Summary: Discover God’s universal and comprehensive solution for sin
This morning, we will finish our mini-series on mankind, which is a part of our mega-series on what our church believes. The first message on mankind identified how we get our sense of worth and how we can achieve our God-given potential in life. The second message identified the fact that we are not living as God intended, but we can make the best of our situation, despite our faults and weaknesses caused by sin in us.
I recently loaned a friend a book about the Christian life. After reading about 100 pages, he told me the author is quite harsh to say that mankind can’t be trusted and that only God can be trusted. My friend believed that mankind is basically good, but that the socialization process and our institutions have messed us up.
There was a time when I would have jumped at that statement and begin arguing that we are not basically good. And by the time we get done arguing, we would both be examples of how we are not basically good. But I didn’t do that with my friend that day, not only because I was tired, but also because I’ve discovered that isn’t my job.
The Bible tells us in John 16:8, "When [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment." In other words, it is God’s Spirit who convinces a person about his or her sin, about God’s goodness, and about our need to ask God for help.
This is not to say that we don’t speak about what is right or wrong or that we don’t correct our children or those we have responsibility for. Yet, God is capable and has given His Spirit the responsibility of convincing others of their sin and need for God.
So if you believe you’re basically good, I won’t argue with you. I’m not going to tell you that you’re a sinner and that you need God. That’s God’s job. But if God is working in your life, and you’re aware that something in you is not right, and that you’re powerlessness to change, and you want help from God, I’ve got some good news for you. God wants to help. And He’s the only Who can. Let’s see how.
Our text comes from 1 Peter 1:1-25.
Some of you know that I had a bad cold three weeks ago, and the chest congestion lasted for three weeks. What you didn’t know was that I could have gotten over the chest congestion in few days. All I needed to do was take two Sudafed every four hours for a few days, and that would have solved the problem.
Instead, I chose to take one Sudafed a day for a few days and then do that again when the congestion got bad again. I wasn’t taking the full dose because Sudafed makes me depressed and unable to think clearly. The Sudafed helps me feel better physically but it makes me feel terrible mentally and emotionally.
God’s solution for sin helps every aspect of our lives, and His solution has no adverse reaction. Let’s look at what God’s solution involves.
First, God’s solution for our sin involved Father, Son and Spirit. We see this throughout the passage but first in verse 2.
When we studied what God is like, we learned that God is not like us, but that God is One yet He exists in three Persons, Father, Son and Spirit. And to deal with our sin, the Father, the Son and the Spirit were involved.
Someone tells the story of a boy who was rebelling against his dad constantly. This boy was destroying his own life by his rebellion, but he refuse to heed his father’s words.
One day, the dad said to the boy, "I want to show you what you’re doing to your life. I’m going to put a wooden post in our front yard. Every time you rebel, I will put a nail in this post. Every time you obey, I will pull out one nail."
The first thought from the boy was, "I’m going to do everything I can to fill that post with nails." And he did. In two months’ time, he filled that post with nails. But he also began to feel the damage he was doing to his own life and to his parents’ lives.
With true remorse, the boy began to obey his father. One by one, the nails came out. When the last nail came out of the post, the boy both broke down in tears. The dad asked, "Son, why are you crying?"
And the boy replied, "I got rid of the nails, but I can’t get rid of the holes."
God the Father saw the nails and the posts of our lives, and He saw our helplessness against sin. So He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to gather the nails and the posts from those who would let Him. And because of His love for us, Christ allowed Himself to be nailed on the posts, where He willingly paid the consequence of our sin.