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A Reformed Fellowship

Life in a world marked by death

Little reveals the love of living as the struggle to keep breathing as death approaches. There is within our being the longing to live.

And yet so much of our culture unwittingly goes out of its way to promote death. President Obama and his Democratic allies made a woman’s right to an abortion an emphasis in his campaign for reelection. No true Christian could support such a position. The taking of innocent life flies in the face of the biblical teaching of the sanctity of life.

Doubling down in promoting death was the President and his Democrat allies’ promotion of homosexual “marriage.” Little reveals an unwitting reveling in death as does homosexuality. No life can proceed from such a union, and no true Christian could support such a position that the Bible denounces as the depth of depravity (Romans 1:26-27).

Such is the state of our culture, but there is really nothing new. Since Adam sinned in the Garden, death has been the lot of man, and death is intrinsically linked with sin. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come” (Romans 5:12–14, ESV).

Consequently, all sin is a glorying in death. Abortion and homosexuality happen to be the two which our culture celebrates, but all sin is related to death. While we rightly condemn the taking of an unborn baby’s life and engaging in sexual relations by same sex couples, we should just as strongly condemn all sin, including our own. The apostle Paul’s words convict us:: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19–21, ESV).

We too often fail to recognize that sin amounts to open rebellion against God. It is rebellion not merely because sin contradicts God’s commandments. It is rebellion because it contradicts the very nature of God himself: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light” (Psalm 36:9, ESV). Sin is death, and death contradicts the nature of God.

Consequently, a culture which sees children as a burden and not a blessing is a culture set against God. A culture which flaunts and glorifies sin, as seen in so much of the entertainment industry of our day, is a culture in open conflict against God.

To such a world, though, Christ came. The One whose incarnation we recently celebrated came to bring us to God. His purpose was not merely so that we could enjoy the bliss of heaven. It was to make us acceptable to God, that we may have and know life: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1–4, ESV).

Alexander Maclaren [1826-1910], renowned Scottish expositor, made this observation: “Well then, looking all round our horizon there stands out one path for aspiration which is clearly blessed to tread—one path, and one path alone. For, oh brethren! there are needs in all our hearts, deep longings, terrible wounds, dreary solitudes, which can only be appeased and healed and companioned when we are pressing nearer and nearer God, that infinite and divine Source of all blessedness, of all peace and good. To possess God is life; to feel after God is life, too. For that aim is sure, as we shall see, to be satisfied. That aim gives, and it is the only one which does give, adequate occupation for every power of a man’s soul; that aim brings, simultaneously with its being entertained, its being satisfied; for, as I have already said, in the one act of faith there lie both these elements of blessedness—the possession of, and the seeking after, God.”