Christians and Their Lostness

I'm prepping Sunday's sermon in Romans 3:1-20 and so far what Paul says is quite out of step with a lot of evangelistic literature, let alone the common thinking of people. When you consider that Paul is writing to the Church at Rome, it would lead us to think that he wants Christians to understand lostness. He's apparently willing to risk them feeling badly about themselves and taking a hit to their self-esteem.

The key to the message in Romans so far, from what I see, is not that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, but that you and I are standing on the precipice of eternal judgment and facing a God who is not at all impressed with whatever paltry goodness we offer Him. Thankfully the message continues with the words of 3:21 - "But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law . . . the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe."

Certainly we want lost people to think about their lostness. But is it good for Christians to consider this from time to time? I think so. I think this is what hymnwriter Robert Robinson captured in these words:

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to
Thee.

I don't believe that we fully understand what we have or who we are in Christ unless we remind ourselves from time to time of what we would have gotten without Him.
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My new Dell 4700 computer came in on Wednesday and the slow process of loading my software and settings took me the better part of a day. I've not had access to my FeedDemon RSS reader, so I've missed out on a lot of good stuff, I'm sure. Hopefully I can catch up over the next few days. Have a great Sunday!!
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Check out the free resources at http://www.whitehorseinn.org/ - home of the White Horse Inn (affiliated with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals).

6 comments:

John said...

Install a firewall, anti-virus, and give it a good rubbing with Joel Osteen's new book to prevent any further problems.

Aaron said...

Christians need to hear about sin more than anybody, because once the doctrine of sin gets watered down, everything else will eventually follow. A congregation will not drink deeply from the well of God's grace if they don't understand how much they are dying of thirst. The less you make of sin, the less you will make of grace. This is precisely the point of the story of Luke 7:36-50: the main point: "he who is forgiven little, loves little" (v. 47).

Also, in Romans 1-3 Paul is laying out God's contention with idolatrous humanity, leading up to the resolution of God's wrath and human salvation in Christ in the crucial section 3:21-26. Justification is both for us and for God, for in the cross God justifies ungodly humanity while simultaneously demonstrating his own righteousness in his wrath against sin. By faith we embrace the cross and justify God in his contention against us. In the cross, then, God is both "just and [YET] the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26). The righteousness of God is given to us as a gift of grace (3:21-22), and is simultaneously demonstrated as an attribute of God, his judgment against all idolatry (3:25-26).

Preach sin, and preach the cross! Keep up the good work!

Kristen said...

Right ON, Aaron!

Milton Stanley said...

Good reminder, Peter. I wrote about it today at my blog. Peace.

pete porter said...

Peter,
I'm not sure about the rememerance of sin. But I'm sure about the rememerance of grace. It will give us plenty of incentive to worship!
Be Blessed,
Pete

jon said...

3:1-20?! Are you taking the "big sections" advice? If so, how do you like it?