The Condition of ... and Cure for Fallen Humanity
The Bible declares that sinners are helpless and lost ... not in need of help, but of rescue. While all other religions teach what a man must do to help himself attain salvation, Christianity declares that man is beyond being able to respond to commands or help. We need a Savior, not someone to help us save ourselves. So a Christian is not made first by someone who follows Jesus' life and example. That is an impossible standard for the natural man. No ...There would be no need for rescue unless a person was lost and completely helpless. When someone has swallowed water, is unconscious and floating to the bottom of the ocean drowning, you do not first ask him if he wants rescuing. That would not be helpful and a waste of precious seconds. No, without asking you jump in a rescue them. Spiritually we are helpless and lost, so Jesus does likewise. Before he is our teacher, he is our rescuer, our Savior. That is our primary need.
Ephesians 2:5 but the whole first half of the chapter. Also the entire book of Galatians. Romans 1-3. Titus 3:3-5; 2 Timothy 4:18; 1 Cor. chapters 1&2. The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing..." John 6:63
The Parable of the Painting
I was sent this in an e-mail recently. It is by no means a perfect illustration of salvation (for this, we pay nothing, it is entirely God's gift from start to finish), but I include this parable here because it does illustrate something of our Savior's worth in the Father's eyes. - Pastor John Samson
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
The Boat Journey by Pastor John Samson
The story is told of a man in England whose lifetime ambition was to take a trip to the United States of America. One day, a friend of his surprised him with the gift of an envelope. In opening it, the man discovered a ticket for a boat trip from the English port of Southampton (where he lived) to New York City. Overjoyed, and overwhelmed by the generosity of his friend, the man realised his dream was soon to come true.
On boarding the ship, the man's joy could be seen by all. Yet one thing differentiated him from the others on board. During meal times, the rest of the passengers went into the dinner lounge to enjoy sumptuous gourmet meals. Instead, this man went back to his cabin and opened the little bag he carried with him on board containing crackers and cheese, and day by day, he consumed the contents, alone.