Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Vileness

This is not a post that is meant to make you happy.  It is meant to make you think.  I believe we are easily led to believe the mantra in our day that we are loved by God (and yes we are) and that from this love, God ignores our sin.  God turns a blind eye to my sin so long as I am in Christ Jesus or that is the way that we are trained to think.  The feel good, happy, clappy, self-focused sermons I hear today are focused on my enjoyment, my pleasures, my dreams, my thoughts, my hopes, my happiness.  It is easy to lose sight of the holiness of God, the wrath of God against sin, and His utter hatred for sin.  When we fail to see our vileness, we fail to grasp the cross and the depth of God’s love manifested in Christ Jesus.  When we lose sight of our vileness, our prayer lives suffer, our worship suffers, our passion for the gospel suffers, our need for grace and mercy suffers.  We acknowledge that we need the grace of God for salvation but somewhere along the way we forget our own vileness and we started thinking a bit too highly of ourselves.

When we lose sight of our vileness, we begin to think of our own goodness.  We think we are not as bad as others.  We forget the greatness of our sins, the utter darkness we lived in apart from Jesus.  We lose sight of the fact that it was our sins, our vileness that had Jesus on the cross.  Jesus was not suffering in the cross for His own sins for He was sinless but He was dying in our place (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-24).  It was my vileness that led to Calvary.  It was the ugliness of my sins that led Him to suffer and die for me.  God placed my sins, my vileness upon the perfect Son of God.

And yet I tend to think I am not that bad.

Oh don’t lose sight of our vileness before God.  The cross is not just for the pagans in the forests but it is for me sitting at my desk typing on my Macbook.  The gospel is not just for the pagans living in the jungles of Vietnam but it is for this vile sinner sitting here listening to Matt Chandler on my iPod.  The gospel is not just for the pagan living in San Francisco but it is for this small town boy sitting here with my ESV Study Bible open before me.  The gospel is all about rescuing vile sinners from their sins by the grace of God.  The gospel is not about my moral goodness or my prayer life or my Bible study or my passion for worship but the gospel is about my vileness.  I am vile before God.  I am wicked before God.  In comparison to His absolute perfection, I am vile.  This is not about me or you and our “goodness” but it is about the fact that we deserve and have earned the wrath of God (Romans 1:18) but He gives us mercy and we stand in awe of that.

Further, the gospel is all about God.  It is not about us.  The gospel is not about our delights.  It is about how holy God is and how vile we are.  We don’t like this type of preaching.  We want to hear how good we are.  We want to hear how much God loves us.  We want to know that He winks at our sins.  We don’t want to hear that our sins make us vile.  We don’t want to hear that because of our sins, God Himself must reach out to us to be saved (John 6:44; Romans 3:10-18).  We want to believe that we are not that bad.  We want to hear that God just loves us so much (with a giddy love) that He had to save us and He had to reach out to us.  No!  You are vile!  You are wicked!  You are not morally good.  On your best day, you are wrong and you are vile.

How does this help us?  It help us praise God for His grace!  He saves us by His grace alone (Romans 3:22-26).  We are not saved because we are good or because we made a decision to change.  We are saved by the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  We are vile yet God in His holiness placed His Son on the cross so that we can be saved and declared righteous before God through faith (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).  We are vile but Jesus is not!  Jesus bore our sins and He took our place (Isaiah 53:4-6).  Jesus removes our sins by His grace (Ephesians 1:7) and we are placed in His kingdom by His own power (John 1:12-13; Colossians 1:13-14).  We are vile but Jesus is our salvation!  Jesus is our life!  The gospel is not about Jesus doing His part and we do our part.  The gospel is all about God from beginning to end.  Our part is simply that we are vile sinners who have earned God’s wrath but God is rich in mercy and He reaches out to us (Ephesians 2:1-10).

I pray that today you will meditate upon the fact that you have not earned salvation, you don’t deserve salvation, and your vileness should eliminate you from heaven but God reached out to you by His grace.  I pray that this reality, that you are vile, will force you to drop to your knees and praise God for His Son (John 3:16).  You deserve hell but praise God that He gives you His grace and you are forgiven through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24-25).  Our standing before God is all focused on Jesus alone.  He alone is our Savior.  Not us.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/31/2013 at 1:15 PM

2 Responses

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  1. “This is not a post that is meant to make you happy. It is meant to make you think.” It did, from beginning to end. Thanks, The Seeking Disciple, for another challenging message.

    Bob Hunter

    06/01/2013 at 12:55 AM

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