Every beloved fairytale has a dramatic plot twist. The princess is trapped in the tower, the castle is under a curse, or the good guys are lost in the enchanted forest. But wait! Suddenly, the prince arrives or the spell is broken, and everything gets better.
Yesterday, we saw the somber reality of our sinful condition. Today’s passage also begins by recounting the depths of our miserable state. We were spiritually dead (v. 1), slaves to Satan and sin (v. 2), and condemned by our own sinful actions (v. 3). It would be incredibly sad if that were the end of the story we are to share with others.
Thankfully, it’s not the end! Verse 4 reveals an astonishing twist with two simple words: “But . . . God.” Sinners are the objects of His wrath, but God loves them and has mercy on them. Sinners are dead in their rebellion, but God raises them up and makes them alive. Sinners are weak and powerless—the cowering slaves of Satan—but God seats them with His Son and gives them the promise of a glorious future. Evangelism is sharing the message of God’s gracious action toward sinners. And, as we will see tomorrow, sinners receive this salvation by faith.
Out of His love for us, God sent His Son to be the “atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). By His life of perfect obedience, Jesus kept the law we are guilty of breaking. By His death on the cross, He paid the penalty due for our sin. By His resurrection, our own eternal life in fellowship with Him is guaranteed. This good news about Christ is so essential to our evangelism that the apostle Paul could say, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).
The gospel message does not end with our hopeless, sinful condition. Instead, the glorious plot twist of the Bible is that God saves sinners. Meditate on John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” How are you sharing God’s love for the world?