Summary: What is the story of your life this far? Are you still living in the poverty of sin? Are you still covered with the rags of your own righteousness. Why don’t you come on over to the riches of the grace of God. You can trade the rags of sin for the ric
The phrase “from rags to riches” is one that we all no doubt have heard before. It was a man by the name of Horatio Alger Jr. who coined the phrase and made a name for himself in the late 1800’s. Mr. Alger was the author of novels for boys and became famous for his stories about boys who rose from poverty to wealth and fame through hard work, virtuous living, and luck. He devoted much of his time and money to helping orphans and runaway boys in New York City. The name Horatio Alger is still used to describe fictional and real-life individuals who achieve “rags to riches” success through their own efforts.
We all love a good “rags to riches” story don’t we? We love to hear how a local boy who grew up in poverty made good through hard work and struggled and fought his way to the top. It does our hearts good to hear of such stories.
I think the reason for that is it gives us hope as well in our condition – whatever it may be. If I can just work hard enough and catch some breaks along the way then maybe I will be able to be a big success. If it can happen for this person and for that person then maybe it can happen for me as well. We love to dream about becoming a big success someday. We love to think about what it would be like not to have to worry about money and not to have to work at all. We all no doubt would love to go from rags to riches.
I’m preaching this evening, “From rags to riches.”
I would like to let you know in this simple and short message that going from rags to riches is closer than you may have thought when you came here today. I want to tell you that you can in fact go from rags to riches before you leave here this evening. For you see all of us were at one time or still are in that pitiful condition described correctly by the word “rags.”
The Bible says of us all that we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity. It tells us that we were all sinners. We were all in a pit of sin. We were all in a horrible condition and in that sinful state we had on rags.
The prophet Isaiah said we are all as an unclean thing. To be unclean in Bible times meant that you had leprosy. If you were in that condition you had to leave your home and live outside of the city. That was our nature before we met Jesus Christ. We were not physically lepers but morally we had leprosy.
Isaiah goes on to say that all our righteousness is as filthy rags. As good as we thought we were it was only rags. As good a person as you considered yourself to be it was just filthy rags. Our ways were shameful. Our deeds were filthy. Not only did we have on rags but also they were filthy rags. Rags may be used around the house for the purpose of cleaning but not for the purpose of covering. They are inadequate for that purpose. When we try to cover our own sin and take care of things our own way it’s like covering up with rags. Rags are unsuitable and rags are unsightly.
In our text it says we all fade like the leaves in the autumn and our sins have blown us all off of the pathway that we should have been on. When we try to cover up with rags it’s a temporary covering. All leaves will eventually fade and blow away.
That was true of my life and it was true of your life before we found Jesus Christ.
But I want to tell you the rest of the story tonight. I want to complete the picture. I want to give you the other side of the story. I want to take you from rags to riches. For there is a covering that will completely remove the stains of sin from your life and from my life. It is possible to go from rags to riches today.
The covering that I am talking about tonight is the blood of Jesus Christ.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;