We started this journey with the question “Who is God” - we learned that:
- God reveals Himself
- There is one True God
- He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Then last week we learned that this God is a personal God:
- Is Good
- He has a Plan for us
- He truly Cares for us - He is knocking on OUR door - Our God is chasing US
This week we are going to talk about Salvation:
The Problem - Sin -
This problem is not always easy to understand
It is easy for us to think that our sin is “no big deal” - but it is a very big deal - bigger than we can imagine
Sin is UGLIER than we can ever understand - because God is more beautiful and valuable than we could ever understand
19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal powerand divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made,
So the reality of Who God is makes up the very DNA of the universe - everything that exists finds its source code in the nature and glory of God - it harmonizes with Who He is and what He is like. It is the base pattern upon which the universe is built -
we see this elsewhere as well. - Heb 1:3 says that the universe is held together “by the word of His power”
so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptibleman and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
God created the universe, YOU AND ME INCLUDED, as an expression of His own worth and value. To point us BACK to the reality of which all this is only a reflection and cause us to KNOW, VALUE, and ENJOY GOD HIMSELF above all else! We knew who He was - we know in the depths of us that He is the ultimate reality the most valuable thing, the highest worth in all the universe - indeed the entire worth OF the universe and beyond
John Piper puts it like this:
It is good to be still and let this sink in — to know that God is God (Psalm 46:10). And the universe, by comparison with God’s greatness and beauty and worth, is insignificant. I say that carefully. I expect you to hear it carefully. And that includes all seven billion people created to inhabit the earth.
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales. (Isaiah 40:15)
Until this sinks in — that the universe, and every created thing in it, is like dust in the scales on one side, and God is like Mount Everest in the scales on the other side, virtually everything in the Bible will be distorted. We won’t see it in its proper proportions and relations.
And we in our ridiculousness and rebellion have exchanged the glory of God for the image - we have traded the most valuable thing in all of creation for a PICTURE of that most valuable thing.
We have traded a Lamborghini for a poster of a Lamborghini
We have traded sweet refreshing water that would quench our thirst for a picture of water and we remain thirsty!
Sin is the cancer of the universe - it works AGAINST the DNA that is the image of God - it destroys, it kills, it steals - Sin is ALL TOGETHER VILE, DESTRUCTIVE, and REPULSIVE
Think about it like this -
Behind all pleasure, all joy, all beauty, all things that are in any way enjoyable is the Glory of God - the Glory of God peaking through the veil is what MAKES those things pleasurable, enjoyable, beautiful. When we sin we exchange the glory of God, the very source of our very desire for something that in itself HAS NOTHING PLEASURABLE OR ENJOYABLE OR BEAUTIFUL about it.
It’s like buying the most beautiful painting in the world and throwing the canvas away so you can have the frame.
It’s like buying a candy bar and throwing the candy away so you can keep just the wrapper.
In order to get back what we threw away we will have to pay for it all over again - The Whole COST which we no longer have.
When we talk about sin and glory we go far beyond cost that can be counted in dollars - when we have exchanged the glory of God for something else we are talking about value that can only be measured in life and death. We give away our love, our life to something other than God we cannot just get that back. It’s gone. Forever. We are left without the eternal gift that God gave us to begin with. Himself. So we will exist forever without life. The Bible Calls it the second death. Hell.
Because this is what Sin is like - All of Gods immortal imeasurable unstoppable eternal power is set against it - the Bible calls this his WRATH -
God RIGHTLY HATES sin and in His great love He Makes WAR against Sin to destroy it completely.
- God cannot remain himself and allow sin to continue
- God cannot change
YOU - are a sinner and your whole life is full of sin:
- God created you to be in perfect relationship with Him forever ruling the universe as His delegated authority on earth
- God loves you and wants you to be with Him forever
- God hates your sin
So We have a problem! - You and I have a problem and God Himself HAS A PROBLEM
Sin doesn’t just go away by wishing it away:
- Romans 5:23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
How can God be the judge of sin AND the forgiver of the ungodly????
Thankfully God also has a solution:
Sin must be judged and punished - the eternal worth of the glory of God must be REPAID
Here is the one place where the book and I are at a disagreement - on page 80 Mr Frazee calls this solution a “plan B”. This was never Plan B as if God was hoping for one thing but ready for another. God always knew. God always understood exactly what we would do when we were given the choice. He knew we would rebel. BEFORE WE EVER DID God had ALREADY DONE ALL it would take to bring us back.
We traded life and soul to gain the nothing called sin. So Jesus is going to trade HIS life to give us OURS Back.
The Glory of God is of infinite worth and we traded it for NOTHING so Jesus gave up EVERYTHING to give us back to the Glory of God. An infinite cost was owed and our infinite God paid that infinite cost with His blood. So that He could save us from ourselves.
Jesus paid for the Picaso again - just so we could have it - but that picture is just too small. Too Weak.
Jesus - the uncreated Son of God took our infinitely ugly infinitely COSTLY sin upon Himself and it killed Him.
3He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being [fell] upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
and then later
You and I deserve the Hell we purchased with our choices. We deserve the eternal worthlessness we CHOSE with all our hearts, but Jesus loves us and paid the price for us to be restored and given back ALL WE TRADED AWAY.
NOW We live as restored sons. We live as ones give another chance. We would be stupid to make the same trades we made before. We have been given another chance to understand the true worth we threw away. We couldn’t do it for ourselves. We had no way to pay the cost. We condemned and Jesus changed it all!!
For by GRACE we have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God that no man may boast.