We are Rebels in Need of a Savior!


C.S. Lewis

You and I are pathetic creatures. We do terrible things to each other; we are generally selfish and prideful even on our best days. Christians are not immune to these sins although if right with God through daily repentance and constantly seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit we can avoid many of those sins.

We are rebels!

Paul stated what all of us have learned painfully in life about our sin: "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do" (Romans 7:15).

We obey what we love, and we love what we remember. And most of us even younger people forget God in favor of… you fill in the blank.

We sin because we love sin or we think we do. And we love sin because it’s familiar or easy or we get a thrill out of it. Our hearts have been trained to remember that the world offers an easy and exciting experience. Paul was a physical being just like us, Paul knew that sin "dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find" (Romans 7:16-18).

Our ability is limited to properly live up to Godly standards and values. We repeatedly fall short of the honorable conduct God expects of us.

You and I are physical beings created with a material composition similar to that of animals. We share with animals a biochemical composition or makeup. Our life systems of breath and blood are essentially the same (Ecclesiastes 3:18-20; Genesis 9:4-5). God created us as living souls-breathing physical beings-from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7).

The Hebrew word nephesh translates as "living soul" which means we are not an "immortal soul" in a physical body. Essentially “living soul” means we are living, breathing fleshly beings, biochemical creatures created from the dust of the earth.

Our physical bodies subject us to weaknesses and illnesses that can lead to sin. Jesus and Paul both affirmed this. Our flesh is not inherently evil, but it is inherently weak. Jesus pointed this out many times, even on the cross he said forgive them Father for they know not what they do. As a result, our imaginations and appetites tempt us into sin.

Consider then that from the very beginning all the sinful, rebellious evil people that God has contended with, you and I included.

“Truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place.” (Acts 4:17, 28)

"Many are the plans of a man's heart but the counsel of the Lord, it will stand" (Proverbs 19:21).

Or as he says in another place, "The dice are cast in the lap but every decision is from the Lord" (Proverbs 16:33 cf. 16:9; Jeremiah 10:23; Ephesians 1:11; Matthew 10:29).

You see the enemies of God do not frustrate God's decrees; they execute them.

I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all my purpose.' (Isaiah 46:9-10)

After creating man, God elected one nation, Israel, through whom he would perform his special acts of deliverance all for his glory. God says in Isaiah 49:3, "You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified."

As I have grown older, 64 now I have noticed my memory is not as sharp as it was before. That is one reason I read and reread scripture I forget. But we are not totally alone, if indwelt by the Holy Spirit and having named our known sins we are given a supernatural ability to understand God and his word. This is not magic.

Perhaps the most familiar text of all pertaining to our duty to glorify God is

1 Corinthians 10:31-33,

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the church of God- 33even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Ever since the creation of the world God's invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity have been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for, although they knew God they did not glorify him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they because fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. Romans 1:20-23

The supreme goal of God in history from beginning to end is to manifest his great glory. Our duty is to bring our thoughts, affections, and actions into line with this goal. It should become our goal as well. The way we glorify God is first to delight in his him more than in anything else and be grateful for it. The natural result of this joy in God is we experience freedom from selfishness and are moved to seek the good of others. Thus love becomes the chief means by which we join God in the earthly display of his glory and accomplish his goal in history.

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