Summary: What sin has done in disconnecting from God, grace in Christ has healed by reconciling and reconnecting us to God.
Acts 3:17 "And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.' 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness." ESV
In last week’s talk we discussed sin and repentance.
SIN we said, is stretching our will and our actions past the limits of God’s laws. The result is not unlike pulling a vacuum cleaner beyond the length of its cord, you still have the machine (your body) but now it is disconnected from the power that makes it behave according the creator’s purpose. You and I were created to bear the image of God’s gracious authority over creation.
The Genesis narrative (chapter 3) tells us how God gave Adam and Eve His wisdom as well as His authority, and then how they pursued a counterfeit authority and an alien wisdom—actually satanic wisdom. The moment they introduced that dark wisdom into their lives a radical corruption took hold of their nature. Think of it like a computer worm virus (malware – malicious software) that is cleverly introduced into one company computer, and that computer communicates it to another, until before you know it every computer in the company is corrupted and headed toward collapsing the whole operating system.
The radical change that took place in Adam and Eve was sort of like that and it has been replicated and passed down the human genome operating system from that day to this. We are all born corrupted by sin and spiritually disconnected from the author of life. We have lost the image of His authority, and death comes to all men. Paul put it like this, 1 Corinthians 15:22 …in Adam all die.
REPENTANCE we said is when you finally give up trying to fix and save yourself (and others) and lay yourself down before God like a dead man and ask for His help. Peter used the word in his short Acts 3 sermon. Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
God is irresistibly attracted to your acknowledged helplessness and releases conversion power which brings you back to connectedness. He graciously blots out (forgives) the record of your sin at Christ’s expense, and then refreshes and reconstitutes you in the purpose He has for you life. This is the salvation that, the Christ appointed for you, Jesus brings.
Your only part is repentance. The rest is all God working upon and within us, growing the life of His Son in us so that His righteousness becomes our righteousness.
This new life, C.S. Lewis writes; “… is why the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or- if they think there is not- at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it."
End of Review
You need the salvation that God has appointed for you. Why? Because the spiritual disconnect is real. We are not almost disconnected from God and eternal life, or sort of disconnect, but absolutely disconnected.