Saturday, December 15, 2012

Joy to the World: A Savior was Given

An evil, lost and dying world

It doesn't take a scientist to see what kind of world we all live in. There's too much evil around us that it can't be denied there is something wrong with all of us. We always get in each other's way and there seems to always be evil thoughts in a man's heart.

Tragedy strikes humanity every so often and today was not an exemption. The massacre of 27 people, 18 of which are small children in Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, Connecticut, leaves us bewildered of the evil that is among us. How can a person be so heartless? How can a person be so cruel? So depraved? 

Oftentimes, we look at tragic situations like this and condemn the acts of violence that lead to the loss of precious lives. Yet, we fail greatly to acknowledge that every single day, humanity showcases this heartlessness and cruelty and depravity in many other tragic areas. 

This same depravity rules in the lives of those who perform abortions; those who wreck havoc in families through divorce; those who disrespect another's heart by lusting and fornicating with them; those who abuse themselves with substances; those who gossip and destroy others by words; those who abuse others physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually; those who lie and cheat their way to the top; those who selfishly indulge their greed with unnecessary shopping sprees while others in the world starve to death; and the list can go on and on. 

These are realities that we deliberately ignore, as if they are not a problem to our society. This is our DEPRAVITY. We have all been living in this delusion of grandeur where we think of ourselves highly as we look down on those labeled as "criminals." We have this distorted reality of sin which makes us think there are lesser and/or greater degrees of sin in this life.

Our problem lies in the grass-root level of it all... and that is our sinful, carnal way of life. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) that:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"


The word desperate is defined as extreme, awful, and beyond hope! That defines our REALITY. God's Word speaks a great amount of Truth in Romans 3:10 when it tells us that, "THERE IS NONE righteous. No, NOT ONE!" God could not find a single heart, a single individual, a single human being who isn't depraved! 

ALL OF US, in the eyes of the Holy God, are sinners and as we live with hearts that are desperately wicked, there isn't really anything in us that seeks after God. How amazingly accurate God's Word describe humanity to be. His word saith in Romans chapter 3:

10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; 
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13Their throat is an open sepulchre; 
with their tongues they have used deceit; 
the poison of asps is under their lips:
14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17And the way of peace have they not known:
18There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Isn't this the reality of humanity? There is NO FEAR OF GOD before our eyes. We all have the audacity to live our lives in our own way, thinking that our way is right! We come up with depraved thoughts to try to convince ourselves that our choices lead to life. Oh, but God's Word just couldn't stop EXPOSING THE REAL DEAL with us!

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, 
but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 16:25)

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)

"All we like sheep have gone astray; 
we have turned every one to his own way..." (Isaiah 53:6)

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; 
and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)

Still think you are a "good" person? We won't even come close to PASSING the test if God's Law (the 10 commandments) are used to test us. Have we lied? Have we stolen anything (no matter how small it was)? Have we looked at another with lust? (That's the same as adultery in God's standard!) Have we dishonored our parents by disobeying them? Where do we stand when God uses HIS laws to see if we really can be considered "GOOD" in His eyes?

Reality is, WE DON'T STAND A CHANCE! God is a Holy God and He doesn't fool around like we do. When He demands holiness and righteousness, it is the perfect holiness and righteousness that is of Him! Unfortunately for us, there isn't anything we could ever do to attain THAT! No amount of religious practices, or practical prayers, or mystical experiences could wash us clean from the filth of our sins! No degree of piety nor amount of penance could clear our record before God. Remember Isaiah 64:6? Our righteousness are as FILTHY RAGS!!! We are enslaved to our sins and chained to death! What else can we do? Where do we go?

We need something else other than ourselves! 
We need... a Savior...

Joy to the World: A Savior was given

It is critical for each one of us to understand AND accept our depravity. This depravity places us in a tight situation with God because our depravity calls for His righteous judgment to fall upon us. 

The Bible is clear that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We deserve an end to this depraved, sinful life and that is death. We all became destined for an eternal separation with God in hell (the second death, Revelation 20:14), because none of our filth, unrighteousness and depravity can come near the holy throne of God in heaven!

Our verdict? GUILTY. Our case? HOPELESS... 

But not UNTIL...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son..." (John 3:16)

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)

"And this is the witness, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." (1 John 5:11)

God's Word tells us that because He does not want any to perish but for all of us to come to repentace, He sent His only begotten Son to save us from our sins! His precious Son because the sin-offering that we drastically needed in order to be saved. His precious Son, Jesus Christ, died a sinner's death (though He did not sin) in order to rise from the dead and bring us into new life for eternity!

What MUST WE DO TO BE SAVED? Well, it should begin by acknowledging our NEED for a Savior. We cannot fully embrace the work of Jesus and the gift of salvation which He offers us UNTIL WE COME FACE TO FACE WITH OUR DEPRAVITY! 

JESUS finished the work of salvation! He completed what God had demanded as payment for our sins! 

"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4I have glorified thee on the earth:
I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17:1-4)

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished
and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:30)

When something is FINISHED, it means it is DONE and whatever work that is that needed to be finished, it is finally OVER. Jesus paid the FULL price for sin when He died on that cross. He took the punishment for sin, or the wage of sin which is death! BUT, because He is the only begotten Son of God, WHO IS GOD Himself, He was buried for 3 days and on the third day ROSE FROM THE DEAD because death could not hold Him!!! Hallelujah!!!

THAT is His promise of eternal life. All that we have to do is to TRUST HIM and TAKE HIS WORD FOR IT that He has paid the price in FULL! What does God's Word say?

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)

Seems to be too simple, right? Unfortunately, though, that is the stumbling block of many people. So many want to give themselves that feeling of accomplishment and doing something for the sake of their own salvation so they get the "reward". 

The guilt of SIN in our lives is so heavy that many deceived hearts tend to want to do things ON THEIR OWN to really feel that they became good enough to appease God's righteous judgment. UNFORTUNATELY, though, GOD ONLY ACCEPTS THE ONE and ONLY WAY HE HIMSELF HAS GIVEN TO US! His only begotten Son died an undeserved death on the cross to save us from our sins and to save us from death... it's THE ONLY WAY. Jesus proclaimed that clearly! HE IS THE WAY...

This is why we need a good does of REALITY and a face to face session with our depravity and sin in order for us to realize WE NEED JESUS and WE CRITICALLY NEED WHAT HE ALONE HAD and CAN OFFER! Our sinfulness, filth and most of all our SELF-RELIANCE ought to bring us to our knees in Repentance to God as we grow that Godly sorrow that will plant the FEAR OF GOD in our lives!

Let's break it down to get to the bottom...
  • CONFESS--meaning, "acknowledge something to be TRUE"...
  • THE LORD--meaning, "one with considerable power and authority"...
  • JESUS--meaning, "who saves us from our sins"...


  • BELIEVE--meaning, "to accept something as TRUE"
  • THAT GOD--meaning, "the supreme, ultimate reality Being who is perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe."
  • RAISED --meaning, "moved above"
  • HIM --pertaining to JESUS CHRIST
  • FROM THE DEAD --meaning, "from having lost life; Not having the capacity to live."
We MUST accept the FACT that God supplied His only begotten Son to powerfully save us from sin and death by MOVING FROM THE STATE OF HAVING LOST ETERNAL LIFE, to MOVING ABOVE THAT BY LIVING FOREVER!

My question is simple... Since JESUS FINISHED THE WORK OF SALVATION for mankind, 

You must, beloved... for that is the ONLY TIME when you will achieve and understand the JOY that came when the Savior was given... 

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