"Because of His Great Love, God has Made Us ALIVE!"
“As for you, you were Dead in your transgressions and sins…BUT, because of His Great Love for us, GOD made us ALIVE…!”
What is the ONE thing a dead person needs? I mean, think about it for a moment…Does a dead person need love? NO! They could not feel it. Do they need an argument as to why they should live? NO! They could not understand it! Do they need instruction as to how to properly live life? NO! They could not DO IT!! There is ONLY ONE thing a dead person needs and that is LIFE! There is ONLY ONE who can give it and that is God Almighty!
This is something I have known well since I was very young…actually since the day I was born! To spare you all the graphic details I will just tell you that after two days of an at home labor with no doctors, and drastic complications, my grandmothers had no hope that I would be alive when I was born, and it turned out that they were right! The moment they saw me they knew that I was not alive. I was not breathing, had no heart beat, and was completely blue! Needing desperately to attend to my mother, I was passed to an attendant who was in training. Not wanting to dispose of me right away, she began doing the only thing she could do and that was to pray and rub me vigorously in a blanket. At this time there was nothing I could do about the dead state I was in! I could not be argued into waking up and living. I could not be loved into living. I could not muster up enough self help jargon and convince myself to be the best me I could be and live. I was helpless, hopeless, unresponsive and incapable of making MYSELF ALIVE! It would take an act of GOD! I pray we all know this, but HE and HE Alone is the author of Life! He spoke creation into existence from the foundations of the world and there is NO LIFE outside His Will and Power! As that woman rubbed my body and prayed intently, God decided that this child would live and in that moment He Spoke LIFE into my little body and told me to LIVE! My heart began to beat and breath filled my lungs. I had no participation in the decision or action of me living; it was a Divine Act of God Himself! There is ONLY ONE who can give life! It is in this similar way that Jesus speaks to Nicodemus in John 3, as He describes that unless one is Born Again they cannot even SEE the Kingdom of God. He is describing those who are dead in their sins, and blind to the truth of Christ. They First must be given Spiritual life or they cannot even see the Kingdom! This is huge because Jesus is talking about the work of Regeneration. This is a word that means “Again Birth,” or “Rebirth,” “To be Born Again!” This is an act of God alone!
Regeneration is an element of Salvation and the first element we talk about when discussing the Theology of Salvation! Salvation entails many things at once. There is Repentance, Conversion, Justification, Adoption, and of course, Regeneration, but unless we slow down the process and take a closer look behind the veil into what God is doing we may miss the foundational truth of the Power of God at work in Regeneration! I want to ask again: What is the First thing a dead person needs?? LIFE! Another way to think of it is what is the first thing a BLIND person needs? If you have ever known someone who has been blind from birth, you may notice that when you walk into their home it can often be completely dark. There are no lights on, or shades open to the sunlight. Why? Because they cannot tell the difference. They are Always living in darkness! Have you ever thought about how you would describe to someone who is blind what the color of RED looks like? Think about that! You couldn’t! It would be foolishness to them! They have no understanding of color at all because they are BLIND! If you asked them to decide if they wanted to spend their life with the color Red or the color Purple, they would have no answer for you because it means nothing to them. So it is with those who are dead in their sins. 1 Cor. 2:14 tells us that, “The person without the Spirit DOES NOT accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them FOOLISHNESS, and CANNOT Understand them!” We are also told in Rom. 8:5-8 that, “The mind that is governed by the flesh is HOSTILE to God; it DOES NOT Submit to God, NOR CAN IT DO SO!” Titus 3:3 describes how we were in our dead state. It says we were Foolish, Disobedient, Deceived, Enslaved, Living in Malice and envy, Hateful, and being Hated! Titus 3:5 gives us the incredible news that “God saved us, NOT ON THE BASIS OF ANY DEEDS THAT WE HAD DONE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, But according to His mercy, BY THE REGENERATION and RENEWING of the Holy Spirit!” James 1:18 says, “HE Chose to give us BIRTH!” 1 Pet. 1:3, “HE has given us NEW birth into a living hope!” Col. 1:13, “He Rescued us from the dominion of Darkness.” You see, we were just like I was as a baby, helpless, hopeless, unresponsive, and incapable…DEAD! Then came the two most precious words in the Bible…BUT…GOD!!! But God MADE ME ALIVE! But God CALLED me out of Darkness and into Light! But God Rescued Me! But God Saved me! But God Brought me out of Death and into LIFE!! It begins with HIM!! We are not saved by any works that we have done, or else we could boast! A.W. Towzer says this, “We are Not Christians by Assumption, or Manipulation, or Instruction. We are Christians by REGENERATION!” William Shedd said it this way, “New Life is NOT implanted because man perceives the Truth, but he perceives the truth BECAUSE New Life has been implanted!” If we do not recognize the work of God in regeneration we rob Him of His Glory and diminish His Power and Authority in our lives! God prophesied in Ezekiel 36 that HE WOULD make a people for Himself, that HE WOULD remove their hearts of stone and that HE WOULD give them a heart of Flesh! He said that HE WOULD place His Spirit in them and that they WOULD be His people and the HE WOULD be their God! You’ll notice two things here, first, GOD is the one who bring this new life, and second, He WILL DO IT!! If He declared it, it is already DONE! This is a work of God and without it we would all still be dead! There is a part we play and we will talk about that next week when we discuss Conversion, but before we could ever make a decision we have to be made ALIVE! Before we could ever see truth we must receive our SIGHT!
Thank you God, that you have opened our eyes to see, and our ears to hear, and that you have given us the ability to respond to you in faith! We ask that you do this for all those who are still dead in their trespasses and sins and who cannot yet understand your truth. Make them ALIVE TO You and IN you, so that they may KNOW you!
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but Now I’m Found, Was BLIND But Now I SEE!”