Summary: How far the grace of God has brought us since he found us in sin.
THE WAY WE WERE
Years ago there was a popular movie by that name. It was designed to take a nostalgic look at the past as most people want to remember it. We like to consider the past as the ‘Good Old Days’. The Apostle Paul also takes us down memory lane but instead brings us face to face with a startling reality of our condition before Christ.
· The great theme of chapter 2 is the unifying work of Jesus Christ. The work that He did:
smashed every barrier, spanned every chasm, broke down every obstacle which divided man from God and from one another.
1) 1st half deals with our reconciliation to God
2) 2cnd half with Gentile/Jewish divisions
· Chapter 1 describes our spiritual possessions while chapter 2 describes our spiritual position.
1) The grace of God has taken us out of the GRAVEYARD of SIN and placed us in the THRONE ROOM of GLORY.
· Share this morning the sad state of affairs your life was in Christ found you. The condition of mankind from the vantagepoint of God.
1) We live in a humanistic society where apart from the Bible we are taught the basic goodness of man rather than the fallen nature of mankind.
Given the right circumstances, upbringing, enviroment, economic position, career opportunities, peer influence… etc. Mankind with turn out good.
Some years ago the MINNESOTA CRIME COMMISSION released a statement more in line with what the Bible teaches about man’s basic nature.
‘Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish, and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncles’ watch. Deny him these once, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless.
He is, in fact, dirty. He has no moral, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children – not just certain children – are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal – a thief, a killer, or a rapist.’
THE MINNESOTA CRIME COMMISION HAS IN EFFECT INDICTED THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE! Not the first time though
ROM 3:23 All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
PS 51:5 Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
This is probably the most difficult truth in all of Scripture for human beings to accept. We don’t want to believe it and as consequence we have no realistic outlook on who we are. We are hopeless without Christ.
Many of us are like a group of cowboys who years ago saw their first silent movie in a small western town.
A modern miracle to them they watched as the plot included a handsome hero, a beautiful young woman in danger because of an evil villain who had kidnapped her.
As the villain tried to ride off with the young woman it became too much for the young cowboys to sit still for. One by one the drew their six-shooters and fired into the screen trying to stop the outlaw. They riddled the screen with holes but the movie when on.
If just one of the cowboys had truly understood he would have turned around and shot and fired into the projector.
Religion has for years fired at the screen but Jesus Christ came to deal with the projector.
FOUR TRUTHS ABOUT HOW CHRIST FOUND US:
DECLARE OUR CONDITION (1) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
1. Usually death comes to end life but for the Christian life
came to end death.
Just an interesting fact for some of you: ‘And you he made alive’ is a small phrase which begins this chapter in some versions.
It is actually not there in the Greek but KJV borrows from verse 5 and brings forward to soften the bluntness of Paul’s first statement about man’s condition without Christ.
2. This death is not physical but is SPIRITUAL: It means a
separation from God, having no spiritual life, being unable
to understand and appreciate spiritual things.
GEN 2:17 – In the day that you eat you shall surely die.
Adam and Eve did not die physically on that day but their relationship with God radically changed and they began to experience the effects of physical death.(BARNHOUSE: 3rd floor fell into the second)
Satan in contrast told them, ‘YOU SHALL NOT SURELY DIE’
3. Two basic characteristics of DEATH:
1) Physically dead person does not respond to physical
stimuli: Does not hear conversations, has no appetite
for food, feels no pain
2) In a spiritual sense that means they do not hear God’s voice, have no desire for God’s Word, and feel no guilt about not doing God’s will.