In prepping for some upcoming premarital counseling that Melanie and I are doing this weekend, I have been focusing on the gospel. I know…you are shocked, it’s so unlike me. :-). But specifically, the power of God in the gospel of Jesus as designed to cut thru the fog of the worst of the worst situations, because at the core we are all sick with the same thing: sin…and God offers us a solution to sin: new life in Jesus.
As I walked thru the story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11-12, I was once again amazed at the level of insanity that the situation has descended into. Yikes. It starts with a glance, then acting on the heart-palpitating lust, adultery…and then an incredulous plan that ends with the murder of an honorable man. Crazy messed up situations like this still occur, probably every day in every state of the nation.
Sin, for all it’s deception – works the same way every time. James 1:13-15 lays it out for us, and David acted it out. It’s been acted out in my life and everyone else who sins. Our own selves, our own sinful nature tempts us, lures us. Desire is conceived into action and sin is born. Sin when fully grown and as the situation gets messier and messier in the end…is death. Sin is inside us, it’s in our nature. Adam started it and we’ve been faithfully carrying it on ever since.
The cycle needs to be broken with the grace of God in Jesus. The worst, most complicated, most screwed up crazy situations are not beyond the reach of Jesus. They are not beyond the forgiveness and mercy of the cross. Perhaps most of all, they are not beyond the reach of the new life that Christ’s resurrection offers us. The resurrection is the proof that God looked on Jesus’ sacrifice and accepted it, as payment for all the sin messes – no matter how bad. Yes, God is that big.
So why am I so obsessed with the gospel of Jesus? Because like many, my life used to be a mess. A whirlwind tornado spiraling death fog of sin- but Jesus cut through it all, cut thru my sin and gave me new life (not an improved life, but a brand new life). I had tried to focus on my problems first, but the funny thing is that wasn’t working – I didn’t need to focus on fixing the problems, I needed to focus on God. You see, all of our problems are spiritual problems anyway, in God we find everything, because he is sovereign over everything. No one can “fix themselves.”
David, when confronted by Nathan says a pretty curious thing first – “I have sinned against the LORD.” (2 Sam 12:13). David knew his mess was a spiritual problem, it was sin against first and foremost God and he knew turning to God was the solution.
We have Jesus. Jesus brings the hope to the impossible messes. It kinda makes the ground a bit more level, doesn’t it? The Bible is very clear, we are all sinners – there is no one that is superior except God himself – we have all turned away (Rom 3:10-12)…and there is one solution – the perfect God-designed solution: faith in Jesus (Rom 3:23-24). Jesus was our sin-bearer, though he never sinned. He lived the perfect life, and we can never. God poured out all the just-wrath he has for all the messed up situations, those sinning and those sinned against– on the cross of Jesus, it’s paid. Through faith in Jesus God saves us from all of our sin messes, declares us INNOCENT and the journey to be more like Jesus (AKA “the fixing”) then can begin in earnest. But note the order – the fixing comes after faith.
What are you trying to fix without Jesus?