I considered myself to be a pretty good person. I worked hard, respected authority, went to church, didn’t sleep around, and didn’t get drunk. The worst of my teenage rebellion was seeing how fast I could drive my car. Or if you ask my mom, she might say the pinacle of my rebellion was the time she found me drinking a vodka cooler in my bedroom. No crazy partying involved, I was just curious what the fuss with alcohol was all about.

I was a good Christian girl who played by the rules. While my peers were busy partying and having sex, I looked at them with a healthy dose of righeous indignation and wondered why they were so immature. Didn’t they know they were on the road to destruction? I had answers. I was wise. I was on Jesus’ team. Of course I was. I was a good person. Why wouldn’t Jesus want me on his team? I was smart, that’s why I chose him.

Except that I didn’t choose him. He chose me.

I was dead in my sin.
Allow me to point out an obvious fact: Dead people don’t choose anything. They’re dead.
It takes the God of the universe – Jesus himself – to reach into death and bring us into life.

None of us deserve salvation. The prophet Isaiah tells us that our rightous acts are like a polluted garment. (Isaiah 64:6) The literal translation is actually menstrual rags. Gross? Yes, I’d say so. The good works I was priding myself on were seen by God as disgusting as a bloody tampon. The fact that I had lived my life devoted to Jesus was not a testimony of how smart I was, but a testimony of how faithful Jesus is. He protected me from my sinful nature. It wasn’t for my glory, but for his!

It was like a veil was lifted from my eyes. The truth of God’s grace, which I thought I had known since I was a child, shattered my world.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” (Romans 3:10-11)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1-5)

I knew these scriptures. I had memorized them as a child. But I did not understand them. I didn’t realize how offensive my sin was to God. I didn’t realize that my good works were a result of my own pride, a sin needing to be repented of like every sin.

It doesn’t matter if you play by the rules. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good person. There is one good person, and his name is Jesus. Through his mercy and grace he saves filthy sinners and transfers his perfect righteousness to our account. Our debt is paid in full by the blood of the spotless Lamb of God when he pulls us from death to life.

What a Saviour!

2 Responses to “And You Were Dead”

  1. Jayna:

    Amen! Amen! Amen!

  2. Amen! Great post!

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