Many of you have heard of the song “Amazing Grace”. In it, there is mention of how sweet it is that God, in His love for us, saved us even though we are wretches by nature. The apostle Paul puts it this way.
Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Paul also writes in Romans 7:24
Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
And then he gives the answer in Romans 7:25
Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Wow! There you have it, right? Crystal clear. I don’t see how anyone can read this passage and not immediately be humbled. To not want to be the person you were before salvation…to not want to do the things you did before. To have a distaste or an aversion to them. That, my friends, is called repentance.
It’s always amazing to me though how many people “claim” Christianity but still act like a wretch. They even seem to take a pride in it. And worse yet, they promote this pride over their sin as being part of the gospel. To them the gospel is about being forgiven of their sins only, but they don’t expect any transformation in their lives and they tell others it’s ok if they experience no transformation either.
Don’t believe me? Take a minute in your small group in church or in your congregation and ask everyone to give a praise about the work God is doing in their life through Jesus Christ. See what the answers are…it’s usually something that has nothing to do with the work of the church. It’s usually something along the lines of Aunt Betty’s second cousin who got pregnant at 16; her husband Billy Bob went into a drug rehab program while he was in prison for robbing a store at gunpoint and now he doesn’t do meth anymore!!!! Praise God for His work! After all, this is the 3rd time Jesus has done this for Billy Bob! Really?
What about a praise that goes something like this? A faithful couple in the community decide to start a church for truckers at a local truck stop because the church has the commission of spreading the gospel and discipling others. The couple notices several homeless people around the truck stop, so they start a homeless ministry that ends up providing assistance to 600 families every year. Then…they start buying mobile homes for homeless people to get a fresh start on life with a home and that takes off. While being faithful to this ministry, they decide to start a church in the mobile home community so people there can hear the gospel and be disciples. The first service had incredible attendance. This is actually a true story of a couple in our community where I live! Now praise God! This couple is truly following Jesus and serving Him.