HELP: Healing for hurts, habits and hang-ups. A new series coming to ReNew Church on February 21, 2010.
For some time now God has been working in my life and showing me just how much I need Him and His healing. I cringe most every day at the way I mess up and disappoint God, myself and others. I marvel at just how screwed up and vile my life can be. I can so identify with Paul of the New Testament, when he wrote: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it…. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” [Rom. 7:18-20, 24]
Jesus, in His first recorded sermon, found in Matthew 5, makes what appears to be a strange assessment of the condition like the one Paul described: The condition of being spiritually busted – spiritually devastated – and not able to fix yourself. Jesus says that when we are in this condition we are really…..blessed???? That’s right, blessed!
According to Jesus, we can be actually blessed when we are poor in spirit: When we are so spiritually down that we mourn over our life and over the realization that we just can’t bring ourselves the healing we so desperately want and need. While we may not feel blessed in such a state, it is at these times that we are so ready to listen and hear the words of life – the words that bring life, healing and health. Paul expresses so clearly the answer to our condition as he concludes the statement quoted above.
After Paul states: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?“ he concludes with the resolution he has found to his predicament. His conclusion is this: “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” It is God who saves us, through the provision He made for our benefit by sending to us His only Son, Jesus, to show us how to live and to pay our debt for the sin we commit. Jesus, through His perfect life, had earned the right to claim eternal life. We, through our sinful and messed up lives, have earned death; eternal separation from God. Jesus took upon Himself all of our sin and offers to us, as His expense, the right to put on His perfection; His righteousness. So that when God looks at us, He does not see the vile and messed us sinful people that we are. No! Instead, God sees us as having the purity and righteousness of Jesus. He sees the perfection of Jesus when He looks upon us. What is impossible with man is possible with God. And so, we, who have received from Jesus this gift of righteousness and forgiveness from our sin and from the penalty of our sin, can conclude with Paul: “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”