God Solves Your Biggest Problems!
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
As I said last week, we are to live all of our lives in the light of the grace of God that is manifested in His love and mercy, which endure forever and in the proof of that love and mercy given to us in Jesus’ work of salvation. When we do, then we live life from a basis of gratitude and celebration. When we do we have hope that will allow us to invest wholeheartedly in the character of God revealed in Christ. When we do we have the strength to obey and endure any temptation!! We can look at our hope, our inheritance and the power of God already exercised on our behalf.
In today’s message, we see the most compact, clear expression of the good news of what Jesus has done for people in the Bible. If you want to know the gospel, this is where you should start. And the good news about Jesus is good in the context of the bad news about life without Him.
- All People Have Life Problems
- They are a result of sin
“In trespasses and sins” See this as a contrast to being
There are only two places to be “in” in this regard. Example from the Old Testament: The Ark. There are only two places to be in. If we are in sin, then we are BY NATURE DESERVING OF WRATH! God warned Noah, Noah built a boat. The Ark is the vehicle for the salvation of all of mankind. God’s wrath destroys mankind. And Noah is saved through water. This would be another biblical picture of baptism as well.
This is a description of how people live, why they make the choices that they make:
you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts.
- Death is a product of sin
Genesis 3 separation:
Dead in this case means separated from the life of God. Obviously people are alive physically, but we can tell the difference between really living and just existing. People need more life in their days. Not just more days. In fact, as we get older the idea of living in a better place doesn’t just become a good idea, it is a necessity for the cessation of pain!! And in Christ, it is a reality.
What dies? God’s plan for marriage, family, work, relationships, the purpose given in connection to the character of God (people become defined by what they do, or how they appear: (for women) Ada: The adorned one. Zilla: Tinkling (not who they are!)
Babel: Make a name for ourselves! Pride, displacing God’s definition of who we are!
Prevent scattering over the earth: protection
- Dying is a product of sin
Genesis 4, 6 spiral
Romans 1 spiral
Romans 3 depravity statement along with
How does this passage describe life apart from God? Is this not the way that we are born?
“follow the ways of the world”
“follow the ruler of the kingdom of the air” atmosphere of fear, hatred, lust, competition and so on.
(opposite of the Holy Spirit)
On an individual and corporate level. We are connected to each other and, therefore, we can slop death over into the lives of others.
Romans 1 spiral examination:
It begins with ignoring God as evident in creation.
There is no gratitude for what God has done.
If there is no God OR if God is not involved, then how do we live? 1. Idolatry, we replace God with something else.
- Sexual immorality is next.
- 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator Another way to say this is that they value pleasure above what is good! And chaos is the result? In what ways? Well, all sexual sin is manifested in the destruction of the family. The relationship between the man and the woman is completely disrupted. Homosexuality is death. Period. And anything other than a family with two parents is a much more problematic life circumstance!!
As the spiral continues down people become ensnared by every kind of wickedness and they demand that others follow in their path. This is where we are sliding in much of our culture.
- God Can Solve Your Death Problem
Well, sin certainly is depressing! Let’s look at God gracious provision for the sinful state of mankind!
First of all, why does God take the initiative to save?
- God is full of love and mercy
This is what motivates Him. This should make you happy because you did not make God this way. This is an is.
Why say His love is great and He is “full” of mercy? How much do you need? Is God running short? When we love, we can grow weary also. Not God.
His mercies are new every morning. You will not wear Him out.
- We are Resurrected with Jesus
The dead issue is resolved.
John 3: You must be born again.
II Cor 5: 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
John 1: To as many as received Him, He gave the right to become children of God. Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
So, the relationship broken with Adam and Eve’s sin is restored in Christ. That is why Paul calls Jesus the Second Adam. We are seen as all descending from the first, and now the second!
- We are in heaven with Jesus
And not “just” in heaven, but at God’s right hand. Paul cannot speak about the grace of God in any greater terms without making you God.
So, we are restored in our relationship with God.
II Cor 5: 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
III. God Solves Your Dying Problem
- He does this to be kind
God is motivated by His lovingkindness for you! He has more for you than forgiveness and heaven! God desires for you to have abundant life in the midst of a world that is traveling in a different direction!! You can have life!
- He does this to be the just and the justifier
God is just! He will not stop being just in order to save people from their sins. God does not change His righteous standard in order to restore people to relationship with Him. Why set the angels at the gate of the garden if He is just gonna let folks back for no reason?
God is the justifier. This is why you have any hope. God desires for you to have life. There are many verses that reflect this in Scripture.
And so, salvation is all because of God’s love and Christ’s work. Why? Because God is just, and because God is the justifier. It is an insult to the sacrifice of Christ for people to assume that they did not need it.
To quote the Apostle Paul:
Gal 2: 21 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
- He does this to make you good
Purpose, meaning, reflecting God’s character. Living in a manner that God will bless. Living in a manner that blesses God’s creation. Living in a manner that is cooperative with others. Living in peace, joy, love, satisfaction. God will invade every aspect of your life with life. You can have more life in your days, not just days in your life. And God says He has prepared this beforehand for you. It is not guess work. It’s not a hidden secret. Where is God? He is right here. How can I see Him better? Know the Bible, know other followers. Love, believe and obey Jesus. You are there. What impedes this process? Love of self, not believing Jesus, instead we believe our feelings, what others tell us (this is why commercials are not a trivial matter).
Remember the Genesis 3 curse? The Genesis 4,6 spiral? Remember the Romans 1 spiral? It begins with marriage, family and work. Well, look ahead to Ephesians 5:21-6:9
Husbands and wives, children and parents in both directions, Employers and employees in both directions.
And what we find in these relationships is that we are to have a partnership in relationships that reflects the love of God. We are to intentionally choose what is best for others, willing and acting for their good. This resolves the dying and brings life! And it is what God has done for you!
Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!! Romans 7:24,25