I’ve been contemplating the miraculous work of redemption in a believer in Christ Jesus. This is no small thing. For you see, we have all been brought forth in corruption. We were conceived in the womb in sin and we came into the world, by nature, ready to sin. As King David writes in Psalm 51:5; “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” The extent of the training a child receives by his parents will either be an influence to subdue sin by godly instruction or loose the sin in the child by letting the child do as he pleases. Add a dysfunctional family to an undisciplined child and an ungodly environment and sin will flood the soul as a consequence of having no moral compass. The heart-breaker is that even though parents bring their child up in the ways of the Lord, often the child will still abandon the faith and walk “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” Eph. 2:2 Paul, the Apostle, experienced the same phenomena with one of his disciples; “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world…” II Tim.4:10
I hear the cries of the families of loved ones who have turned away from the faith. “How can it be?” is the cry of disbelief when a family member is behaving in an unimaginable, reckless, and destructive way. My friends, it is the root of sin that has burst forth like kudzu, engulfing everything in its path. It is the heart of sin uninhibited. No wisdom of man can effectively cure it. And for the believing saint, no wisdom of the world can help in spite of all their attempts. For it is a problem of the heart. It has to be dealt with at the cross with a repentance of godly sorrow. II Cor. 7:10
The Scriptures have clearly established concerning our efforts to be good ; “…there is none good, no not one.” Rom. 3:12 And, as to the consequences of sin; “the wages of sin is death.” Rom. 6:23 And, lastly, there is a judgment coming. “…it is appointed for men to die once, and then after this the judgment.” Heb. 9:27
But let me share with you the awesome position of one who has been redeemed on the basis of his decision to come to the cross, repenting of his sins, and believing in Christ as the One and only One to forgive his sins. Acts 4:12 The Scriptures tell us; “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” Rom. 8:1 For those who have been delivered from sin have seen the exceeding sinfulness of their sin. Rom. 7:13 Paul, the Apostle, a righteous man according to the law of God, yet without faith, experienced sin in all its blackness when the law of God struck his conscience concerning covetousness. Rom. 7:7 And he immediately saw himself as “a wretched man”. Rom. 7:24 As one of my professors in seminary, Dr. Harold Burchett, made so clear in one of his classes; once a man declares himself guilty, looking to Christ he is declared NOT guilty. In his early teens, the slave-trader John Newton described himself like this; “my sinful propensities had gathered strength by habit. I was very wicked.”
It is the magnitude of seeing the width, depth and height of our sinfulness and wickedness and, subsequently, our just condemnation that we can stand in awe of what Christ has done for us. We stand in amazement crying out with heartfelt gratitude; “How can it be?” I experienced this profound, awesome, grateful experience recently while listening to Lauren Daigle singing “How Can It Be?” while driving my car. The song starts out with a powerful confession. “I am guilty, ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become. You plead my cause, You right my wrong, You gave Your life to give me mine. How can it be?” It brought tears to my eyes. When you have a chance, listen to this song on Youtube. You will be astonished with a fresh look at your own soul’s redemption. And with a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving, you will wonder; “How can it be?”.