We often like to think the best of ourselves. We do not realize how corrupt our heart is, so it difficult to take a good hard look at ourselves and see the truth. In Jeremiah 17:9, we read, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Deceitful. The MOST deceitful of all things. Desperately wicked—so wicked we cannot say how bad.
Today’s verse says that no one does good. That means that even you do not do good. You are part of the “not a single one.” That is hard to handle. We find it hard to come to terms with the fact that we are not good—that we are corrupt. The truth is, no matter how many good things we do, we have bad things that we think and do—things we do not even realize. But God can see through every crack and crevice. He sees the corruption. He sees the deceitfulness. He sees the wickedness from within us.
The awesome good news is that He loves us anyway, and He has made a way for us to be in right relationship with Him. Despite the corruption, despite not doing good—He has made a way for us to come before Him, covered in the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. We are clothed in His righteousness, made right with God through Him. Today, thank God for His great mercy and His unfailing love. Seek His righteousness above all else. Remember, no one does good—not a single one.
“But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!” – Psalm 53:3 [NLT]
If something is held for ransom and you cannot pay the price, the thing being held is not released. The reason something is a ransom is because the something is held until the price is paid. If not paid, the release doesn’t happen.
As we look in the Bible, we read about how we cannot redeem ourselves from death by paying a ransom. We cannot pay enough. We cannot afford the price. We don’t have what it would take. No matter how hard we try to gain what is needed for the ransom, we will fall short. Redemption certainly does not come easy. Yet, it has come. It has a name. JESUS. He has paid the ransom. He has paid the debt in full. We have redemption through Him. We are released from the grave; we resurrect because of Him. We find ourselves with an eternal life through faith alone in Jesus Christ. It is through grace alone that the ransom was paid in full.
Today, remember that you have not redeemed yourself. You put your faith in the One Who paid the price that only He could pay. Thank Jesus Christ for being the once for all sacrifice. Thank Him for the redemption that you receive through Him alone. Live out your redeemed life. Remember, you are free so live free! Live free and point others to this freedom! Let people know Who offers redemption. Let people know Who is reaching out His hand! Point people to JESUS!
“Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.” – Psalm 49:7-9 [NLT]
When God sends the plague of flies, He says that He will make a “clear distinction” between the people. Everyone would know what people were His people and what people were not His people. The actual word used for “distinction” is “peduth,” which means division, ransom, or redemption.
Today, there should be a clear distinction of God’s people as well. You will not see this division by looking at where the flies hang out. Instead, the distinction should be something everyone visibly sees by the way a person lives. A person who is a child of God should stand out as a rebel. A person who is a child of God should not look like a person of this world. Remember, God’s people are not of this world. We should not be transformed by this world—we should be transforming the world.
Continue to shine for Jesus. Focus on what is good, pure, and lovely. Don’t allow the world to infiltrate your life, but instead, spread God’s Word through your words and your deeds. By living this way, there will be a clear distinction between you and the world. By the way you live your life, people will know that you are a child of God. By the way you live your life, people will see Jesus.
“I will make a clear distinction between My people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.” – Exodus 8:23 [NLT]
The pollen levels have been out of control the past few days. My normal allergy medicine has not been enough to combat the problem. Then the officials called for a Code Orange warning, which signifies poor air quality that will thereby impact those who are “sensitive.” This means people who are losing their allergy battle with pollen, people who have asthma, etc., should proceed with caution.
As I was walking the dogs, I was having intense breathing issues from the pollen. My great hope was the medicine that I would take after I finished walking the dogs. As I continued to drag my feet a mile, pollen from a tree blew right into my eye. Pollen 2, Tania 0. I spent the rest of the walk trying to get my watery eye to expel the bits of pollen, only able to walk with one eye open.
Life usually is full of struggle after struggle, whether small or large. It seems when we think we cannot handle anymore, something else is piled on top to cause us more of a burden. Sometimes it appears as if the world is against us. Truth be told, we aren’t meant to carry all this burden alone. Remember, we are not in this alone. Also, the world is against us. If we are living for Jesus, if we are not of this world, then we are standing against the world and the world will always be against us. Thankfully we know this world is temporary. God’s Word tells us that heaven and earth have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. The world may be against you – but God is always for you!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:13 [ESV]
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31 [ESV]
We all have heard the phrase, “Bad things happen to good people.” Often it is said when we believe ourselves to be undeserving of what comes our way. Perhaps we are speaking about someone who we deem to be a “good person,” who gets handed a “raw deal,” and we think that should only be reserved for those who are “bad people.”
The truth is that there are no “good people,” so we cannot say that “bad things happen to good people.” In Romans, we read that there is no one righteous – no one who is good. We are all bad. We all fall short. Therefore, the only way this phrase is true is to say that bad things happen to people. We know that to be true. We live in a fallen world—a broken world. Even as we find ourselves following God’s leading, we will find “bad things” will happen. We are promised persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). We are promised families will be torn apart (Luke 12:53).
Today, let us remember that bad things only happened to the One Who is Righteous. He suffered a lot of “bad things.” He carried all of our sins on the Cross. He did not deserve the wrath of God. He never sinned (2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15). But the “bad things” that happened to Him at Calvary were endured to the finish so that through Him we could be righteous, redeemed—that we, too, would follow Him to the Cross and the Resurrection to a new life—a life that will be all good when we are called home.
“As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one.’” – Romans 3:10 [ESV]
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 [ESV]
LORD is most used NT term to identify Jesus (over 600 times)
Savior only used about 25 times in NT
- Jesus is Lord (Kurios Iesous) – Creedal Affirmation / Confession of faith
- Jesus is a Lord – many of the Colossians accepted Jesus as a Lord—but it’s different from Him being the They gave Him prominence rather than preeminence.
- Jesus is my Lord – personal
- Jesus is Lord of Creation (v. 15-17) – “Everything was created by Him… everything was made for Him.”
- Jesus is Lord of Redemption (v. 18, 20) – He’s the 1st to be raised from death, His blood made a way for all beings to be brought back to God.
- Jesus is Lord of All – “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV)
- You Will Be Saved
- If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NLT)
- You Will Aim to Obey & Serve
- “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46 ESV)
- “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” (Isaiah 6:8b)
- God Is Pleased
- God is pleased when Jesus Christ is honored and given preeminence (John 5:23-24)
Not everyone who calls Jesus Lord will enter the Kingdom (see Matt 7:21-23)
Bible Study Questions:
1) Paul’s Letter to the Colossians speaks about the Supremacy of Christ. Reviewing today’s passage, we can glean a lot about Jesus Christ. Read the verses below. For each verse, answer – Who is Jesus? What does this mean for us?
This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:
I remember when I was younger and the big thing was the IOU. I owe you. When you made a deal, you pulled out a piece of paper and wrote an IOU note. This note basically was a binding contract between you and your friend, and the holder of the IOU was promised that at some point they would receive whatever you promised on said note. I used this method of contract many times over.
When you paid back the IOU, your friend would give you back the paper and you could destroy it as a sign that it was paid in full. With Jesus, He takes that IOU note that is meant for us to pay back God so as to not face His wrath for our sin, and He pays it off for us. He pays it off and it’s cancelled. It is paid in full. Wiped away. Boom. He clears the IOU and it is nailed to the Cross.
How awesome is it that we have our sins wiped away? How awesome is it that there is no IOU? All we have to do is repent and then we are freely welcomed into the Kingdom. We no longer have an IOU. When it’s time for the punishment, we simply say, “Oh, I’m already paid. Jesus paid for me.” Thank you Jesus. Thank You for taking care of my IOU. He paid a debt we never could pay. My friends, we are cleared. We are free. We are His.
“Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood again us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.” – Colossians 2:14 [AMP]
As you look through old clothing, you might find a pair of old shorts that are not even able to be donated. They are beyond salvageable. They are discolored. They are frayed. They have holes. The fabric is worn hard and perhaps stained. They are worthless.
God had Jeremiah take a linen belt, or for us to better understand, some linen shorts, and wear them without any washing. Then he was directed to take them off and hide them. When they were retrieved, they were worthless because they did not receive the proper care.
The people of God, which includes us today, are to cling to God. But like the people of this time, the people that went from clinging to God and His Law to burying themselves in idolatry and sin, we have a great problem with corruption that can take away our worth to the Kingdom. Thankfully, Jesus Christ can wash us and we become as white as snow. When we come to know Christ, we do not have to be a pair of old shorts. We are made new. We are forgiven. We are redeemed. We are restored.
God told me, “Go and buy yourself some linen shorts. Put them on and keep them on. Don’t even take them off to wash them.” So I bought the shorts as God directed and put them on. Then God told me, “Take the shorts that you bought and go straight to Perath and hide them there in a crack in the rock.” So I did what God told me and hid them at Perath. Next, after quite a long time, God told me, “Go back to Perath and get the linen shorts I told you to hide there.” So I went back to Perath and dug them out of the place where I had hidden them. The shorts by then had rotted and were worthless.
-Jeremiah 13:1-7 [MSG]
I speak a lot about the Armor of God and about being clothed in righteousness. We are able to put on this armor and to be clothed in this righteousness only through God’s grace, only through the blood of Christ. From the very beginning, God made sure we were able to be dressed by Him.
When Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, defying the Word of God, they found themselves naked and ashamed. They hid themselves from God. Even before sin entered the world, God had a plan in place. He knew what was going to happen and He prepared a way. Redemption was always on His mind. YOU were always on His mind. His compassion we see as He dressed Adam and Eve with leather clothing He made so that they would no longer feel ashamed.
You don’t have to feel ashamed either. God has made a way for you—His name is Jesus Christ. If you believe in Him and accept His redemptive work on the Cross, it is by His blood that you are cleaned. You are redeemed. No longer should you feel ashamed. If you are still feeling ashamed, you have not given it all to God. Give it all to Him. Allow God to dress you. You have been redeemed. You have been bought with a price. Don’t forget that YOU have been dressed by God.
“God made leather clothing for Adam and his wife and dressed them.” – Genesis 3:21 [MSG]