Last week I spoke briefly of the identity problem in America, I want to address it more this week. You see America, despite our ever increasing national debt deficit, is still one of the most prosperous nations in the world. It’s interesting, in a country so wealthy and in a society where most needs are met, America also has the largest amount of depression in the world. How can this be? If there is everything we need to survive and have the freedom to choose what we become how is this a possibility?
The only explanation is we do not have everything. In fact without Christ we have nothing. Unfortunately, rather than Christ being presented—the students of today have been bombarded with “People’s Magazine” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The irrefutable truth is the world paints a picture of there being an achievable utopia without Christ, featuring money, fame, good looks—let me tell you the truth; its not achievable without Christ. You cannot have reason for life without Christ, because ultimately He is the source of all life.
We have several different places in Scripture where this is painted clearly. The example that I would like to use today comes from Romans chapter six. Paul begins to deal with the mechanics of our salvation and he deals specifically with our position in Christ. Of course it is not wrong to have money, fame, and even great aesthetics. I'm not trying to demonize something that within itself isn't wrong. The world constantly makes all of those attributes sound inherently joyful. But the source of true joy comes from Jesus Christ.
In Romans six Paul begins to talk about living in the newness of life, before he does this he addresses one very important issue. The only way we can serve Christ is by simple faith in him. You can't work your way to righteousness, you can't beg your way to righteousness, it only comes by simple faith in Christ and what he has done for us on the cross. The reason why today so many people feel ‘less than’ is no doubt due to the fact that we have forgotten our simple faith in Christ.
If the world would understand Romans chapter six and allow the Holy Spirit to place it in their hearts; the problems of anxiety and depression would decrease drastically. Knowing who you are in Christ and the freedom we have in Christ presents joy eternally inside the soul of man. The reason why I say ‘joy eternally’ is simply because this joy is not based on worldly circumstances. The joy I'm speaking of is based on a heavenly circumstance. The circumstance being that we were all born sinners destined to die and go to hell but Christ died on the cross to take away our sins and our punishment. In this is our identity. Even if you have wealth, good looks, fame, popularity the joy comes from Christ alone and not what you have materialistically. Again, let me say these things are not wrong to have but we must always have our faith solely in Christ alone.
Love from me to you,
Pastor Colton Pemberton