Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Bad News

Last week we took a break from our sermon series on Romans for a Missions Sunday. It was kinda neat for me as the missionary couple that came to talk went to school with my parents. I find that one of the coolest things about having spent time in and around Bible College is that I cross paths with people over and over again throughout life. We got right back into it this week though.

This week we talked about the Good News and how you can really only know how good it is if you know the bad news. The main point of the sermon is that we're sinners, all of us, and no matter what we do on our own we cannot become holy. Even though the steps we need to follow are clearly laid out for us to follow, we can't do it without the redeming work of Christ. That's the Bad News. In order for us to appreciate the Good News we have to understand the Bad.

I must admit that this is a bit of a struggle for me in my walk with God. It's hard for me to appreciate the Good News sometimes. I actually find it hard to be wowed by what God did for me and it's because I haven't really ever understood the Bad News I don't think. I have one of those boring Christian Life stories. Knowing Christ since kindergarten and always being the good kid. I've never done anything even remotely bad. Some people have 'Paul conversion experiences', where their lives do a 180 when they accept Christ. Mine is more of a slow curve of new realizations and baby steps in become Christlike. Apathy is an easy mode to fall into when there aren't any moments to look back on and say things like: 'God saved my life right there'. If you know what I mean.

Our pastor showed us a picture of a car. It had driven through the safety rails on the side of a highway and landed fully on ground, just inches from falling into some sort of small river it looked like. You could hear the collective sigh as everyone in the room thought how lucky it was for the car to land upright and not even dinged up just beside the dip. Good News. But in order to fully appreciate the Good News we had to see the whole picture. The thing that looked like a small river or dip was actually the top few inches of a very deep canyon. If that car had landed just a few inches over it would have fallen hundreds of feet and killed everyone inside. That's the Bad News. And when you know it, the Good News is so much better. (I wish I had the picture to post here, it's really more dramatic than I can get across.)

So in Christianity the Good News is obviously that Christ came and died for us to redem us and reconcile us to God. But what's the Bad News? I'm just going to lay it out in point form and leave you to think about it.

1. We are all subtley hypocritical. (Rom 2:1-3)
-Bad News: We're all sinners and as sinners we are God's enemies.
-Good News: We have been reconciled through Christ.

2. Repentence is impossible. (Rom 2:4-5)
-Bad News: On our own we cannot repent. We cannot change the direction of our lives by ourselves, (change direction from sinners to holy).
-Good News: God transforms us from sinners by giving us a new heart/attitude.

3. God is completely impartial. (Rom 2:6)
-I missed the point here, there was a rabbit trail and then Nick asked me a question.

4. The Condemnation of the Law. (Rom 2:12ff)
-Bad News: The law condemns us and when we try to live up to it we inevitably fail.
-Good News: Jesus came to do what the law cannot.


motherinlaw said...

I used to think the way you do about not having an exciting testimony. But realising that what God saved me from was an ETERNITY WITHOUT HIM was terrifying to me. To understand that we are born sinful and without hope with Him is very powerful. And when I realised that my "small" sins were just as bad as someone else's "big" sin really shocked me. I cannot say that I have always been faithful to God but I sure am glad that HE WAS and IS and always WILL be with me is the most wonderful NEWS in my life. All because HE LOVES ME.

Tanneal said...

So awesome.

Ok, so first thing I wanted to say is that it is easy for someone who had a 180 'Paul' experience to become complacent too! Though I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus into my heart as a child I turned away and had what I think was a pretty hard knock over the head experience to get me back to God. But even knowing all that Christ saved me from doesn't stop me from being lazy in my faith. Maybe it's because we (as a country/culture) for the most part have it really easy. We can walk into church on a Sunday morning to worship and don't have to worry about being arrested or worse. I would think it would be pretty hard to complain about petty little things (like who's leading worship), or to become lazy in our faith under circumstances like that!

I love that car analogy! You did describe it well...I can picture it in my mind.

How very true that as we are aware of the 'bigger picture' of the Bad News we are able to see and appreciate so much more what we've been saved from! PTL!!