Sermon:
Did you take the time this year to return the envelope with Ed McMahonís head on it? If youíre like me you did. I returned it not so much because I was confident that I would win, but thinking that if I didnít return it that would be the time that my number would be drawn and because my entry was in the trash they couldnít award me the $11 million. Iím willing to bet that many of you of us pick up that envelope from Publisherís Clearing House and place all the stickers in their appropriate places and place the entrance certificate into the return envelope and stick it in the mail Ė just in case. Just in case the winning number is your number.
Have you ever dreamed what it would be like if you would be the winner of that prize? How would you react when the prize patrol came knocking on your door to award that check to you? Would you scream at the top of your voice, ďI canít believe itĒ over and over again? Maybe you would faint at the announcement of being a millionaire. Would you grab the members of that prize patrol and frantically give them hugs as you dash out the door to tell all of your neighbors that you had won? Iím guessing that most of us would do some rejoicing in the abundance of wealth that would now be ours, right?
Iíve got great news for you this morning. We have an even greater abundance of wealth, an overflowing abundance of wealth to rejoice in this morning. We can Rejoice in the Overflowing Abundance of Godís grace. We rejoice all the more in this overflowing abundance as we consider our natural condition. Our rejoicing increases as we consider Christís gift to us.
In order to begin to appreciate how great the grace of God is we need to do a self-evaluation. We need to examine who we are and where we stand in relationship to God. The Apostle Paul reminds us of an important truth in the text for this morning. Each one of us by nature is Godís archenemy. We are in cahoots with the devil himself. We are his slave. Our lives are ones that are filled with the filth of sin. That sin is first and foremost the sin of Adam that he committed in the garden of Eden. We are guilty of Adamís sin of defying Godís direct command and eating the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are just as guilty of that sin as Adam was because he is our father Ė and that sin has been passed onto us, his children. Hard to believe isnít it? Almost preposterous to think that we could be held responsible for something someone else did! But itís true. This is the case.
Thatís not all weíre guilty of either. The result of our inherited sin is that we commit sins of our own. Paul points our attention back to the time after Adamís fall into sin. From that time on until Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai Adamís descendants werenít given any direct commands from God. Even though the written Law hadnít been given sin was still in the world. All of Adamís descendants had the sin of their father passed down