Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 27, 2013

Duck Dynasty, the Good News and Spiritual Reality, by David Bower

A Sad Development

Christmas should be a happy time as Christians celebrate the birth of the Son of God and reflect on the supreme importance of His birth and the profound changes His life brought to mankind.

I was saddened this Christmas by an event that took too much of the Christian communities’ attention off the birth of the Son of God and replaced it with something else; a statement by Phil Robertson on personal sins. The fact of the matter is all of us have sinned and failed to measure up to God’s standard; we all need a Savior to deliver us from the penalty of our sins. The good news, the Gospel, is Christ, the Son of God, was born without sin to become our Redeemer and die on the cross in our place and by simply receiving Him as Savior we can be delivered from the judgment we deserve.

This is the focus of the Gospel, this is the message of salvation Christianity has been given to bring to every human being.

I mentioned this problem of focus and priorities in an article titled, “Can Muddy Water Obscure the Gospel Message?” The Gospel message is not that God hates sin, which is certainly scary enough news to those who will listen; the Gospel message is the good news that Christ died for your sins and if you receive Him as Savior you will be delivered from judgment for your sins.

The Natural Human Condition is Like an Unplugged TV

A Christian who places an emphasis on personal sin, which is only a symptom of mankind’s sin problem, is like a man who walks into a room with a TV sitting in one corner; the TV looks like a fairly new model and should work just fine but it has one major problem, it’s not plugged into an outlet; there is absolutely no hope it will work until it’s plugged in.

He sits down in a chair across the room and tries to adjust the volume and change the channels but nothing happens; it’s not only not turned on, it’s not even plugged in and has no power and no hope of responding to the remote; it simply can’t, it’s dead for all practical purposes until it’s plugged in and turned on. Only then is there any hope of changing channels and adjusting the volume.

Lost Humanity is Unplugged and Not Turned On

Humanity has a basic problem, humanity died spiritually in Adam and every human being since Adam, except for the Lord Jesus Christ, has been born spiritually dead. That includes you and me and everyone else who has ever lived since Adam with the noted exclusion. We are both unplugged and turned off at the spiritual level until we are born again by faith in Jesus Christ and that faith is not of us, it is a grift of God that no man may boast as Paul told the Ephesians.

Only with the second birth are we made alive and able to respond at the spiritual level to instructions and commands. Only then can we respond to Biblical standards and see the wisdom of God’s plan for humanity. That is why Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” and Paul told the Corinthians “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

What then is the Point?

The point is getting things into proper sequence; talking to a spiritually dead individual about sin is like trying to change channels on a TV that is unplugged and turned off. The all important first step is to get the individual plugged in and turned on; this is called being born again. Only after the individual is plugged in and turned on is there any hope of change.

Paul addresses this process in 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, “5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” We may plant or we may water but only God can make faith grow.

What is Our Responsibility?

God has entrusted to His church the responsibility of planting the seed and watering it. The seed is the Gospel, the good news of salvation as a free gift by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. This is the message of the church, not a condemnation of any particular personal sin. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to change channels on a TV that is unplugged and turned off!

The ministry of the church is one of redemption, not condemnation.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


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