Monday, March 21, 2011

How Firm Our Foundation

by Fred Butler

Let me ask you a theological question: Are you born again which results in your believing in Christ, or does your faith in Christ result in your being born again? Maybe you think I’m just playing with words, but how you answer that question significantly affects what you believe about man’s sin, God’s salvation, and more important, your eternal security.

Natural Born Sinners

The Bible is crystal clear about our condition before we came to Christ. All of us come from a different personal background. I may be from a poor family, whereas you come from a rich family; others of us lived moral lives, while still others lived shameful, ungodly lives. Whatever the case, we were all sinners in need of a Savior.

That’s exactly what the Bible tells us in Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-18 and Ephesians 4:17-19. Those passages reveal a couple of important truths about our sinful nature.

First, we were separated from any true, intimate fellowship with God, and we lacked spiritual understanding of His ways. For example, Romans 3:11 says, “There is none who seeks after God,” and Ephesians 4:18 speaks to how we were “darkened,” “alienated,” “ignorant,” and “blind.” Sounds harsh, doesn’t it.

Second, we were spiritual rebels. Romans 3:18 specifically says we had “no fear of God” before our eyes; and Romans 1:18 explains how we all suppressed the truth of God, trying to excuse away our obligation to Him. Rather than choosing to live in obedience to God's laws, we willingly gave ourselves over to lewdness and uncleanness.

In short, when we were all without Christ, we hated God and wanted nothing to do with Him.

If our salvation had been left up to us, we would never have sought it. Nothing could have persuaded us or moved us to faith in Christ, not even the most eloquent preachers or the most compelling arguments. We would have cheerfully continued living lives in willful disobedience to God.

That’s a bleak description, but according to the Bible, it is the spiritual reality of all people, without exception. The only hope we have is a miracle—a profound and radical change of our hearts and minds...

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