And although you may be a professing Christian and have given yourself to Christ in faith, maybe some time ago yet just this minute you’re aware of areas in your life that are weak and that are feeble and those areas in which you fail.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ Alright? Well I trust so, bless your heart. Nice to be back with you. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and my heart is full of joy today as I realize that Jesus has saved me. Did so when I was a boy not quite 6 years old and has kept me through these many years and given me the inestimable privilege of speaking with you day by day through this modern miracle of radio and through the kindness of people who put me on the air. Thank you and thank you, Jesus.
We’re in Ephesians chapter 2 and Paul was saying that God has made us alive, those of us who are believers on the Lord Jesus Christ and this blessed spiritual resurrection has taken place, “He said you were dead in trespasses and sins.” Now He’s given you this new life. And He said we were — before that blessed life giving transformation of redeeming grace took place, He said, “You were dead and you were following Satan’s orders and you were living just like the rest of those who are unsaved as slaves to your own desires.” The essence of an unsaved life is that you are following your own desires. You’re a slave to your own desires. How many people have said to me through the years, I know, “Mr. Cook, I want to quit but I can’t,” or “I know that I should do this but I can’t.” What did they mean? Were they feigning their problem? Were they just giving this kind of a line when they did it? Oh no, they were perfectly sincere. “Can’t, I can’t.” You see, why? Because you are a slave to your own desires and it takes the sovereign saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ to do it. But He does, He said, “If the Son therefore shall set you free ye shall be free indeed.”
Free to serve God. “Stand fast,” says Paul to the Galatians, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” Take that blessed phrase. “Christ hath made us free.” Said he, “Be not entangled again in the oak of bondage only, use not your liberty as an occasion to the flesh.” Freedom. He makes you free. That’s the essence of being saved and the essence of being lost is that you’re a slave to your own desires. Well, he said we were by nature the children of wrath even as others. At what point does a child begin to be a sinner? Well, Psalms has said, “Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Not that the act of being conceived was sinful but that the sinful nature was passed on from one generation to another. The tendency to sin, the ability to sin, the ability to want your way instead of God’s way has passed on.
How often, I have asked a crowd in foreign countries for example, I can remember speaking to a large crowd in Calcutta good many years ago now and I said as I talked with them along this very line I said, “How many of you have ever told a lie?” And by little and little their hands went up until nearly all of the crowd had with some little embarrassment indicated yes they had told a lie. Then I asked them this question, I said who taught you to tell a lie? Did somebody have to teach you how to lie? No. from earliest childhood, you learned on your own how to lie. I said, “How many of you have ever lost your temper and had just a murderous feeling towards somebody else?” Who taught you that? Nobody had to teach you that. “How many of you have taken something that was not your own?” Who taught you that? No one had to teach you that. See? We were by nature said Paul the children of wrath. Now this doesn’t mean that that precious little baby is a terrible sinner. It does mean that he or she has a sinful nature that’s been inherited from Adam and Eve and all the rest, “as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” said the apostle Paul.
Somebody’s going to ask me, what about children and who really don’t know that they need to be saved, even though all of us are born with a sinful nature. Well, the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ takes care of that. The Lord Jesus said, “I tell you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” The atonement of the Lord Jesus takes care of those precious children and others that are unable to understand and even as you think of the far reaches of the world where people who have never had the chance to hear the gospel and the perennial question comes up, “What about the heathen that have never heard the gospel?” And Paul takes care of that in the book of Romans he said, “God is going to judge them on the basis of the light they had.” And I’ve been throughout the world and I’ve found case after case where folk who were hungry for God had walked in some cases hundreds of miles searching for the gospel finally found it.
I talked with a professor from Kashmir when I was in India. He’d given his heart to Christ that night. There is, we had meetings in the auditorium right along side of the University of Calcutta. And he was down in Calcutta for some business or other and had come into the meeting and had given his heart to Christ. And he stood and looked down at me, he was a tall man about 6 foot 5 or 6. He looked down at me and he said, “Mr. Cook this is something I’ve been searching for all my life. I’ve been searching for this all my life.”
See? So, the searching heart– God is not going to neglect it nor is God going to judge people unjustly. “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right,” the Bible says. He’s going to do the right thing but now we come back to the fact that he says, where we “were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” By nature.
See, the problem is that you cannot sublimate, you cannot successfully ignore or repress the tendency that you and I have naturally to stray from God. And so what do you need? The Bible says you’re dead. You need life not repression, not sublimation, not a new set of laws, (some wag has said there are 10 millions laws that people have made trying to enforce the ten commandments.) Not a new set of laws and regulations, not a new environment. You can move some place else but as the minister said in announcing some lady’s departure, he said, “She’s moved away to get a new start but she brought herself with her, she’s going to have troubles there.”
What I need is life from above and God gives it to me by His infinite grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. And you can whisper a prayer to Him this very moment. And although you maybe a professing Christian and have given yourself to Christ in faith, maybe some time ago yet just this minute you’re aware of areas in your life that are weak and that are feeble and that areas in which you fail. Listen, He is the life giver and He can breathe His eternal life and power into those weak areas of your life. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ,” who what? Christ who strengthened me. He can breathe strength into the weak areas of your life. Yes. He can.
Now he says in verse 4, “But God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus; in order that in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of His grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
It’s a majestic passage here. He goes from the dead body to the living victorious saint of God sitting alongside the Lord Jesus. Look at this here now. He said, “You were dead,” verse 1, “You were slaves,” verse 2. “You were in an atmosphere of slavery to sin and all you had to look forward to was judgment and hell,” verse 3. But — but God. But God for His great love wherewith he loved us, has quickened us even when we were dead, has quickened us together with Christ, raised us up and seated us in the heavenlies in Christ.
I wonder have you thought recently just to thank God for His love and His mercy to you? God who is rich in mercy, and His great love wherewith He loved us. See, “herein is love,” says John, “not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
There’s nothing very lovely about an unsaved life, and the farther you go in the brief span of human existence as a sinner, the less lovely you are. Darling little baby whom you cradle in your arms seem so like a little angel, that grows up and goes on into sin, and that same darling little baby has now become a hardened criminal and goes on and goes on and finally life ends in the ignominy of prison or the tragedy of execution or whatever. The farther you go in sin, the less desirable you are for any purpose, but he says God, even when we were dead, He loved us so much and He had so much mercy that He did something about it.
And I just want to remind all of us, including yours truly today, He said all of this is true. He said you were dead, you were following Satan’s orders, your lifestyle was characterized by an atmosphere of sin, you were slaves to your own desires and your only horizon, your only prospect for the future was judgment, the judgment of God and hell. That’s all you had. The children of wrath. And John says it the same way, “he that believeth not shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him.” If you’re not already saved, you’re already lost. That’s what the Bible teaches. And Paul details that for us. And then he says, “But God.”
How often, how often we come to a place where humanly speaking, everything is impossible. Someone calls me and said, “Here I’ve been praying that God would do this for me and look what’s happening in my life.” Someone wants so much to have a companion to share life with and has been praying that God would send somebody and then someone comes along and proceeds to break her heart or his heart and people call me and write me and say, “Where is God in all of this?” And all I can tell them is that God isn’t through with you yet. And I come back to a verse like this where everything has been going wrong and everything is hopeless. And then Paul says, God. “But God.”
He has some plans for you yet. He says in the Word, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you. Thoughts of good, not of evil to give you a desired end.” God isn’t through with you yet my friend. Trust Him. Commit your life to Him this very day. Start obeying Him in a new way. Put aside the complaints that you may have had because you didn’t get what you wanted, and instead let God work. But God. “I’m broke today and I don’t know what to do.” But God. “My heart is aching and I don’t know how to get rid of the ache.” But God. “I’ve got problems with my family and prodigal children and or a straying husband or wife.” But God. Any situation you face will give, it’ll move when you give God a chance to work not just in others but first of all in you.
Dear Father today, make us spiritually alive, free to serve our blessed Lord. I ask You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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