Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Impotent or Important?

When we were utterly helpless, with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for him. Even if we were good, we really wouldn’t expect anyone to die for us, though, of course, that might be barely possible. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6-8 TLB)

What would you do for someone who 'under-valued' you, having little to no use for you? Most of us would be honest here and say we'd do very little, if anything at all! Why? We live in a world that expects reciprocity! We look for the 'what's in it for me' situations and that is what we go after more than those 'even if it means nothing for me, I will do it anyway' moments. Honestly, we want to 'get' a little out of whatever we 'put into' something, don't we? This is only natural. It is something quite supernatural to give without any expectation of getting!

Helpless people are really powerless. The helplessness isn't that we lack courage or even the 'want to', but that we lack the power to make something happen. We have been 'incapacitated' - we lack the capacity to do whatever needs to be done. A similar word to helpless is impotent - we are inadequate in completing whatever lays before us. The idea here is that we were unable - there was absolutely no way for us to ever make ourselves right with God again. We were without any way of escape - bound by our sin and shame, linked to our past mistakes and failures.

Now, you would think that someone who lacks the capacity to escape - being held in a place of bondage - would want to be free, wouldn't you? Do you know it is quite possible for someone in bondage to become so 'used to' the bondage that they don't even look for freedom any longer? There might be a niggling of desire now and again, but since the bondage has become so much the 'norm', the motivation to try to be free just isn't there any longer. Maybe this is why scripture points out we had 'no use' for Christ. We just didn't see the purpose of a Savior any longer - we had become resigned to our lack of freedom and just didn't see any way out.

Even those who live 'really good lives' have no real way of escaping the fact they were born sinners. The nature to sin is inherent in our genetic make-up. We will eventually compromise, no matter how 'good' we are. The need for Christ's sacrificial death may not even cross our minds because we are working out our own 'destiny' via our 'good deeds', but the truth is that our own destiny won't even get us close to an eternity in God's presence! We need what we don't even know we need - a Savior. 

It is good news that our eternity isn't limited by what we value or what we can do for ourselves. If we counted on these two things to draw us close to God's heart, we'd still be miles and miles away in the end. Just sayin!