“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17
A few weeks ago I needed to make two visits in Sioux Falls. One visit was to someone in the hospital in the morning. I then had another visit to pray with someone before surgery. There was about a three-hour window of time that I needed to fill. I went to a coffee shop, got a little caffeine, and did a little work on my tablet. Before I went to do the afternoon visit I decided to go to the mall. I wanted to see if I could find a good price on some clothes that I wanted to get for the upcoming trip to Sandusky, OH with the youth group. I parked near the food court entrance and spent roughly 30 minutes looking for a new pair of shorts. On the way out I was observing how little activity there was at the mall compared to time past. The handful of cars in the parking lot reflected how few people were moving around the interior of the mall.
As I was nearing my car I saw a mother and I would guess a three-year-old child. The child pulled his hand out of the hand of his mother and began to run from her. There was not much of a sense of urgency from the mother. There were very few cars and she could see every area of potential danger. I got into the car and thought about how differently that mother would have acted if it was a busier day. If it was Christmas season there would be no way the mother would have let her child run through the parking lot. Her quiet and passive pleas for the child to stop would have instead been a frantic scramble to make sure her child was back in her control. She would have dropped her shopping bags and done everything she needed to do to make sure that her child was safe. In fact, she would probably not have even allowed the child to walk next to her holding her hand. She would have held the child safely in her arms from the mall until she safely placed her in the car seat.
This got me to thinking about how we view God and what he has done to save us. If we believe that sin is merely something that we can correct on our own or that sin isn't that big a deal then our view of how God saves us and holds on to us is going to reflect that. If we see God like the mother I witnessed in the parking lot then we are ultimately in control of our salvation and God is overseeing us and keeping us from doing any major harm to ourselves.
On the other hand, if we hold to a Biblical view of sin and an understanding that we are dead in our trespasses and sins, things will be different. We would see God much more like the scenario I imagined during the Christmas shopping season. God would not only take hold of us but he would not let us go until he delivered us safely.
This is so important for our understanding of who God is, how he saves us, and how he holds on to us. Our sin is a big deal. It is treason against the Most High and in order to be rescued from it the ultimate price had to be paid. God the Son took on human flesh, lived for us, died for us, and rose again for us. He is now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. Through the proclamation of the gospel, the Holy Spirit has brought us to faith. All to rescue us from sin and death. As we know so well from John 3:16-17 God showed his love for us in Jesus Christ. He did not leave us to wander. He did all that needed to be done to bring his people to himself. If you are in Christ, God has laid hold of you and he will not let go. He will bring you safely home. Rest in that good news and trust in his great saving work in Christ for you.
Sermon delivered on June 24, 2018 at First Reformed Church in Edgerton, MN.
Sermon delivered on June 10, 2018 in Edgerton, MN at First Reformed Church.
Sermon delivered on June 3, 2018 in Edgerton, MN at First Reformed Church.