How Fallen We Must Have Been!

Those words echoed in her mind. They sounded so true-so soothingly convincing! Surely, they had had their effect on her. They were so irresistably ensnaring and, softly but persuasively, made her turn to look at what had been the object of discussion. It wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was good! At least it seemed so! She wondered how it would taste; it looked sweet and was a beauty to behold. Surely a work of art by the Creator. What’s more, she had been told that it would open her eyes and that she would be wise; and who wouldn’t want to be wise? It was perfect! So right! For a moment, she thought she’d heard it call her name- asking her to partake of it. To be one with it and dive into wisdom; Ah wisdom, how desirable! And for that moment, that dire moment, all creation hung in suspense. All waited. Stillness. Silence…

The choice was made.

And man plunged, not into wisdom, but into the murky waters of despondent depravity.

Romans 7:15-24 NKJV

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that  it is  good. But now,  it is  no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but  how  to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will  to do,  I do not do; but the evil I will not  to do,  that I practice. Now if I do what I will not  to do,  it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Paul himself, a man whom many look up to, confessed of his utter depravity as a man. Wait, Paul? Wretched? Imagine that!! And the glorious thing about this portion of Scripture is that it convinces us, too, of our being dead in sin since many are they that use Paul as a yard stick, motivator and mentor. Paul understood full-well that nothing good lived in him. Nothing! And Christ had earlier spoken of something similar to this when, while giving that popular sermon on the mount He asked, “…Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?”(Matthew 7:16 NKJV) and further added that “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”(Matthew 7:18 NKJV)

Paul says that nothing good lives in him, and Christ says that no bad tree bears good fruit. So since nothing good lived in us, then there is NO WAY that any good thing could come from us. NOTHING! And that explains why our righteousness is as filthy rags to our holy God.

Isaiah 64:6 NKJV

But we are all like an unclean  thing,  And all our righteousnesses  are  like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

And how our acts of religion, if done just casually, are a detestable sight before the Creator as He said in Isaiah 1:13-14 NKJV

Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing  them.

So depraved were we, so utterly wretched and hopeless that salvation could not come from us. Can a man in whom there is absolutely no good make a good decision of accepting Christ? Can a dead man make a choice? Can bad tree bear good fruit? Of course not! And hence it was written, in Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;  it is  the gift of God,

That the salvation we have is not from ourselves. It came not from us, and had nothing to do with us but that it is totally from our Father in heaven and so we cannot, in our right minds, boast. For we were NOT just people who had a few issues here and there, and then made a right choice! No! We were completely dead and entirely lost, with no hope whatsoever of life, but the Sovereign One chose us and gave us a gift called faith, out of the abundance of His grace, that we might be saved. He did not help us up; rather, He picked us up from the dirty ground and carried us on His shoulders.

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Isaiah 52:14 (NIV)

Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness—

Millenia ago, three nails held up a heavy weight- a weight upon which rested the weight of the whole world! Their once-gleaming appearance had been replaced with red blood clot. They had gone through a medium they were not used to. Flesh! They had forcefully torn through the one who had willed them into existence. Had they a mind, they would have wondered. They would have been disturbed at the ghastly sight that they held up for all to see. “What would make this man, so innocent and righteous, so gloriously holy, be our client? What would make our paths cross?” they would have thought. If they could communicate, one would say to the other two,”He must have really loved those that He is here for. He must have loved them so much, for even in holding his defaced body up on this tree, we play only a minor role compared to Love. Surely He loved them.”
And in addition to this, the other nail would say to the other two, “I wonder, my friends, what kind He has died for. How depraved! How desperately lost and wretched, how dead and hopeless they must have been. They must have been reduced to the nothingness we now behold. They must have been in the state that we see Him in. Only that they did not know; and still, sadly, do not know. Can it not get to them- just how despondently they wallowed in the dark? How, grieveously downtrodden they were that God- the Creator of the Cosmos, the Author of life, the Alpha and Omega, the great I AM- had to bleed and die for them. How contemptibly afflicted they must have been!”

Beloved, how I wish that we may see this. That if our Creator hung on a tree and bled for you and me, then totally lost in sin, and morally corrupt we must have been. How lost and dead!

And my hope is that even as we reminisce our Lord’s death for us, may we be humbled at the conviction of how depraved we must have been!

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~ by paintbrush89 on March 29, 2013.

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