September 03, 2023

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”  Ephesians 2:3 

Any parent with kids seeks to do their best to teach, disciple, and help them grow. 

Part of the parenting process is teaching things like manners, kindness, sharing, gratitude, and discipline. And among many other things, we teach them to work hard and to try their best. 

But as many parents quickly learn, we never once have to teach them how to be selfish. They just intuitively understand that one. We never teach them to scream, cry, or pitch a fit when they don’t get their way. It just comes naturally. We never teach them to start a fight with their siblings or argue with their parents. They just showed up knowing how to do it! 

How do we know?

Because all you have to do is spend some time with a group of toddlers and you will see sinful nature in action. You see, our kids are natural-born sinners. Just like you and me. 

The word of God wants us to understand the reality of our condition apart from Christ because the only way we will truly understand the beauty of what He has done for us is to understand the true reality of our needs. We must come face to face with the fact that we are helpless, hopeless, and without a Savior so that we can fall on our face before the One who came to save us. 

This definition of the Gospel from Tim Keller has been so helpful: 

“The gospel is this: we are far more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the same time we are far more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

Timothy Keller 

We must see the bad news before we can truly understand the good news. 

And the good news of the gospel is so sweet, which is exactly what the next verses (Ephesians 2:4-5) reveal:

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

So, while we, just as our children, are all natural born sinners, we are loved by a God who is merciful and gracious. Our sins and flaws have been wiped clean by the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a gift that requires nothing from us but faith in Him.  

I ask you, “How much more love can we be given?”

Parents, the truth of our sinful nature, and God’s loving mercy are the most important things you can teach your children.

Are you willing to teach them about the priceless Love of Jesus?

If not, are you willing to receive it?

Taken from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL


Read “So Loved” by RFTH Guest Contributor, Melissa Henderson