I hear people often talk about their rights. They want to stand up for their rights, speak out for their rights, demand their rights, fight for their rights (the Beastie Boys said we need to Fight for our Right to Party whatever that means). Yet if we were to stand before God Almighty and do so, the only right we would have when compared to His righteous law would be eternity away from Him. In comparison to God and His Holiness and purity, we are owed exactly nothing. Why? Because our nature is self-seeking, and we will do anything to get what we want or feel we deserve, even down to destroying one another to get it. We are all liars, for we’ve all lied, we’re all thieves, for we’ve all taken without asking, we’re all murderers, for we’ve hated our brothers in our hearts, we’ve all taken God’s holy name in vain, we’ve all dishonored our parents, we’ve all put things before God, we’ve all coveted what was our neighbors. I can keep on listing commandments, but I am sure you understand that we all couldn’t even keep any of the Ten Commandments, so we’re law breakers. Depressing isn’t it?
That’s why I say that following Jesus is the most unnatural thing we can do. Left to our own devices, we dishonor our Designer and destroy one another to get what we want. This is why we MUST follow Jesus. It isn’t by our goodness and righteousness that we may stand before God (as I proved, we have none), but by Jesus’ own righteousness. He alone met every righteous requirement, and He took the punishment for our sins and the wrath of God upon Himself. And He does the work to complete His Righteousness in us by sending the Holy Spirit to conform us in to His Image. None of our works are good enough. Jesus completed the work on the Cross, and He became our righteousness. Which is why it requires faith, which requires action and our complete trust in Him. Naturally, we are lost and beyond saving. Following Jesus is the most unnatural thing we can do, which is exactly why we need to do just that!
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.