Here There Be Dragons, Part 2

In the first part of this article, we looked at some great creatures described in the Bible, and were reminded that this is an occasion to recognize God’s creativity and power.  God has created a world with many forces that we – even in our modern, technology-rich society – are powerless against.  (Many contracts still include an Act of God clause, acknowledging that there are things beyond our human control.)

It is my opinion that this idea is something that draws us to those movies that have an unstoppable enemy (whether a monster, a comic book villain, or just a government force too powerful to overcome), where the heroes still find a way to win.  We can’t appreciate the cleverness, skill, or improbability of the solution, until we appreciate the enormity of the problem.

Sin is kind of the same way.  Learning that Jesus died to save us from our sins might not seem like nearly as big of a deal unless we understand what that means for us without Jesus’ help.

Sin isn’t just a matter of making socially-unacceptable decisions.  It’s not just a matter of having a different preferences from someone else.  Those who sin aren’t just adding some weight to the “minus” side of their life’s balance, or piling up negative karma.

Instead, sin is failing to live up to the standard for which we were created.  It is choosing to violate the principles of the God of the universe.  The result isn’t just about having to do good works to offset our rebellion, our pride, and our selfishness.  The consequence of sin is death – literal separation from God.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NASB

http://bible.com/100/rom.6.23.NASB

That may seem harsh, but God doesn’t leave us in our failures.  He offers a second chance (as the verse above says).  If we don’t want to be doomed to the outcome of our wrong choices, we can look to Jesus.  He was the only person to ever live up to the perfect standards that are required to remain in the presence of a holy God, but then He stepped up and took on the punishment for our sins – in our place.

The gift of salvation that Jesus offers us is pretty amazing, but just saying that doesn’t fully capture the magnitude of His sacrifice, nor the depth of our need that He voluntarily addressed.  Looking back just one verse before the passage above, we find Romans 6:22:

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
Romans 6:22 NASB

http://bible.com/100/rom.6.22.NASB

In addition to being rescued from sin (and its penalty), there are both short- and long-term benefits to us as well, once we choose to follow Him.

If you’ve accepted that gift, why not take some extra time to thank Him for it?  Those who have followed Jesus for a while can grow used to living under grace, and the occasional reminder of the significance of that keeps us both humble and grateful.

If you haven’t accepted Jesus’ payment for your sins, I hope that you will do so today.  Let me know if you have any questions about letting Him turn your life around – giving your life’s direction and choices over to His perfect wisdom.

 

For more context, see How Amazing Is Grace?, or The Gospel in 3 Verses

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