windowless room. The room is a mess and is in dire need of organizing. You're told, 'Clean this room!' (Parents with teenagers apparently have some experience with this). Even if you managed to free yourself, how could you put anything in its proper place? The darkness is complete and so you stumble along trying to do your best. Working harder frustrates you all the more. The situation is hopeless.

Scenario Two: The Lighted Room

You're in the same messy room as above. However, you've been freed from your bonds and the room is now fully lit. Not only that, you've been given an instruction manual on how to properly clean the room. So you get to work. It's tough slogging but after a while you notice some decent progress. How much better off you are compared to the person in our first scenario!

So Which Scenario Are You In?

Would it surprise you that the majority of us are in the darkened room? That I believe is our problem. Moreover it is central to mankind's struggles. Due to the curse of our fallen nature, every single one of us has at some point in time found themselves bound in a dark room in need of organizing.

What Do All These Symbols Mean?

No point offering up a parable of sorts without the explanation. The bonds that envelop us is our sin nature. These are the desires of our flesh and the pride (and self-sufficiency) in our hardened heart. As long as we are bound up no such goodness can come from us. The darkness that we face is our lost state. The light that illuminates the room is our Savior, Jesus Christ. The instruction manual is God's word, the Bible. The messy room is that stuff in our lives - people, places and things. Everybody - and I do mean everybody - inhabits a messy room. See how much easier it is to clean the room when we are free and living in Christ? It's still hard work but now we are working with a plan and a purpose.

The Weight of the Problem

Please understand the severity of the problem. This is not a case where we've stumbled and we simply need to pick ourselves up. Rather we are in a deep pit which cannot be climbed or dug out of. We don't need practical atheism to give us encouragement from the sidelines. We don't need legalistic lectures on the dangers of deep pits. We need someone to rescue us! We'll probably need medical attention and a steady hand too once we're on terra firma. That's the remedy people need to hear. Jesus liberates us from the bondage of sin. Jesus rescues us and steadies us from our pit of despair. Jesus is the light that we need to shine into our messy rooms. Jesus is the Word and our instruction manual. Jesus loves us so much that He went to the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. That's the true meaning of Christmas.

To hell with 'Season's Greetings' and 'Happy Holidays'. God Bless Us Everyone!

Johnny Cash

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