23 Feb The Way Up
February 23, 2018
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
–1 Corinthians 6:11
This week, we have seen the downward path that leads us away from God. Maybe you are one of those people who feels like you are on a downward path away from God. Maybe your downward path has led you into sexual immorality, or maybe it has led you to addictions you just cannot overcome or a general sense of despair because you think you have been abandoned by God. Is there any hope? Is there any way to reverse that and start on the path up toward God?
The good news is, there is. Remember the story of the prodigal son? He was in the far country, living in depravity, despair, depression, and eating the slop that was meant for the pigs. Yet the Bible says one day he came to himself and said: I do not want to live like this any longer. I will get up and I will go back to my father. Luke 15:20 says, “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” His father embraced him and forgave him. God will do the same for you. If you’re willing to take that step toward God, confess your sin, and put your faith in Jesus Christ, then God will come running toward you, ready to forgive everything you have done.
You might say, “Pastor, you do not understand the depravity I have been involved in. I have been involved in sexual immorality. I have been involved in addiction and all kinds of sin. God could never forgive me, could He?” In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul gave words of tremendous hope for anybody who feels like they have been abandoned by God. But first, the bad news: “Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (6:9-10).
The truth is, every one of us is guilty of one or more of these sins. And that is why none of us can make it to Heaven. The kingdom of God is shut off from us. There is nothing we can do to get to Heaven. But there is something God can do for us to make sure we go to Heaven. In 1 Corinthians 6:11, Paul said, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Regardless of your sin, regardless of the depravity you have experienced, your sins are not too numerous or too serious to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ can wash us from all unrighteousness. That is the truth. That is the hope that we all have. Isn’t it great that we serve that kind of God? It does not matter who you are or what you have done. God is willing to forgive you. It does not matter how far you have wandered away–you are not beyond the reach of God’s amazing grace. God only gives up on those who give up on Him.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When God Lets Go” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.