From Zombie to Saint!

God's glory can work through you!

Posted by David Wyatt on August 31, 2021 · 7 mins read
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10

We are born enemies of God. In our original sinful nature, we are unable to do anything good and pleasing to Him. Both of these are Biblical truths. But that isn’t who we are called to be. By the grace of God and through the regenerative power of the blood of Christ, we can be so much more. In fact, in the scripture we read yesterday, it says those who have been made “alive together with Christ” were “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” This truth is at the center of Philippians 4:13 where Paul says, “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST [emphasis added] who strengthens me.”

Paul didn’t come up with this idea on his own. He was conveying to the churches at Corinth and Philippi the same thing Jesus taught in Matthew 15. In verses 4 and 5, Jesus says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” These truths are now relayed to us through the supernatural preservation of God’s word. And they haven’t lost their power.

Everyone Is or Was an Enemy of God

Do you feel that you are so bad that God will never be able to use you? You’re wrong. This is a lie Satan uses to keep us defeated in his doomed efforts to dethrone God.

Don’t believe me? Let me introduce you to some people.

  • Sinner 1 - God made this man a promise that he didn’t believe. His unbelief actually caused him to laugh in God’s face. He later had a son as the result of an adulterous affair. This was the birth of the longest-running conflict between two nations in human history. It is still going on today.
  • Sinner 2 - Not only did this man commit adultery, he then committed murder. He planned the death of the husband of the woman he was having an affair with so that he could marry her himself. He then commanded that the plan be carried out.
  • Sinner 3 - This man was a direct contributor to the death of many early Christians. He was a leader of what can only be called death squads. Groups that sought out followers of Jesus for the sole purpose of either imprisonment or stoning.
  • Sinner 4 - In the mid-1700s, this man was a slave trader for nine years. He was a participant in what he described as the “horrific” treatment of Africans aboard the English slave ships. Throughout his career in the slave trade, it is safe to say that he was at least partially responsible for the future deaths of hundreds of African men, women, and children.

All these men were undoubtedly terrible people. Men that in the eyes of God and man deserved death. But why do we know about them today? Because God used them in mighty ways.

Sinner 1 was Abraham. Father of the Jews, God’s chosen people. Even after Abraham mocked Him, God kept the promise He had made with Abraham. Not only was he the father of nations that still exist today, but he also counts among his descendants Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Sinner 2 was King David. The giant killer. Twice called a man after God’s own heart. Probably used more than any other person in history to show that God can do great things through those the world views as weak. Another man in the earthly lineage of Jesus, David wrote many of the Psalms. The 23rd Psalm may be the most widely read passage of comfort in all of Scripture.

Sinner 3 was the Apostle Paul. Self-proclaimed chief among sinners. Yet by the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote more of the New Testament than any other man. It could easily be said that no one other than Christ has had a more positive impact on the church and believers. The churches he helped establish led millions to salvation. The way he followed Christ after his conversion is a model for us all.

Sinner 4 was John Newton. After his conversion, Newton became a staunch opponent of the slave trade and one of the loudest voices in the abolition movement in England. The primary reason we remember him today is that he wrote “Amazing Grace,” widely considered the most popular hymn of all time. Millions have heard about the amazing saving grace of God proclaimed in the stanzas of this song that may have never sat under the preaching of God’s word or picked up a Bible.

God Created You For Something Glorious

You may never write an “Amazing Grace.” You may never start a church that leads millions of lives to Christ. But don’t believe Satan’s lie that you are powerless to serve God because of your past sin. The Bible says it isn’t so. If we have been born again, we “are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

To His glory, God uses people who were His enemies, dead in their sins, and those who remain broken and imperfect even after salvation to do great things. He has to. That’s the only kind of people there are!

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