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All Have Sinned

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Welcome to First Fire!  I am so excited about this service because for me it represents creativity unleashed – almost.

“Soul Weiners” – some people that I work with think this is a little corny.

We’re going to do everything that we can do as we preach in this evening service to communicate solid, scriptural basics in as contemporary a manner as possible.

I’m not talking about the philosophy of religious thought.  I’m talking about the preaching of God’s Word as the authority for life and relationship.  I want you to be challenged to place your trust in a God whose thoughts and ways are immensely higher than your own.  I’m going to suggest that our attempts to dumb down God are reductionist – the idea that I will reduce God to the place that he can be pleased with me as I am because the way that I am is the way that I want to be and I don’t want anyone or anything telling me that I have to do anything that I don’t want to do.

Had an encounter with one such young adult this summer.  I told her that she could debate anything that I said as long as the basis of our debate was what the Bible said not what she thought.  I’d say the same thing at the outset of this service.  Please feel free to debate anything that I say as long as there is good reason and as long as we debate from the same platform.

" But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:21-26, NIV) [1]

I hate generalization as a practice.  (personality types, stereotyping, treated negatively because of someone’e negative past experience with a preacher)  As I have become older, I have come to realize that I have the right to speak for one person alone with authority.  I can speak for myself.  It’s difficult to stand out there alone like that though so most of us want support for whatever it is that we believe or think.  So we want to be able to speak for an invisible army of people who see as we see or think as we think.  Relative to the practice of our faith as well, we want that army.  We want to be able to justify the reasons that we act as we do by saying that other people who call themselves Christians do the same thing.

Well everyone doesn’t see life the same way.  We’re not all the same – that’s the way that God made us and if it depends on thinking alike unity would be impossible.

The line that my mother used in response to me when I told her, “Everyone is doing it.”,  is most likely still around today.  She’d look at me and ask me, “If all your friends were jumping off cliffs would you do it?”  That was a silly response!  How could she possibly dare to turf my question so easily.

The Bible however speaks to us impartially and makes a broad sweeping generalization when it comes to the problem that we face in the human race.  We have a problem – we are all – every one of us sinners who enter into this world at odds with God.  As a matter of fact, this is one of the most basic awakenings of faith.  It’s the realization that no matter how good I try to live my life, there is a problem in me that must be faced and dealt with.

Eugene White – couldn’t admit his need.

·         Self-oriented

·         Slaves to a lower fleshly nature within us.

·         Spiritually dead and unable to comprehend

Why did this happen?

The Bible says that it happened through one man.

" Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come." (Romans 5:12-14, NIV) [2]


[1]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[2]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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