Most of the time, which includes most of my life, I have been self-deceived by my own self-righteousness, my ignorance, my arrogance and my willfulness. This, I am ashamed to admit, but it's true. If I scan back through the pages of my experience, I can sum up that wasteland in this way:
- I heard what I must do, but learned I couldn't do it.
- I heard what I must be, but found I could never become it.
- I sought the experience that counts, but never found it.
- I heard what decision I must make and the One I must choose, but with all of my natural gifts of will power, I realized it was not my choice at all that made the difference.
- I heard I must commit, surrender and make Jesus Lord. I taught others the same. But fanatic commitment and surrender and measurements of the lordship I gave Him in my life left a fleeting self-created peace.
- I heard that a sinner must believe, but I believed the wrong things.
- I heard I must be sorry, must know and feel my depravity, must sincerely and earnestly trust no other, must believe with all of my heart, but I could never produce these.
- I learned that I am positively evil, and my thoughts instead of being toward God are opposed to His truth and His way.
I will freely borrow words that describe the full extent of my case from men far better than me:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief ! - Apostle Paul
I am a great sinner, and nothing at all, but Jesus Christ is my all in all. - Poor Huckster
Don't celebrate my accomplishments when I am gone; I have none. Do me this honor instead: Hear what Jesus has done.
My confidence, my joy, my desire and hope is simply this:
- Before creation's foundation was laid, in love, God chose me.
- Before I had an experience, Christ stood before God as Surety for me.
- When I was ungodly, Christ died for ungodly me.
- When I was without strength, Christ died for impotent me.
- Christ took my sin, became sin, and delivered God's wrath from me.
- When I was His enemy, by His death, Christ reconciled me to God.
- God did not spare His own Son for me.
- Christ loved and gave Himself for me.
- By Himself, without my participation, thought or help at all, Christ purged my sins from me.
- Before I was born, by His blood He justified me.
- By the offering of Himself, Christ both sanctified and forever perfected me.
- When I was dead in sins, for His great love wherewith He loved Christ, He received Him and loved me.
- God never looked for a reason from me to save me.
- My cries were never loud, long or earnest enough, but His cries and His offering were heard and accepted for me.
- For His name's sake alone, He found reason to save me.
How do I know that He did this for me?
- Because Christ's experience, and what God thinks of Him is all that matters to me.
- My experience never measured up; but Christ's experience did.
- My righteousness is not on earth; He is in heaven.
- My food and drink is Christ's obedience unto death to fulfill the will of God for me.
- Christ reigns over His enemies to bring them under my feet.
- His satisfaction for sin satisfied God, and by His grace, it satisfies me.
- My commitment or surrender could never influence the Judge of all the earth, but only bring me lower than the grave. But Christ died for me.
- My accepting Jesus didn't make me acceptable to God, but God accepting Him for me did.
-- Pastor Rick Warta