Completely Unable to Please God
(continuation of ‘Saved by God’s Grace’)
Prior to our calling and regeneration by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we were helplessly lost in sin: both our own sin, and that sin which is inherent in our nature due to the fall of Adam. Being thus depraved by the Fall, and being thus deprived of original righteousness, we were living in the world without God and without hope. (Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Cor. 15:21,22; Eph. 2:12)
In this condition of utter loss and helplessness, we — like the rest of mankind — were totally unable to attain to God’s standard of perfect righteousness. We were powerless to save ourselves, and we were completely unable to live in a manner acceptable and pleasing to God.
While we were yet without Christ, we were held in bondage to the ‘prince of the power of the air’. We were enslaved by Satan; and — to a greater or lesser extent — we lived according to the course of this world; the world of unrighteousness. As a result, we were by nature the children or objects of God’s wrath against Satan and against sin. (Eph. 2:1-3)
Christ Died for Us — the Ungodly
However, while we were still in this hopelessly lost condition, and while we were totally without strength, at the right time, Christ died for us — the ungodly. By the unmerited and superabounding grace of God, we who believe have been delivered from our helpless and lost estate. (Rom. 5:6-10)
We have been spared the divine penalty which, justly, God would have inflicted upon us: a penalty which — had it been executed — would have resulted in our separation from God for ever in the eternal torments of hell, or the lake of fire. However, we have been saved from that penalty — and saved by grace.
By this same grace, we will be spared from the awesome wrath of God against sin, and upon the unrepentant sinner; for, in Christ Jesus, we have been justified by God. And he whom God has justified can never be condemned. (Rom. 8:1ff, 30-34)
[More to follow]
EPH0208.DOC / HBA04 (6) / D2 pt.2 / 1982-2011 Gordon Lyons