Summary: This messages looks at the sin and salvation
A few weeks ago I visited my family physician, Dr. Stuckert. After a few minutes in the waiting room the nurse took me back. The first thing she did was weigh me, then she took my temperature. Then she asked, why I had come to see the doctor. I told her, I was having headaches for the last week, and my sinuses were all stopped up, and I was having difficulty breathing. She wrote all this down on my file. She then left, after promising the doctor would be in to see me soon. A few minutes later, in walked Dr. Stuckert. He read my chart, and also asked me about my symptoms. He then took out his little light and looked in my ears, up my sinuses, and down my throat. After he had gathered all the facts, he diagnosed the problem. “You have a serious sinus infection,” he said. Then he prescribed a cure, ten days of antibiotics.
What does that have to do with this message, you might be thinking. Well, sometimes, as a pastor, I have to look at people like a doctor, a spiritual doctor, and diagnose the problem and suggest a cure.
So here we go. Turn in your bibles to Ephesians chapter 2.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
Paul begins by looking at life before Christ. LIFE BCE BEFORE CHRIST ENCOUNTER. Before we encountered Christ, Paul said we were dead.
A few weeks ago I downloaded the movie,
Night of the Living Dead, on Vongo. You remember the scene where the dead come up out of the grave yard.
Well Paul says that is what we are like spiritually. We are the dead walking. Physically we are still alive, but deep down inside us we are dead. We feel like there is something missing. We are empty, barren, hollow. We are just a shell of a man or woman. We are dead.
But that should not surprise us. God told Adam and Eve if they disobeyed his commands they would die… and they did spiritually. Life without God is death.
Paul not only said we were dead BCE before our encounter with Christ, he goes on to say, we were dead in our transgressions and sins. The idea behind transgressions and sins is we cross a line on purpose.
I was clicking through the stations last week and came across a documentary on a women’s prison. A guard explained how the visitors for their own safety needed to stay on the gray painted lines. The inmates could not reach them if they stayed on the gray painted lines. Catch this, staying on the gray paint for for the visitor own good.
This is what God has done for us. He has drawn for us guidelines to live by, for our own good. Guidelines like, don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t have other God’s before me
When we cross these guidelines we hurt, either, God, ourselves, others. You can not cross these lines with out hurting someone. When we cross these lines we crush friendships. When we cross these lines we destroy relationships. When we cross these lines we shatter our own lives. God has given us guidelines for our own good.
However, Paul says, we, before we encounter Christ and give our lives to him, we cross these and other lines all the time. In fact we are habitual line crossers.
You know what I mean, we start out to do the right thing, then something within us pulls us to make the wrong decision, and we find we have crossed another line in our life, and someone is crying and in shambles.
But Paul tells us the bad news does not stop there, he says before we gave our life to Christ we, according to verse 3, were “gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature”
And the really bad news is how easy it is to gratify our sinful cravings today. We are exposed to people acting in deceitful and hateful ways every week on shows like survivor, and now they are adding one called pirates. When will it ever end, never as long as people can treat each other with contempt, and seek to gratify their sinful natures.
But that is not all. The biggest industry in the United States cater to the sinful nature. The porn industry. Do you realize they make over13 billion dollars annually? That is more than the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball make combined. It is the fastest growing business in the history of the United States.
Pornography is easier to get today then ever before. Not to many years ago pornography came in a brown paper wrapper in the mail, or you had to stop at a seedy store on the side of the highway. Not any more, it is a close as you family computer. Just one mouse click away.