This was a part of a recent sermon I preached:
The word awesome has been misused on a regular basis since at least the ‘80s. It means truly demanding awe and wonder. My son Brennan recently really got what the word means. We were on our way to South Carolina to visit April’s aunt. As we took I-285 through Atlanta, planes were buzzing all across the sky. One huge plane was coming in right over us for a landing. All of the kids squealed. Then after it had passed, Brennan said, “That was awesome!” He paused for a second and said, “That was awesome and scary.”
That reminds me of what C.S. Lewis wrote about his character Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Mr. Beaver said about Aslan, “Course he isn't safe. But he's good.”
Let's consider how good-- how awesome--the one True God is. Here are some of his characteristics:
He is eternal… he has always been. He knows no beginning and no end.
He is immutable… He does not change. He will not change.
He is omniscient. He knows all things.
He is omnipresent. He is all places at once. Time is not an issue for Him. He exists outside of the constraints of time.
He is omnipotent. He is all powerful.
He is just. He always does what is right.
He is holy—completely perfect.
He is righteous.
He is good – thoroughly and completely…in Him is no evil whatsoever.
He is sovereign.
Eph. 1: 19 tell us ..."That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet."
All that and…
He loves you and me and He desires to be a part of every moment of our lives. God is truly awesome.
But, We are Bankrupt!
We’ve got a problem. We have a sin problem. And a just and holy God will not entertain sin. What is sin? In 1 John 3:4, John says, “Sin is lawlessness.”
Have you ever broken a law? I was taking my in-laws to the airport in New Orleans a few months ago, and we got behind a street sweeper on I-10. My father-in-law pointed out that a sign said Minimum Speed 45. We were doing about 25, like everyone else. We were still guilty. We broke the law. Oh, for that to be the only law I’ve ever broken. What about the words we speak. What about gossip, jealousy, envy? What about pride and discontent? We have a sin problem.
Imagine if you will, God giving each of us a moral debit card when we are born. He gives us a set amount. The one big issue is that you can’t reload the card. When you sin, a debit is made. It wouldn’t take long for us to be bankrupt. In fact, it only takes one sin against the Holy God to make us morally bankrupt. Listen to what the prophet Isaiah wrote in Chapter 59:
1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.3 For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.4No one calls for justice;no one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And in Romans 6:23 we find out that the wages of sin is death—that's spiritual separation from God, from all that is good. And again, there’s nothing we can do to reload the card. No number of good deeds can cover up the mess we have made. We’re bankrupt! And there are no federal bailouts.
So we’re in a fix. That sure sounds like bad news.
Thankfully the word gospel means good news…
The C stands for: