My blood pressure always goes up. Whenever I’m in a conversation, particularly a one on one that’s leading to the Gospel with an unbeliever, my ears turn red, heart rate goes up, and my stomach goes into a knot. God has given me the opportunity to share the Gospel hundreds of times. When the conversation settles in Jesus, I know that some hard, yet beautiful things are about to come. That’s when my blood pressure goes up.
I don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with somebody. I hope you have or do in the future. But if you’re like me, you know the weight and importance of that moment. Sharing grace and truth together can be really critical; to say the words sin, sinner, death, and quote the scriptures can be difficult. But it’s not just bad news, it’s a lot of good news.
What I’d like to do is go to the “king of grace” passages in the book of Ephesians. It’s perhaps one of the most beautiful and clear passages about grace.
Paul begins by saying “You were dead in your transgressions and sins.” Sin does not make you bad. If sin makes you bad, all you need to do is get better. That’s not the gospel’s message. It’s what people think about sin. But the Scripture says it makes you dead. In order to get better you need to be brought back to life again. The “you were” is the bad news. Paul wants us to understand the depth of our death.
In 1987, there was an 18-month-old baby named Jessica. She was walking in her aunt’s backyard and took one too many steps that caused her to fall down an opened pipe casing in the ground that was 22 feet deep. They called 911 thinking she would be out in a few hours. But instead it took 58 hours to get her out. They had to call professional drillers and engineers to get her out. The story was all over the news. But you know what was not the story? “Baby Jessica is a hero!” “Baby Jessica crawled out all on her own and saved her life!” That was not the story. Why? Because there was no possible way she could get out on her own.
That is a picture of the depth of our death in sin. You and I were dead and there was no possible way we were climbing out of that. But that’s not the end of the story. That’s not where God left you. That’s not what God allowed to be the final chapter in our life.