GIVING UP IS A GOOD THING SOMETIMES
The righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). Romans 10:6
Think of someone you know who is a bit deluded and out of touch with reality. Have that person in mind? Now, imagine asking them later this morning, “What are your plans today?” Their answer, “Two things are on my list. First, I plan to make a trip to heaven to bring Jesus down to earth. If that doesn’t work, I’ll assume He’s dead and go down into the belly of the earth and retrieve Him that way.” I think you’ll be calling 911.
These examples are preposterous. Yet, these are the lengths Paul goes to ~ to make sure I understand that believing that God will just accept me outside of Christ is as ludicrous as believing that I can plan a trip to heaven or hell and make it happen. I don’t have one ounce of power (or goodness) to be righteous. The only way God will be able to look at me and see His Son’s pure character will be if He gives Christ’s righteousness to me as a gift.
I am not mechanically inclined. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll try to put something together, or fix something broken, and come to a screeching halt. I get so frustrated. I end up looking at the clock and waiting for the hour when Ron will walk through the door. I may round the corner with the broken pieces of ‘something’ in my hands and exclaim, “I tried, but I can’t fix it!” He takes a look at the pieces and usually within three minutes, he’s got it together. He’s so nice as he’s never rubbed it in.
My eternal destiny doesn’t depend on whether or not I can fix a juicer. Eternal life starts, or ends, on whether or not I’m willing to approach God and exclaim, “I just can’t do it! There’s no way I can overcome my sin no matter how hard I try.” Though my Ron is gracious, God is even more so. He knew we couldn’t do it even before we were born, even before we started trying to fix our broken condition. He sent the Lamb of God to ‘fix it and finish it.’ We have to humble ourselves, declare our hopeless condition, and embrace a Savior.
Who has to ascend into heaven? Not anyone – if Christ is their righteousness.
The lost. The frustrated. The hopeless. These are who you came to save. I’m glad it was me! Amen