If this headline were to appear across the national media, I suspect it would likely be the story of the century. Or, with our cynical post-modern minds, we immediately presume "tabloid headline".
Perhaps the greatest understanding for mankind to wrap its mind around is a beginning understanding of God's grace. We've all heard the term. If fact, there are countless churches around the world where "grace" is even a part of the church's name.
Yet, if we were to ask 100 people in the church to describe what's so amazing about grace, sadly many would stumble to answer. And to be completely honest, I was in this camp for many years.
Here's the deal.
The third chapter of Genesis describes the fall of man, and throughout the Bible's testimony we learn that there is a physical death, and a spiritual death. It seems that we are all "born into sin" and into the most precarious position of being physically alive and spiritually dead.
Here's Paul in Ephesians 2:1-7:
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
As my pastor (Jamie Rasmussen) pointed out in his message on Sunday, the word "dead" here is from the Greek word "nekrós" and means ... dead.
So, why do the angels in heaven rejoice with sounds of great praise when someone places their faith in Jesus the Messiah? It's because God has just raised the dead to life.
If you force upon yourself the discipline to plumb the depths of this understanding, then you too will be melted in the deepest parts of your soul and proclaim loudest praise to God for his amazing grace.
Dear reader, please set aside 40 minutes and listen to Pastor Jamie Rasmussen explains our position before holy God and why his grace truly is amazing.