Jesus Died for Our Sins | Devotion #6: Ecclesiastes 7:20
Joshua Combs | Lead Pastor
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
If you have ever shared the Gospel or engaged in a spiritual conversation before, one of the most common discussions will center around how we get to Heaven and who gets to go to Heaven. Several years ago, I was given a counseling referral to meet with a mother and her daughters. The mother was a professing Christian whose daughters were extremely skeptical and, honestly, somewhat hostile towards Christianity. The mother’s goal, unbeknownst to me when we began, was for me, the pastor, to convince the daughters of, not only the validity of Christianity but the very existence of God. It was no small order! What transpired in my office over the next hour, was one of the most disturbing meetings I have ever experienced. Frankly, I have been haunted by it ever since. I began by asking some questions, attempting to grasp the worldview that these young ladies and their mother held. I quickly realized that I was dealing with an extremely humanistic viewpoint. I talked about creation, the historical evidence of the existence and ministry of Jesus, and the validity of the Bible as we know it. Up to this point, the Mom was completely on my side. But I knew at the core, what was needed was a faithful presentation of the Gospel and, Lord willing, the conversion of these students. As I began to turn the conversation from several extremely hot-button cultural issues to the Gospel, I could not have anticipated what would happen. Every faithful presentation of the Gospel begins with a fundamental understanding that we are sinners and in need of a savior. Romans 3:11 says, “None is righteous, no, not one… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There are no exceptions. Everyone ever born has sinned against God and needs to be saved from their sin. As I shared Romans 3, not only were these two girls disgusted at the proclamation from Scripture that everyone not only sins, but is innately sinful, but their mother began to adamantly disagree that everyone sins and cannot save themselves. That is where this meeting came to a screeching halt.
Unless someone realizes their absolute helplessness in the light of sin and that condition encompasses the whole of mankind, there is simply no way to go forward with the Gospel. You cannot get to the Good News until there is an acceptance of the bad news. As that meeting came to an end, my heart broke. Not only were these two young, intelligent girls lost in sin, but their mother did not understand the true Gospel either.
The total sinful depravity of man is a fundamental truth of Christianity. We are, as the Bible says, “dead in the trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). We are not kind of dead. We are not on spiritual life support. We are utterly and hopelessly lost in sin. We are slaves to sin. But Jesus came. He died for our sins. He did not just come and die to be a personal improvement program or establish a superior religious movement. Jesus was the only means of salvation. His atoning work on the cross of Calvary is the only means of salvation and freedom from our sin.