RUINS AMONG THE RUINS
We are ruins who walk among ruins. Our spiritual world is a smoldering heap of broken lives, broken dreams that stand like destroyed buildings in an apocalyptic landscape. We are like piles of moldering ashes. We are ruined by our own natures and our slavery to our darkness and rejection of God. We are slaves to our self-importance, to sex, to greed and materialism, to selfishness, to the glittering trinkets that the dark powers throw at us to grab our attention. As our darkness grows, our separation from God grows. Our hatred and resentment of God grow. And we will blame God, everyone we know, for our darkness, for our sorrow, for our ruin and we never understand that we only have ourselves to blame, and no one else.
We are corrupt from within and without. We are not truthful about ourselves much less about others. We let the darkness that we are supposed to repent of run loose in our souls. But we smile and sing, Oh, how I love Jesus.
Philosophers and theologians have noted through the years the contradiction that we human beings are. We try so hard to be beastly, to live like the animals with the same instinctive appetites at work. We try hard to be wild beasts. And at the same time, we sing beautiful music. We write beautiful words and do great things. We soar to the peaks of achievement. What a confused mess we are. We know the contradictions. We feel our divided soul. We are ruins who walk among the ruins. Why are we like this?
It has to do with the way we were made. Genesis says that we were made in the image of God. Something important, something beautiful, something creative, something holy runs in our veins. Yet, with our fallen nature, our deliberate breaking of God’s law, creates in us this nightmarish hodgepodge of hypocrisy, and neuroses, narcissism, self-centeredness, and total hatred and rejection of God.
Considering our state, our dark achievements, it is the most shocking, the most surprising idea every verbalized, God Loves us! Psalm eight tells us that God, not only takes notice of us, but that he made us just a little lower than God. We know things and will experience things that the angels can never know. We will judge the angels according to Paul. We are uniquely made. But our fall is also great. We were made for the greatest of things. But the fall made us ruins among the ruins, sinners among the sinners.
The idea that God loves us or that he is mindful of us, is so deep and profound that it should run through our minds constantly in every thought! Why does God love us? Why does God pay us any attention? How is it possible? Because he intentionally made us in his image, he made us a little lower than God. God made up for the purpose of living in a relationship to him and to rule his world. We were made for a holy and divine purpose. It is even more sorrowful as we stand as ruins among the ruins.
It is outrageous that even in our darkened horrible condition, God has loved us. God expressed his love for us by giving us his only unique son. There is only one like him. He is God in the flesh. And God gave him to us and for us. Within the fellowship of the Holy Trinity, there is a perfect relation between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Within the perfect relationship abides perfect love. That Love compelled God to give his unique son. So God the Son became flesh, the person of Jesus who died for us so that we might be reclaimed from our darkness! And he rose from the grave to give us eternal life!
God does what he does so that all who believe in him will have eternal life. Jesus told his disciples that he was heading to die on the cross. You might ask the question how is that love? The answer is because Jesus is our substitute. He died in our place. You and I are guilty because we have violated God’s law. But Jesus died in our place. Deep down inside we know that we are sinners separated from God and we know that we deserve hell. But the Bible tells us that he, who knew no sin, became sin on our behalf. He took the sins of you and me and made them his. He was nailed to the cross so that we might have eternal life. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The outstretched arms of Christ on the cross are the open arms of love to the world.
All who believe have eternal life. When He says, believe, it is not belief at a distance. It the kind of belief that turns away from sin and confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord–as Boss of our lives. Believing is the kind of faith that gives itself totally to the things of Christ.
But there is a warning. Those who do not believe are judged already (John 3:16-21). If you do not take God up on his incomprehensible offer, then you live in judgment. You cannot claim to be right with God if you have not placed your faith in Christ. This is the judgment, Light came into the world and people loved the darkness rather than light. They like the ruins, they like the ashes, they hate God.
If you have placed your faith in Christ, eternity already runs through your veins and even now God is making you ready to live forever with him. Even now God is restoring you as sons and daughters of God. Because of the love of God, we are raised from our ruins to become the glory that reflects the Love of God.
God’s love is like the stars in the sky. It is unmeasurable. But His love can be yours. All of God’s treasures can be yours. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Jn. 3:16 ESV)
Genesis 1: 26-27
John 3: 16-21