April 17, 2018

The Bad News and the Much Better Good News

Romans 5:19

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19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

The Bad News and the Much Better Good News

Bio | Luke Schlenker

Hello, everyone! My name is Luke Schlenker, but my friends call me Schlenk. I was born and raised in the great city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, until I moved to Dallas for college three years ago. As a proud New Mexican, I love hikes, weird music, and, of course, green chilies.

I've been blessed to be a part of the college ministry at Watermark where God has grown my faith exponentially and has blessed me with better friends than I could have imagined.

Central Truth

Since the Garden of Eden, man was separated from God because of sin. That sin required atonement through a perfect sacrifice. That perfect sacrifice came through the obedience of Jesus coming down from heaven and dying the perfect death on a cross so that our sins might be forgiven.

Devotional | Romans 5:19

The worst part about basketball practice when I was younger was running sprints. I remember being a freshman in high school and running over and over because we could not finish the sprint in the time our...

The worst part about basketball practice when I was younger was running sprints. I remember being a freshman in high school and running over and over because we could not finish the sprint in the time our coach required. The more we ran, the more tired we got. The more tired we got, the farther we got from the goal. We quickly realized that the times were always going to be too hard for us to reach.

As human beings, we inherited a sin nature from the fall in the Garden of Eden. Since the day we were born, we began sinning against the Lord. There was nothing we could do to save us from the separation from God that sin created in our lives. For the sake of the example, we were given an impossible time for finishing our sprint.

But there is good news!

God never intended for man to groan in our sin forever. Instead, God sent His Son Jesus Christ in human form (Philippians 2:7-8) to live a perfect life so that He could become the perfect sacrifice (John 10:10; Ephesians 2:1-10). We are saved through grace because of the perfect obedience of Christ, who took our sins on the cross.

I used to spend so much time trying to be perfect. I was always trying to "make a time" that was out of my reach because of my fallen human nature. It wasn't until I stopped looking in the mirror at my imperfections and started looking at the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that my life began to change. So, stop trying to be fast enough, smart enough, kind enough, or perfect enough to be accepted by God because you never will be. When you rest in the knowledge that Jesus already lived the perfect life so we don't have to, you will be able to experience the freedom found in the cross.

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Discussion Questions

1. Are you trying to finish an impossible sprint by being "good enough"?

2. What area of your life do you need to surrender to the Lord, knowing that His obedience offers freedom from our disobedience?

12 Comments available

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

An illustration of what Jesus did is in Philemon. Two types of imputation are illustrated

Paul’s good imputed to Onesimus. Imputing good from one person to another. Omensimus is to be ‘received like Paul’. We are received like Jesus. Philemon 17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me.

Onesimus bad imputed to Paul. Our sins imputed to Jesus. Imputing bad from one person to another. Philemon 18 But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account.

Similarly, Jesus good is imputed to us and our bad imputed to Jesus and dealt with thrown his work on the cross by grace, both types regarding justification.

Sue Bohlin 11 months ago

Super super devo, Luke! Today’s reading reminded me of something I heard years ago: say you have a metal jello mold pan; if you dent it, every jello mold you ever make from that point on will come out with the same dent in it, just like Adam’s “sin dent” results in all of us being born with the same crooked shape. It occurs to me to that sin shapes (read: spiritually cripples) us in one way, but as Jesus makes us righteous, we are shaped from the inside out as He gives us a new heart and a new mind and a new spirit.

Denise Hubbard 11 months ago
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Thank you, Luke, for the reminder that trying to be perfect or even just good, in the flesh, is impossible. Today, though, I have been set free because Christ was perfect in obedience! Glory Hallelujah!! I’ve been set free!!! Thank you, Hope, for referencing Romans 6:6-23…”7. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Chains broken! Praise God!

Linda Green 11 months ago

Thanks for the reminder to take the focus off me and choose to focus on Jesus.

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

The Old Testaments speaks of a bleak picture of the state of man but a great picture of where God will somehow bring the redeemed

Ps 143:1-3 “no one living is righteous before you.” and although no one is righteous God will work a work where even 'all Kings will sing of Him" Psalm 72:11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! Psalm 138:4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, Is 52 speaks of God shutting the mouths of Kings because of the work of the Messiah

Somehow God takesus from where we can only hang our harps on th e trees in Babylon and weep in our own strength to where he will make in his strength make ‘all kings sing’ in the work of the one man Jesus

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

God warned Adam that if they disobeyed ‘dying you shall die’ and the rest of the world even Israel followed suit Hosea 6:7 “But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.” Genesis 6:11 the world was filled with violence and death spread even at the hands of the sinners. A downward trend with some restraining grace of God and common grace to hold it back from worse

God promised Abraham ‘blessing shall I bless you’ and despite the nature of the people God would somehow make a way to move from that state of alienation from God through sin to reconciliation. ‘blessing shall I bless you’ and not just Abraham but every family on earth through his seed Galatians 3:16 (in the singular - through one man - through Jesus the Messiah and his work on the cross)

greg jones 11 months ago

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. It’s not how start but it is how we can finish.

Jennifer Borgne 11 months ago

Luke, my favorite sentence from today : When you rest in the knowledge that Jesus already lived the perfect life so we don’t have to, you will be able to experience the freedom found in the cross. Great entry! Be #blessed

Hope Harris 11 months ago

GM friends,

in and of ourselves we will never be _____enough. BTW Dr. Dan Allender and Dr. Brene Brown both identify…not____enough and un statements; as shame statements. Guilt says to a person, I did something wrong. Solution repentance and amends. Shame says to a person I am something wrong. Solution discover ones new identity in Christ and become the people God created us to be. See Romans 6:6-23

Hi my name is Hope and I have a new life in Christ and I am a new creation

Hugh Stephenson 11 months ago

March 2013. I was having coffee with prodigal leader Larry Miller as we worked on my prodigal plan. He asked me what I wanted to have happen. I told him I wanted to try and get my son back on the right track. He looked at me and laughed out loud. He said, “You can’t do anything about that!”. I was insulted. Then I realized he was right and I was really sad.

He explained to me that the most important characteristic of Jesus is obedience. He cited Phillipians 2:8.

BOOM! I am called to be obedient. Period. The outcome was not up to me but was to be part of God’s plan.

The prodigal plan was for me, not my son! I was to set Godly & healthy boundaries, so I could more fully know & trust God with my son. After all, he is His, not mine.

Lindsey Driscoll 11 months ago

Luke, great devo on perfection and how we are imperfect but have Christ to look at for what perfect looks like. Q1- I can not be good enough, or define perfection on how the world defines it. I see, just in this one verse today, the example of Christ’s perfection looks like obedience to God.

Amy Merritt 11 months ago

Loved how you illustrated surrender in the last paragraph. So much freedom came for me when I took my eyes off of myself and set them on the Lord. He is perfect, I am not, I can not be and I wasn’t meant to be. My focus changed from comparison and worldly desires to what the Lord had for me, the riches of his glory. There is no greater freedom.

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