Why Do We Need to be Saved?

Understanding Why Every Christian Needs To Be Saved

Dan Franklin
Sep 26, 2021    38m
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To understand why every Christian needs to be saved, we first need to understand that every person is a hopeless, godless sinner in need of being rescued. Until we can understand what Jesus saved us from, we can never truly appreciate the gift of God's love and grace. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Dan Franklin: [00:00:18] You know, if we're starting it and we're thinking about what are the main hang-ups we have about God, about Christianity, about the Bible, it probably wouldn't take long until we got to the hang-up about judgment and hell. For many of us, that would be the first one we would get to. Even for those of us who are believers, who said, all right, I'm in. I believe. I'm committed to Jesus. Still probably near the front of our minds, we would say, I still struggle with this. I still struggle to understand and grapple with the realities of hell and judgment and God's wrath. And if you're not a Christian, that may be at the top of your list of saying, if I could get past this, if I could figure out a way to have some peace with this, maybe I could embrace Jesus. But I just can't get past this idea of the reality of hell and judgment and God's wrath. And some might even be wondering, if you're not as familiar with the Bible, you might think, all right, is this really in there? Is this something that we've imported like from the medieval times that we still think is in there but if we were to read the Bible, we'd find out it's not really in there? And I need to tell you, yeah, it's really in there. It's not something that we imagine. It's not something that other people sort of imported in and we didn't realize isn't in the Bible.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:42] Right now, the men's Wednesday night Bible study is going through the Book of Revelation. And just alone in the Book of Revelation, if you're reading about the judgments in there, it is terrifying. You see the reality of God's wrath, you see the reality of judgment, you see the reality of hell. And I think the question that we ask, whether we ask it out loud or not, the question that we ask is, what could possibly justify this level of anger and hostility from God? What could possibly justify the reality of an eternal hell, of God having wrath, of there being a final judgment? What could justify all of those things? After all, we're not that bad. I mean, we'll all admit that we're flawed. Sometimes we call them quirks. You know? Yeah, I have some things that are a little bit difficult to live with. And maybe we'd even get to the point of saying, I have some moral problems that I need to deal with and that I need to grow in and that I need to solve. But in the end, most of us are convinced that we are pretty good people.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:54] In fact, you might even say that the American belief I am a good person is a stronghold in our culture. And throughout this series in strongholds, what we've been talking about is cultural beliefs that are so strongly held that we don't even think to combat them. We don't even think to argue about them. We talked last week about the idea that we believe that we're meant to be comfortable and to challenge somebody on that to say maybe you're actually not supposed to be comfortable feels bizarre to us. And to challenge the notion that we are all flawed but for the most part, good people seems very, very strange to us. And so we look at the reality or the biblical teaching about God's wrath and hell and judgment, and we kind of say, we think we need to rethink that. And some churches in our country are rethinking that, saying, all right, maybe we need to rethink this and maybe we need to find a way to try to have a biblical teaching and have a Christianity that doesn't involve these things. And here's what I want to say we need to do. Instead of rethinking the biblical teachings about wrath and judgment and hell, we need to rethink our assumption that's up on the screen.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:09] We need to rethink our baseline assumption that we are all a bunch of good people just in need of kind of a push from God. We're doing pretty well, but if we get that push from God, that will take us over the top. And what we're going to see is instead of that being the biblical teaching, the biblical teaching is that we are all desperately hopeless people who need to be rescued. Your greatest need is not just a little push from God or a little bit more money or a little less anger or a little more patience or just a little bit of improvement. Your greatest need is that you need to be rescued. And Romans 5, which we already heard read, talks about that, talks about the state of human beings apart from Jesus, which applies to all of us. Because whether you're Christian or not a Christian, at some point in your life, you were not a Christian. You were apart from Christ. And so Romans 5 verses 6 through 11 is going to give some descriptions of what life is like apart from Christ. And part of what this passage is going to do is it's going to shatter our illusion that we are all a bunch of good people just in need of a little bit of improvement. Sort of like we're all standing in front of a skinny mirror and feeling like we're looking pretty good. And this morning, we're going to get the mirror of God's Word that tells us the truth about who we are and about what we need.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:44] So in starting, like I said, this passage is going to shatter our illusion that we are good people, and it's also going to warn us that if we're under this illusion, some things are going to be hidden from our eyes. And the first is that the illusion of our goodness hides God's love. We're not able to see God's love for how amazing it really is if we're under the illusion that we're a bunch of good people. And like I said, what's going to happen in this passage is we're going to see a description of what human beings are like apart from Christ, what human beings are like before we've been rescued. And we're going to run through, we're going to go through this entire passage. But first, I just want to do a survey of it because there's three words that the Apostle Paul uses to describe people apart from Christ. The first one is in verse 6. You see at just the right time when we were still powerless. All right. Number one, powerless. Now, of the three words we're going to see, I'll tell you right now, this is the easiest one to swallow. This is the most benign one because we're sort of like, all right, powerless, it's not necessarily a moral judgment. It just means that there's some things that you're not capable of.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:00] I am powerless to fly. I wish that wasn't true. Sometimes I'm kind of bummed that I can't do that. But I don't feel guilty about it. I'm just like, yeah, there's things I can't do. So we can look at this and say, all right, this is the easiest one to swallow that we recognize that we're powerless. But here's what Paul is saying. He's not saying we are powerless to do anything because we all know, whether you're a Christian or not a Christian, you still have the ability to make decisions, to go to school, to get married, to have kids, to work a job, to build something in your house. We all have certain capabilities. When he says we are powerless, he's zeroing in on one specific area and this is it. There's a problem between us and God, and we are powerless to fix it. No matter how obedient, no matter how moral, no matter how much stuff you do or how much money you give away, you are powerless to bridge the gap between you and God. Number one, we are powerless. And number two ratchets it up. It's in the same verse. You see, just at the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. This is getting a bit more serious now. We're not just powerless, but we're ungodly.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:20] And the word ungodly means what you might kind of assume it means just by reading it. It means that there is a way to walk, there is a way to live in the way that God would call us to live, but we've chosen to go another way. That we've looked at God and we've said, all right, God, you've got your agenda for what you all want us to do, but I've got my own agenda for what I want to do. God, you go your way, I'll go my way. Maybe sort of the attitude of God, I'll leave you alone and you'll leave me alone, which sounds very American. Stay out of my business and I'll stay out of yours. We're not just powerless, but we're ungodly because from all the way to our very first parents, Adam and Eve, we looked at God's way and said, we think we have a better idea. We're powerless and we're ungodly. And like I said, we'll come back to verse 7. We'll look through this whole passage in a minute. But I want to point out the third word in verse 8. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Word number three, we are powerless, ungodly sinners apart from Christ. And if you're not a Christian or if you haven't spent a lot of time around church, that word sinners, it might feel really stinging to you. You might be like, wow, that feels like a big deal.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:43] But for many of us that maybe have more experience around church, the word sinners has almost lost all of its sting because we frequently talk about the idea, you're a sinner, I'm a sinner, we're all sinners. And here's what you need to understand about the word sinners here. It is not being used to just describe an activity. It is being used to describe an identity. In the New Testament, despite how we usually use the word in the New Testament. Christians are never referred to as sinners. And that's not because the authors of the Bible think that Christians don't still sin. We do still sin. But it's because that is not who we are. That is not our identity. How many of you in the past, let's say, 60 days, the past two months at some point have played basketball or shot a basketball around? How many of you? All right, number of hands. All right. Now let's say one of you that raised your hand, you're like, yeah, every once in a while, I go and I shoot hoops. If you are introducing yourself to somebody and they came up to you and say, hey, I'm Joe, I work at the restaurant over there, and you responded and said, hi, I'm Dan, I'm a basketball player, that would be a strange way to introduce yourself, right?

Dan Franklin: [00:11:02] And you could say, well, I play basketball, therefore I'm a basketball player. And in a weird way, that'd be true. But you would know the person who would normally describe themselves as a basketball player would be a person who did that for their profession. Joe wouldn't understand what you were saying. He'd be like, wow, you're kind of short and don't look very athletic, but okay. When Paul says we were still sinners, he is not simply saying we were human beings who occasionally sinned. He's saying our identity was wrapped up in the idea that we were sinners. And according to John, in 1 John 3 verse 4, sin is lawlessness. Sin is when we look at what God wants us to do and we say we'd rather do what we want to do. And one of the powerful things, in fact, earlier in Romans, Romans 2, Paul says that even if you're not a Christian, and even if you don't know anything that the Bible says, you still know God's law to a certain degree because He's written it on your heart. Have you ever noticed that we don't just violate God's standards, but we violate our own standards for ourselves? The things that we get really frustrated in others and say, they shouldn't do that, we still find ourselves failing and doing those things? Paul says apart from Christ, we are powerless, ungodly sinners. Pretty grim, right? You haven't seen anything yet. If you have your Bibles up and look back to chapter 3, we're going to see Paul give it an extended illustration of just how dark and sinful human beings are apart from Christ.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:43] Romans chapter 3 starting in verse 10, he says, as it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks God. All have turned away. They have together become worthless. There is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves. Their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Ruin and misery mark their ways and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Paul definitely doesn't paint a picture of human beings and say we're pretty good people that just need God to give us that extra edge. He says we are powerless, godless sinners, and our only hope is to be rescued. Now, here's the deal. Some of you, I'm talking about this stuff, you don't need any convincing. You're like, I know. I know myself. I've seen my darkness. I've seen my failures. You deal with guilt and shame over things. You're hearing this and you're like, you can stop. I know. I know this is true of me. But I also know there's some of you in here that you're kind of like, you're just not buying it. You're like, flawed? Sure. In need of growth? Yes. Quirky? Yeah. But the idea that I'm so sinful that I need to be rescued, that I should be headed towards hell, that I should be judged. I'm just not buying it, and I'm not buying that humanity in general is that bad. And I'm certainly not buying that I'm that bad.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:30] And what I want you to know is that if you're looking at that and from an objective standpoint, you don't look that bad. You haven't killed anyone. You haven't been to prison. You haven't had some of these big marks that we would say, those are the bad people. You don't have any of those. What I want you to know is that the reason you don't have any of those is probably more based on time and circumstance than your actual character. If you lived and if most of us lived in a culture that was different than this and was heavily violent and was more filled with immorality and with going with the flow would be doing many of those things, we wouldn't be as convinced of our own goodness. A few decades ago, there was a genocide in Rwanda. Just horrific. Neighbors killing neighbors all day long. And they were normal people, normal family men who loved their wives and loved their children who would go out and grab their machetes and all day would slaughter their neighbors and then would return home to a nice meal with their family. I mean, we're like, those are bad people. Those were the normal people. Those were just, those were the suburban dads in that time. They weren't the outliers. They were the norm. And we look at that and we're like, I would never. Why are you so convinced? Are you living your life right now totally against the flow, always resisting temptation, willing to stand up and stand out from the culture?

Dan Franklin: [00:15:59] Or do you usually go along just to get along? Because that's what the people in Rwanda were doing. And we look at that and we say, that's terrible. I would never do that. Don't be so convinced. In a different time and a different circumstance, your life would be very, very different. And we maybe don't have as checkered track records just because we have the privilege of living in a culture that's a lot less violent than other cultures are. There is a darkness inside of us, and the message that Paul is giving is that we need to get over the illusion of our own goodness. Now, some of you right now are like, why do we have to talk about this? Can't we just talk about God's love? Like this is why I came this morning, to talk about God's love. In fact, it's even up on the screen. You said we were going to talk about God's love. It's up there. The words are up there. Why are we talking about all of this stuff? Can't we talk about God's love? And what Paul would say is we are. We are talking about God's love because you can't really understand God's love until you understand how utterly undeserving of it we are.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:05] Let's look at this whole passage again. You see, just at the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. The message of the gospel is that the eternal son of God came and died in our place, that He took all of our shame, all of our guilt, all of our sins upon Himself so that we could get forgiven. And if we lose the sense of how amazing that is, look at verse 7. He says, very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person, someone might possibly dare to die. Paul's just saying, it's amazing when any person dies for any other person. We're amazed when we think back at 9/11 and we think of the firefighters running towards the building to rescue people. We're amazed when we think of military people who are willing to die for their fellow soldiers. We're amazed when anybody dies for anybody, even if the person who was died for was a really amazing person. But we weren't really amazing people that Jesus died for. Verse 8 says this. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. You may have noticed too in verse 6, it says just at the right time. Christ died for us just at the right time, which I like to visualize this. Jesus came, looked at the world, and what He could have said is, man, you guys are a mess.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:32] This is horrible. And you guys are horrible to each other. I can't believe how bad it's gotten. Here's the deal. I'm going to go back away and return in 50 years. And if you've cleaned up your act a little bit, then we'll talk. But Jesus died for us just at the right time and just at the right time was when we were absolutely desperate, powerless, ungodly sinners. And part of the beauty of this is that we all kind of sense that you don't really know if somebody loves you until they've seen you at their your worst and they still love you. We get good in the United States at keeping up appearances. Some of you are masters at it. You're masters at keeping up appearances and making the people around you happy, figuring out what they want from you, doing those sorts of things. You're really, really good at it. And you live under the constant fear if I don't keep this up, if I don't keep performing, they're all going to abandon me. And when I talk, I'm not making fun of you when I talk about this because the reality is sometimes people do get abandoned when they stop performing. So you live under that very real fear. I may have people no longer love me if I don't keep doing all of these things.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:48] Isn't it nice to know you don't have to keep up appearances with God? Think right now of the thing that you desperately hope nobody else in this room ever finds out about you. The worst thought you ever had, the worst thing you ever did that you're just like, oh gosh, if they knew that about me, they might not ever be able to look at me in the same way again. And realize God knows that inside and out. He saw you at your lowest. He knows you at your worst. In fact, it was at your worst that Christ died for you. And we can never know what that love is really like if we're under the illusion that we're just pretty good people who need a push. Let me give a quick other thing to say. Parents, fellow parents in this room, we love our kids and we want to build our kids up. Your kids will never know your love for them, and they'll never know God's love for them if all you ever talk to them about is how wonderful they are. You should tell your kid, you should give your kids compliments and you should look to build your kids up and accurately talk about the things that are great about them. But when your kids sin, they need to know that they've sinned. When your kids do something wrong, they need to know that they've done wrong. How will they otherwise ever know that they're going to be loved even when they're at their worst?

Dan Franklin: [00:21:11] We need to talk to our kids about sin, and we need to talk to our kids about the fact that their sin is bad enough that the son of God had to die for them. Then and only then do we really know God's love. When we're under the illusion of our own goodness, it hides God's love for all of us, but it also hides something else from us. It also hides God's grace. We don't get to see God's grace, and some of you might be being like, Ah, we just traded one Christian word for another Christian word, love for grace. Isn't this all kind of the same thing? And they're certainly related. But here's the difference. When we're talking about God's love, we're talking about the sacrifice He made for us. When we're talking about God's grace, we're emphasizing His generosity towards us, Him giving us things that we absolutely haven't earned. And in verses 9 through 11, when Paul talks about this, he uses the phrase 'much more' twice to make an argument where he basically says, if God did this, how much more will He also do this for us in all of His generosity? He argues from the more profound thing. He says, if God was willing to do this big thing for us, how much more can we trust Him to do this thing that's not even as big as that? It would be like if you needed somebody to go drop you off at the Ontario Airport and you were calling a friend and you were like, I hope they'll do it. I don't know if they'll say yes. It's not convenient to drop somebody off at the airport. And as the phone is dialing, you start to think, wait a second, this is the same friend that a couple of years ago drove with me to Ohio so I could go pick up a camper and then drove all the way back with me. If they were willing to do that, they're definitely going to be willing to spend 15 minutes dropping me off at the airport.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:56] If they did the big thing, you know they're willing to do the less big thing. And Paul does that twice. Starting in verse 9, the first much more, since we have been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him? To be justified is to be declared righteous, and we're not declared righteous before God because we were good folks. We're declared righteous before God because of the shed blood of Jesus on our behalf. He says if God was willing to do that, if God was willing to send the son He loves to die for us, how much more will we be saved from God's wrath through Him? If we're justified now, we can count on God that when the final judgment comes, we're going to be saved from God's wrath. And there's that phrase that we're not sure how we feel about, God's wrath. Not just an Old Testament idea, not just in the Book of Revelation. In this passage about God's profound love and grace, we find the phrase God's wrath, God's anger at sin and at injustice. Some of us kind of wish we had a god without wrath like love, grace, mercy, all that. We're good with that. We kind of want a god without wrath. Now, first of all, we don't get to vote. That's not how it works with God. We're not like, all right, we have an opinion. So we want God to be this way. God is who He is. In fact, that's how He introduces Himself to Moses. I am that I am. We don't get to vote on what God is like. But let me also say this. Even if we could. You want a god with wrath. You may think you don't, but you do want a god with wrath. Imagine this. Imagine you come home from a night out and you find out that your house has been robbed. Things are broken. Valuable things are taken. Keepsakes are ruined. You're grieved over this, and the policemen, you know the police officers come to your house. You're checking the video because you have security video.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:02] And in the security video, you can clearly see who robbed you. And you know it's the neighbors from four houses down. You're like, there they are right on the camera. They're the ones who robbed us. And the police officers look at the video and they look at you and they say, it doesn't seem like that big a deal. Like we know who they are. They're right there. Look at what they did. And they say, it's just a house. It's just some stuff. We just don't think it's that big a deal. We're not going to do anything about it. You would be mortified. You would think that they were horrible police officers. You'd think, wait a second, we were wronged here. Not only do we want our stuff back, we want them punished for what they did to us. We would be incensed if that happened, if there was that kind of indifference. Just think how much more we should be incensed if God looks at Holocaust and slavery and oppression and injustice and rape and murder and violence and war, all these different things. And we want a God who looks at all of that and says, that just doesn't seem like that big a deal. We'll let it go. That's not who God is. God is a god of justice. And one day He is going to set all things right and thank God that He is not indifferent to the sin.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:16] The part that just makes us nervous is when we think that God's wrath is headed towards us, and that doesn't seem right because we're good folk. We're good people. Maybe the murderers deserve that, but not us. We have a god of wrath and thank God that He's the god of wrath and it's headed towards all of us, except that He sent his son to take our place. And if He's going to do that, how much more at the final judgment can we have confidence we're going to be all right? That is God's grace. We don't deserve that. But He pours it out. And He gives us a second much more in verse 10. He says, for if while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His son. So once again, this is a big one. He sent His son to die for us to reconcile us to Himself. We were at odds. We were enemies, as he says, right there, which, by the way, don't miss it. We just got a fourth word to describe us apart from Christ. Powerless, ungodly sinners, enemies. Number four. If while we were enemies, God sent His son to his death to reconcile us to Himself, how much more than, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life? And when he says through His life, here's what he means. We were reconciled through His death. His life is His resurrection. We are going to be saved through His life. His death means we're forgiven. His life means that the gates of Heaven are open wide for us to experience eternal life.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:52] You know, even if God had just withheld His wrath and said, all right, I'm not going to pour out wrath on you in hell, but you're going to live 50, 60, 70 years, then you're going to die and just be gone, even that would be better than we deserve. But God is a gracious, generous God. He says, I'm not only going to hold back my wrath, I am going to give you eternity in paradise. How much more shall we be saved through His life? Just as we can't see God's love if we're convinced that we're good people, we can't see God's grace if we're convinced that we're good people because if we're good people, then we probably just deserve this stuff. And in the United States of America, that's kind of how we act. You go up to the average person who's not a Christian and you say, God loves you and they're kind of like, okay. He probably should. I mean, we're all supposed to love each other. And if He's God, He probably should love us too, and I haven't done anything that I think would make me outside of that. So yeah, that seems about right that God loves me. It doesn't sound profound. If we say God will allow you, God will give you eternal life, again, we'd look at that in our culture and say, that seems about right. I mean, I guess that's what God should do unless somebody did something really bad and I haven't done anything really bad. God probably should give us eternal life. We don't see God's love and we don't see God's grace unless we embrace the fact that we are powerless, godless sinners and enemies. And that's what God saved us from.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:30] And so no wonder, how appropriate that Paul ends this passage by celebrating God. Verse 11, not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received the reconciliation. When Paul says we boast in God, that's a way of saying that we rejoice in God and also that our confidence is in God. Moving forward, our confidence is in God, not in ourselves. We don't boast about our own goodness. We boast about what God has done for us. Because if you look back in this passage, here's what you find we are justified because God justified us. We are reconciled because God reconciled us. And we are saved because God saved us. If you're a believer in Jesus, you didn't get yourself into the privileged status to call yourself a son or daughter of God because you worked it out on your own. We boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ because through Him, we've received that reconciliation. And all of this happened while we were powerless, godless sinners and enemies. You know, what we've been talking about this morning in some ways, in some circles might be called the bad news of the Gospel, the bad news of the Bible. Gospel means good news. It's the good news of what Jesus has done for us, but that good news doesn't have any meaning to us unless we realize how totally undeserving we were, unless we realize that we were powerless, godless sinners and enemies.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:13] It's only through when we embrace our own darkness that we can really live in the joy of the love of God and of the grace of God. When we boast in our own goodness, it not only robs God of His glory and all that He's done, but it also robs us of joy because we're relying on our own performance. It's only when we see our true state, it's only when we see our true sinfulness that we see God's love and grace for what they are. And when we let go of the illusion of our own goodness, we find ourselves set free, which sounds weird. It sounds scary to let go of the idea that we're good folk, but when we do, we find ourselves liberated. First of all, when you let go of the idea of holding onto your own goodness, you find yourself free to confess then to God. He already knows it, right? He's already seen worse, probably worse than what you just did from other people and from you. Suddenly, we're not performing before God. And again, don't hear anything that I'm saying to say, we don't care when we sin or we're not trying to live in holiness. We are. But we are free to come to God in total abandon of the idea that our status before Him depends on the idea that we're good people. We come to Him, we say, God, I've done it again. I failed again. I'm so sorry. I don't want to live this way. I know that you're with me. I know that you love me. I know that the sin that I just committed to something that Jesus died for. I know all. That's true. I'm coming to you freely, confessing, not hiding anything. Because He already knows it. And thank God, He still loves you, even though He already knows it. You're free to confess.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:00] And you're also free to approach God for anything. You're free to approach Him when you really need wisdom or when you really need strength or when you really need guidance or when you really need the patience to work with people around you. You go to God. And you're able to say, God, you don't owe me anything. You're the creator. I'm the creation. You don't owe me anything. But God, I know that I stand before you by grace. I know that you're a generous god. I know that you give far beyond what any of us deserve. So I'm coming in behalf of all of that, and I'm crying out to you saying, God, I need wisdom. I'm confident you're going to give it. God, I need patience. I'm confident that you're going to give it. I need strength to get through this. I'm confident that you're going to give it. Not because I've earned it, but because you're a generous God who gives to powerless, godless sinners and enemies. But it doesn't even just have an impact on us. If we're free, that means that we're also free to help other people. There are probably lots of people around you who think that they are the only ones who are constantly dealing with the grief of their own failure. And if you are free from performance and you're able to open up and talk about your own failure, you're going to find people who are able to run to the grace and love of God.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:14] And on top of that, we're also free to love other people who we would otherwise dismiss. Part of the difficulty that we're living in in our culture is that our culture is constantly asking us as Christians and as people in general to celebrate things that we don't think should be celebrated, to celebrate actions and sins that we don't think should be celebrated. And we're frustrated with that. And instead, we say, no, I want to be able to look at the fact that something wrong is being done there and say that that's wrong. I want to be able to look at that person. Instead of saying, that's wonderful, that they're doing that, to say, that's terrible that they're doing that. We deal with all of that tension. But here's the deal. In our effort to say, no, the culture is not going to tell me that I need to celebrate something that I shouldn't celebrate, we can end up instead totally dismissing people who are living in open and rebellious sin. The solution to responding to those people is not to affirm that they're doing something good. They're not. But the way to respond to those people is also not to dismiss them as being unworthy of your love because they apparently are worthy of God's love. Jesus came to die for powerless, godless sinners and enemies. And finally, it's only when we really let go of the illusion of our own goodness that we can celebrate the goodness of God.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:32] We can celebrate that He is the Savior, and we can live in the joy of walking with one that we know loves us that much. And I can think of no better way to celebrate this than through what we're going to do next in our service. And that's that we're going to get to take communion together. So if you're going to be helping out with communion, you can head to the back right now as the rest of us prepare for this. When we celebrate communion, we celebrate a reminder that Jesus gave to His people and that we've been celebrating for 2,000 years, that on the day that He was betrayed, that He gave a symbol of what He was about to do. The bread represents his body, which was broken for us. The cup represents His blood, which was shed for us. And part of what we get to experience with communion is we also get to just experience the physicality of this. If you don't eat or drink, you know what happens to you? You die. We get a reminder through the physicality of this that without what Jesus has done for us and is doing for us, we die physically and spiritually. We don't have eternal life because we figured out a way to get ourselves sustenance, but because Jesus provided His body and His blood for our sustenance. If you're not a Christian, there isn't anything magical about what we're about to do. This is a symbol. So if you're not a Christian, we just politely ask you just let the elements pass by, that this is for people who have placed their faith in Jesus to symbolize that faith in Jesus. Let's use this time as a reflection on how profound and amazing God's love is in light of the fact that He did it for us while we were so unworthy.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:21] As the servers come forward, let me pray for us. Father, thank you so much that your love has been poured out on powerless, ungodly sinners and enemies. Father, please keep us from having our eyes blinded, from looking into that skinny mirror and believing that we are good people worthy of your love. Please help us to have the amazing experience of knowing your love and grace in its depth because we know where we've come from and we know how unworthy we are. And Father, lead us to make an impact on others, to share your love with our brothers and sisters and with those who aren't currently brothers and sisters because you've loved us at our lowest point and we want to love others in that same way. We pray this all in the name of our great Savior Jesus. Amen.

Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848