Wednesday, July 03, 2019

“There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are freely justified by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:23)

God had knit a close relationship with His creation (Adam) after He had put him in charge of the Garden of Eden. But Adam lost that coveted position when they (Adam and Eve) disobeyed God’s instructions by listening to the devil disguised as a serpent. Ever since the relationship was estranged, they lived a miserable life having to fend for themselves – ‘for by the sweat of their faces will they eat bread.’ Nothing would come easy. They were cursed. Later they were kicked out of the Garden and were separated from God, their Creator. Under these trying circumstances, other negative forces had become apparent. Stemming from telling lies and playing the blame game, guilt and awareness birthed a series of sinful practices that were contrary to the Spirit of God.

The initial spirit of disobedience had engendered jealousy, hate, anger and strife. Negative emotions had stealthily crept into Adam’s offspring culminating in murder and fratricide. This atmosphere had become untenable, but had gradually become the order of the day. Today, the world had been taken over by sin in its ugliest form – lust, adultery, incest, killings, robberies, bestiality, homosexuality and idolatry. All of this has angered God.  

It was obvious that humanity was spiralling downhill to its doom at an alarming speed warranting divine intervention. Satan was at the steering wheel and in his ruthlessness was out ‘to kill, steal and destroy.’ (John 10:10) Overpowered by such a force that had kept them chain-bound, it seemed all the more difficult to seek refuge anywhere. Yet all was not lost. 

Has it ever occurred to you that no amount of self-will can liberate or extricate you from sin however hard you try? Sin builds a stronghold in our lives that keeps us totally bound. Only the power of Jesus can release one from such a hold. It is certain however that when you have the spirit of Jesus living in you, the devil and his demons take the back exit. 

Only a compassionate God, in His divine wisdom, can liberate someone from the shackles of sin. No other form of deliverance produces lasting results. Only Jesus can save you and me from the ever so often nose dive to utter destruction. Left on its own humanity could not arrest the plummeting trend into the abyss. God has to rescue you first. “... and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”   (Romans 9:15) Compassion is a move governed by love. God from the inception had a well-thought out plan with which to redeem humankind from its fallen state.

God decided to send His begotten Son with a clear mandate to save the whole of humanity. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17) His action was borne out of love; not that humanity deserved it, but God gave it notwithstanding. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

For 38 years a paralytic was afflicted by the devil and he sought healing by a pool that was stirred up by an angel every now and then. The first to get in received his healing. He needed a saviour badly to get him back on his feet. One day that help came in the person of Jesus and he became whole again. For twelve years a woman who had put up with an issue of blood, braved herself to touch Jesus’ garment in order to receive healing and it worked for her. Her bleeding ceased on the spot and she was made whole again. What a sigh of relief!.

The woman caught in the act of adultery would have been stoned to death in keeping with the Law of Moses, but in spite of the accusation levelled by the Pharisees and the Sadducees, Jesus let her go with the warning ‘sin no more.’ The prodigal son had left home in search of the good life in a foreign land. Unfortunately, he squandered all his fortune and ended up tending pigs. Realising how far he had fallen, he packs his bag and heads home. His father gladly receives him back in style. He reintegrates the family. God, represented here by his father, had come to his rescue. He expected rejection but received a warm welcome.

In the fullness of time, God intervened in a way no one expected. Yet He had given clear indications of this in the Scriptures that He would send His Son to remedy the situation. (Genesis 3:15) Sin has to be dealt with because God wanted human beings to live forever. Death came into the picture after humankind sinned. The plan was that the death penalty on Adam’s head would be paid for in full by a second Adam, the Lord Christ Jesus. Where the first Adam failed, the second Adam would succeed. He would come as a human being to show how God intended humans to live. Most of all, he would come as a substitute for humanity, to die in our stead. He descended to earth for the purpose of paying our sin-debt in full.

So from the onset, God in His infinite wisdom had made adequate provision for a Saviour to come to the world’s rescue. It is important to observe that humanity disqualified itself from the privilege of association that had been freely accorded to it. Adam and Eve had basked in God’s presence as His ‘treasured possession.’ 

The biblical quotation in the opening paragraph adequately underlines why God had to intervene. No one would be spared. All the offspring of Adam and Eve are equally guilty of sinning for it had become a trait they had identified with. Sinning will from thence characterise human nature.

Wherever humans are found on this earth, be sure to find sinners. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) 

Author: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye