A graceEmail subscriber asks what David meant in Psalm 51 when he said that he was conceived in sin, and what Paul intended in Ephesians 2 in saying we once all were children of wrath.
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Some believers conclude that both David and Paul are using hyperbole, deliberately overstating the matter to emphasize the extent to which we all participate in sinful activities. That explanation probably contains some truth, but it stops short of the full reality. Sin is not only a specific wrong deed; it is also a malignant force embedded in our fallen nature (Rom. 5:12ff). David looks at himself and confesses that he is a sinner and that he always has been–since the moment he was conceived. Paul says that even those who are finally saved once were controlled by sin and under God’s judgment.
Perhaps the easiest way to see the truth in David’s and Paul’s spot-on statements (not overstatements at all, as it turns out) is to look at one’s own self. When I honestly inspect my own heart in the light of all that God wishes to do in making me like Jesus Christ, I am a total failure. Every moral command God has given, I have broken–in spirit if not in actual deed. If I ever deny that, I will be lying and further proving the point. If I should ever pretend that it is not so and that I am not guilty before God apart from Jesus Christ, I would be a hypocrite of the worst sort.
But instead of denying my sinfulness, I confess it. Rather than pretending to be something I am not, I constantly admit that my aims are higher than my achievements. My goals exceed my performance. My desires surpass my ability to carry them out. But because God is rich in mercy, I am now a saved one by grace through faith (Eph. 2:3-9). God has declared me righteous–and by declaring it, he made it so. He is now transforming me into the image of Jesus Christ. This is all from God, and it is a free gift. It is all to the praise of the glory of his grace.
I couldn’t have stated this truth any better. Because what my friend Edward Fudge says is true is the specific reason we need Christ and what his work affords those who trust him.I, like Edward, often find that I fail to live up to my own expectations and my heart is not fully turned toward God. So, it is with thanksgiving that I proclaim that God is a God of grace, giving sinful, ungodly people what they don’t earn or deserve.
If you are not a subscriber to Edward Fudge’s gracEmail you should become one today. You will be blessed by the heart of this good man. Go to EdwardFudge.com and sign up for his weekly treasure of wisdom.