This week (and for the rest of the series) we are going to be moving away from the specific word “Savior” in bible and instead looking at the words, save, sanctify, redeem, reconcile,etc..
Today’s passage comes from James 1, and I think it is perfectly fitting for the day after Easter.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. James 1:21
On Good Friday we remembered that Jesus died for us (while we were still sinners)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Here is the thing, we were born sinners, we were born separated from God. We have to come to the realization that we need Jesus to save us in order to receive salvation. This realization comes only after we are humbled.
To realize who we are.
To realize who Jesus is.
To realize what God sent Jesus to do.
Many bible scholars and commentators will refer to our sinful nature as “total depravity”.
Depravity is, ” moral corruption, wickedness”
These are emotionally charged words, as we don’t generally like to refer to ourselves as morally corrupt or wicked. In James 1, the word “moral filth” is our dirty and unclean sin nature. Our evil is that of our “rotten nature” deep within us.
Whoa, these are tough words to swallow.
Here comes the good news, here comes what we just celebrated yesterday, because Jesus died for us we are no longer seen as “filthy or dirty” in the eyes of God, instead we are presented blameless before the Lord.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Colossians 1:21-22
But Jesus humbled himself on the cross (we could even go as far as saying he humiliated himself on the cross, dying a death that he didn’t deserve.
But we did. And we still do.
What we deserve vs. what we have been given is only possible by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
We are told to humble ourselves like Jesus humbled himself:
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8
Jesus modeled the ultimate example of humility and as a result we are able to humble ourselves only through Him.
He humbled himself to death of the cross, and we are called to humble ourselves to “accept the word planted in us.”
To be asked to accept the word that is implanted in our souls seems minimal compared to what Jesus did on the cross.
Who implants us with the word of God?
our parents, teachers, friends, leaders, anyone and everyone should be both (speaking and receiving the word of God)
To put this is practical terms is up to you to plant the seed of the gospel in others (especially those that are under your care), and God will make it grow.
Referencing this as a parent, it is my job to explain and introduce my children to Jesus. This isn’t a one-and-done conversation, this happens over and over and over again, In fact, many incidences of disobedience from our children could very well be made into a teachable moment.
Our sinful heart desires…..
Why we need Jesus to help us……
We plant the word, we plant the truth in those entrusted to us, and God grows that truth into faith.
Notice James 1 doesn’t say “partially” accept or “skeptically accept” the word planted in you, no the only way to accept and activate God’s power within us to humble ourselves.
If we allow ourselves, and continue to remain aware there are several ways we can humble ourselves each and everyday (I smell an action step here!)
As you go throughout your day, I challenge you to notice ways you can continually humble yourself to others, to Jesus and even to your own thoughts and behaviors. Humility doesn’t come naturally to us so it takes wisdom and understanding from God in order to recognize our need to humble ourselves (daily, hourly and maybe even minute-by-minute)
Ask for wisdom:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 24-25