Author: Ron Graham
From Out of the Dust
—Consider the lives of three persons
In this lesson, I want you to consider the lives of three persons. The first is Adam or Eve, the second is Jesus, and the third is yourself.
The three human beings mentiuoned above have three things in common...
- They begin life in a lowly manner.
- They are cut off tragically.
- They have a glorious purpose.
1 The First Humans
Lowly beginning: Adam and Eve, the first two human beings, began their lives in a lowly manner. The man was created from the dust of the ground, and the woman from a bone. "Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground... He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which he had taken from the man" (Genesis 2:7,21-22).
Tragic ending: Adam lived a long life, more than ten times as long as humans live today. But he still died. His life was tragically cut off. "You are dust, and to dust you shall return... And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died" (Genesis 3:19, 5:5). Eve’s story would be similar.
Glorious purpose: If Adam and Eve had not sinned, if they had continued to walk with God in faith, they would not have seen death and returned to dust. Instead, they would have been taken up to glory.
God demonstrated this in Enoch the seventh patriarch from Adam. "And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him... By faith Enoch was taken up that he should not see death, and he was not found because God took him up" (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5).
2 The Babe in a Manger
Lowly beginning: Jesus Christ the Son of God, the greatest human being ever to live on earth, began his life in a lowly manner. We all love the story of his birth, and so do our children. It was at once both lowly and lovely. "And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, for there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:1-7).
Tragic ending: The story of Christ's death is quite the opposite. It was a terrible and tragic death, the darkest day in the history of the world. "And when they led him away... many women were mourning and lamenting him... And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified him..." (Luke 23:26-33).
Glorious purpose: God demonstrated his purpose in Christ by raising him from the dead and taking him up into glory. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified" (Acts 2:31-36).
3 Your Own Insignificant Life
Lowly beginning: When we think about human life, and our own lives in particular, we are struck by the lowliness of human life. Even those who appear to be rich and powerful are still just flesh and blood, and their glory is an illusion. "What is your life? It is but a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:13-17).
Tragic ending: Most of us go through life ignoring the obvious. Sooner or later, life ends in death. "It is appointed for man once to die, and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
Glorious purpose: The most important thing for you to realise is that despite appearances, God has a glorious purpose for your life. Beyond this lowly life on earth, this little while, you have an eternal inheritance in heaven awaiting you. It is glorious, not lowly, and it shall never end.
The most important thing you need to do in your life on earth, is to take hold of this gift and hold on to it, never let it go. All this you can do through Jesus. "In him we have redemption through his blood... we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of his will" (Ephesians 1:3-14).
Six Steps to Grace
The words of Paul in Romans (and his agreement with Jesus in the gospels) on what people should do to receive grace.
1. Hearing Christ’s word (Romans 10:8-17, Matthew 7:24).
2. Believing —having faith (Romans 1:16-17, John 3:16).
3. Repentance from sin (Romans 2:4-5, Romans 6:1-2, Luke 5:31-32).
4. Confessing Christ (Romans 10:8-10, Matthew 10:32).
5. Being baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-4, Mark 16:15-16).
6. Ongoing commitment (Romans 12:1-2, Romans 12:11-12, Luke 9:62).