As Christians, we already know what it means to be “saved” or “born again.” We know of God’s great love for us — that He sent His only Son to die for us. Amazing Grace indeed!
However, are we ever sometimes guilty of forgetting about what we were like before we knew Christ? More importantly, are we regularly reminding ourselves of our spiritual state before we knew Christ? Let us look at what the Bible says about us.
Ever since Adam ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, spiritual death was inherited and passed down to the entire human race:
“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” – Romans 5:12
Everyone is now a sinner from the moment they are conceived (Psalm 51:5), and everyone in the entire human race is a sinner. We are not born “good”, we are born sinners. Everyone is guilty:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
Not only are we all sinners, but we are all “slaves” to sin (Romans 6:20). Even worse is that this “slavery” to sin has affected us so much that, left to ourselves, we will always continue on sinning and never look to God for salvation.
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” – John 3:19-20
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44
“There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.” – Romans 3:11
(For additional study, see also: Gen 6:5;8:21, 2 Chron 6:36, Job 14:4;15:14-16, Psalm 58:3;130:3;143:2, Prov 20:9, Ecc 9:3;7:20;7:29, Isaiah 53:6;64:6, Jer 13:23;17:9, Matt 7:16-23;12:33, Mark 7:21-23, John 6:65;8:34;8:44, Romans 3:9-12;8:7-8;11:35-36, 1 Cor 2:14;4:7, 2 Cor 3:5, Eph 2:1-10;4:17-19;5:8, Col 2:13, Titus 1:5;3:3, James 3:2;3:8, 2 Tim 2:25-26, 1 John 1:8-10;3:10)
If this doesn’t sound bad enough, we then read what punishment we will receive because of our sin:
“For the wages of sin is death…” – Romans 6:23
Now clearly, if we are all sinners deserving of condemnation that will never “seek God” and His mercy, then we are obviously as spiritually bad off as we can possibly be!! Left to ourselves we will continue on this way to Hell. This is what theologians call the “total depravity” of mankind.
There is absolutely nothing we can do by ourselves to be saved from our wicked and sinful state. The Bible says that even our most righteous acts are like filthy rags in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). One puritan writer puts it like this: “even our tears of repentance have to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb.”
“BUT” — that great and wonderful word. There is a hope for sinners! There is a way out of our wretched sinful state. Let us look at the rest of that verse…
“For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
If we fall to our knees, recognize and confess our sinfulness and unworthiness, repent of our ways, and ask God for forgiveness… He will save us. This is what it means to be “born again!” The Holy Spirit will remove our stoney hearts and replace it with a heart that is alive and free from the bondage of sin. Christ paid the death penalty required for sin… and He did it in the place of unworthy sinners. In John 3:16, we read the “whosoever will believe … will have everlasting life.”
My friend, there is no other way to Heaven. Your best works, your most sincere penance… all of it is worthless in the sight of God. If you recognize your sinfulness and your need of a Saviour… then come to Christ today. If you are already a believer, saved by this wondrous Grace… then I hope this reminder of what God did for us will help you fall and worship Him even more!
No wonder the hymn writer was inspired to write such words:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.