Understanding Our Condition

Acts 20:24-27 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. 25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face.

26 “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Being commissioned by Jesus to share the good news of God’s grace with others is something that should not be taken lightly. Gospel means “good news” and grace means “good will, loving kindness, unmerited favor”. In proclaiming the gospel of God’s grace, we are communicating with others that God has provided a way for sinners to come to him and in that provision, it is done freely upon His grace.

We want to make sure that we are providing an unadulterated gospel. We need to be certain that what we are preaching is the pure, simple gospel. We must make sure that we have heard and obey the same gospel that was preached on the day of Pentecost and other instances in the New Testament. If we hear, believe, and obey a perverted gospel, then we are not saved by the grace of God.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

1 John 1:7-10 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

Understanding our condition is necessary in order for us to realize the need for God’s grace. Though rare, there are some people who genuinely believe that they have never sinned before. I know of a man in particular who believes that baptism is for the remission of sins (that it washes away sins), but he doesn’t believe he is subject to it because he says that he has never sinned. This attitude alone proves to be problematic. Because sin that condemns is not just murdering, committing adultery, etc.

Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

We need to understand that all sin condemns. It does not have to be the literal action or actual committing of the act itself as being sinful. It is our disposition and thoughts that will condemn us. To say that we have never sinned with the thoughts of our minds is to call John, who was guided by the Holy Spirit, a liar. This is not to say that everyone commits these kinds of sins every single day. Nobody is arguing that we are so “depraved” or “sinful” that we just can’t control ourselves. We need to understand that in our free will, we are given the choice to sin, and the question is, will man succumb to it? Eventually in our lives, we will stumble and fall. It is logically possible that we can always make the right decision at every moment in our lives. The question that we need to ask is, is it feasible?

I believe that’s the point that we need to understand about our condition. Is it feasible for a person who lives in a sinful, fallen world, who has temptation after temptation piling up on them, every hour of the day, that this person would never sin? No, that is not feasible. We have the ability to take the right action, but will we always take the right action? This is the whole purpose and premise of God’s grace and the gospel. As soon as the Jews sinned, just that one time, they could never be justified by the law.

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

This is the point. If we sin, we have Jesus that we turn to. We turn to Jesus in belief, trust, and obedience. Those who we would call morally good people need to be saved. Those who find themselves to be extremely religious, need saving! As sinners, it is impossible for us to remove the guilt of sin on our own. We cannot work our way out of this guilt. We cannot be “good enough” to remove the guilt. Don’t be deceived into thinking that you can remove sin yourselves!

Galatians 1:6-9 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Many people are not receiving the whole counsel of God in terms of receiving God’s grace. So many are being told that all they have to do is say a sinner’s prayer or just “believe”. This is a false gospel and if we preach a gospel similar to that, we are guilty of committing spiritual murder! We must preach the whole counsel of God. Give people the gospel with the whole truth of the gospel! Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:35-39, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:1-7, 1 Peter 3:21

by Lee Elkins