First Tuesday of Advent
Read Ephesians 2:1 – 3
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This is a truth that immediately levels the playing field for all humanity. Every single person reading this devotional is a sinful person. I know this sounds a bit harsh and may not be good for our self-esteem. Regardless, this is what the Bible teaches. We are sinners and we have failed to meet up to God’s glory. In reality we will never measure up to the glory of God in our sinful state.
God’s glory is His splendor; it is his outward manifestation of His attributes. God desires that humans share in this splendor, that we become like Him, that is, Christ-like. Yet our sin keeps us from sharing it.[i] Since we are sinners and the wages of sin is death, then the natural conclusion is hopelessness.
Since we are sinners, then we are in bondage to sin. We only care about one thing… Ourselves. When I look back on my life I remember how I lived only for myself and my selfish desires. I didn’t care about the ways of God, nor did I care about His people. I had no moral boundaries, I had no sense of right or wrong; I only did what felt right to me and I only cared about the things that brought pleasure to me. I was dead and in bondage to my sins.
We are reminded in today’s passage that we ALL once lived according to this way. Maybe some of you are still living according to the flesh. This creates a problem. If one is sinful, he is dead in his wickedness and selfish ways. How can one ever know and experience the hope and reality of redemption? If our life story ended here it would be a sad and hopeless story indeed. There would be no “and he lived happily ever after.” It would be a purposeless story. Without purpose, there is no hope.
There is hope though. The truth that has been hidden has now been revealed to us through Jesus Christ.
[i] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (2:451). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
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Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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