My wife likes watching mystery shows, or dr. dramas, or things like that, usually about some detective(s) or doctor(s) who can solve cases or difficult to impossible medical conditions and save the day. Yet, every once in a while, the sleuths and doctors have to admit defeat, and almost always say “There’s nothing more we can do.” This is always done to a great dramatic effect, filled with sadness and weeping. Yet, in our case, the words “there is nothing more we can do” should be filled with great joy. Why? Because in our lives, everything we do on our own, we have a tendency to royally mess up. We do things for selfish reasons, and even those things we attempt on our steam that are unselfish end with us tired, exhausted, anguished and angry.
Coming to Jesus isn’t about YOUR confession of faith, YOUR baptism, YOUR knowledge of scripture or church doctrine, but it has everything to do with what Jesus has done. We CANNOT meet God’s expectations. We require rescue, constantly. We sin, we fall short, we fail, our own actions condemn us before a righteous and holy God. But Jesus met each and every righteous requirement of the Law by becoming one of us, fully human, and yet fully God. He came in to a world full of sin, born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and lived a perfect life, tested and tempted in every way but not sinning (see Hebrews 4), and suffering in those temptations (see Hebrews 2). He, according to the scriptures, was crucified, taking the wrath of God for sin upon Himself, died, was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures (see 1 Corinthians 15). Because of all this, He is sitting, in power, at the right hand of God, doing what we could not, and saving us from our sins. He is alive, and sends the Holy Spirit to guide and mediate on our behalf, and is constantly conforming us in to His image. It’s not about what you can do, beloved Christian, because Jesus has already done it. Enter in to His rest.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.