It is not because we're helpless that Jesus rescues us. It is because He is that kind of God.
Quick note: for those who follow the blog and noted that I didn't post yesterday, my apologies. My day filled up quickly and was over before I blinked. I did miss blogging, which I guess is a good sign.
A couple of Sundays ago I preached on Mark 5.1-20, the liberation of the Gerasene demoniac. I just can't let that story go and so I'm going to be putting some thoughts down here over the next few days.
Some people think about themselves before God as helpless and worthy of God's pity. "Worthy of pity" is an interesting phrase. If you're worthy, is it pity? Can you merit God's mercy? My argument is that it's not because we're helpless that Jesus rescues us. In fact, we're helpless because of the sin and wickedness in our lives.
The Bible describes us this way: dead in sin, following the course of this world, allied to the enemy of God, indulging desires that are not from Him, and justly and rightly declared children of wrath (Ephesians 2.1-3). Oprah will not tell you such. But she doesn't love you enough to tell you the truth. Frankly, there are pastors who will not tell you such. They lack the same love. But God loves you and me enough to tell us the truth. We are sinners by nature and choice and justly under condemnation because of it. We do not merit mercy. We are not worthy of pity. And certainly, we cannot help ourselves.
But God did - and God does. The guy in Mark 5 was possessed with a legion of demons. He was a pagan, idolater, and not a nice fellow. Jesus steps in to liberate Him, not because of who the possessed man is but because of who Jesus is. Salvation comes because Jesus comes on the scene. Nothing merited. Nothing warranted. Out of the blue.
And that is what the Bible calls grace.