April 5, 2023

April 5, 2023

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
April 05, 2023

“And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him “Which ones?” And Jesus said “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:16-26

This past Sunday we had our corporate prayer meeting and we often have someone give their personal testimony and one of our sisters did that and I think at this point we’ve been doing this for about a year and we’ve heard 12 to 14 testimonies and they’re all wonderful to hear. No two testimonies are the same but if you listen carefully I think you would hear this across the board with every one of those testimonies, they all realized that they needed to be saved. They were sinners and they realized who the Savior was. They are sinners who needed a Savior. It’s always good to remind ourselves of that over and over again, remind ourselves of what we once were—that we were once sinners, that we were once in a state of condemnation. And thinking back, just run through your bible and think of a lot of those New Testament texts especially even Old Testament texts that help us remember and remind us of what we once were before the glorious intrusion of grace.

Let me just run down a little bit of the list here: We were under the tyranny and power of sin—Romans 6—we were slaves of sin. We can also say we were in captivity of the devil 2Tim. 2:26. We were blinded by the devil 2 Cor. 4:4. We walked in darkness and loved darkness John 3. We were sons of disobedience Col 3. We were dead in trespasses and sins Eph. 2. We had hearts that were at enmity with God Romans 8. We were under the wrath of God Romans 1, John 3. We had hearts that were desperately wicked and deceitful Jer. 17. We were ruled by the passions of our lusts Gal. 5. That’s sort of a picture of what we once were. Again we need to remind ourselves quite frequently or regularly as to what we once were. Let me give you a couple of good reasons: To his praise and to his glory, to give God his due—he saved us we didn’t save ourselves. Here is why Christians should be the most thankful people on planet earth, God had mercy upon us. In the words of the prophet Zachariah, we were brands plucked from the fire. That’s very humbling and should constantly remind us brethren of what we once were to humble us before this holy God. We need to remind ourselves that we were no better than the rest. Remember Isaac Watts and that wonderful hymn that we often sing “Why was I made to hear thy voice and enter while there’s room when thousands make a wretched choice and rather starve than come”. We need to remind ourselves again that this is God’s doing Ps. 110 he made us willing in the day of his power. So here is one great reason why we need to remind ourselves to increase our thankfulness, our praise and not only what we were saved from but what we were saved to: From slavery to freedom, blind but now you see, dead now you’re alive, darkness to light, from condemnation to justification, from being children of the devil to being children of God, from having a bad heart to having a good heart, from being born of the flesh to being born of the Spirit. So Christian again, it’s good to remind ourselves of what we once were and what we are now and all to the praise and glory of God. In terms of shaping our prayers, that’s why it’s good.

But another reason why we need to remind ourselves of what we once were and what we are now is to increase our burden and our concern and our prayers for the lost. I think when we forget where they are and what condition they are in we lose that sense of burden and we don’t think as much about as to where they are going and what state they are in and only God can save sinners and that’s why we have to go to God. You go back to that portion of scripture that was read by our brother Mike in Matthew 19 looking at it from the perspective of the condition they are in we would say it’s impossible, right? But with God all things are possible!