|Moving From Death Row|
|Written by Victor W. Baugh, Sr. , ThD., Ph. D.|
|Thursday, 17 May 2012 10:07|
But of the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil, thou
shalt not eat of it; for
in the day that thou eatest
thereof thou shalt surely die.
We get puffed up, thinking so highly of ourselves, when these bodies that we nurture and treasure, for all monetary purposes, and in their natural state, are worthless. Now, let’s put this into perspective. Our Creator God makes no mistakes and He loves us not for our intrinsic worth—but in spite of the fact that we are poor lost sinners without hope if we attempt to bypass His Divine intervention. Yet, He never gives up on us. He pursues us, as Francis Thompson so aptly explains in his classic poem, The Hound of Heaven. The Holy Spirit pursues us “down the nights and down the days.”
There is an old song of the faith that goes like this … “In my hand no price I bring, simply to thy Cross I cling. Foul I to the Fountain fly, wash me, Savior, lest I die.” Until we allow the Hound of Heaven (the Holy Ghost of God) to apprehend us, and we look to Christ for full pardon of sin, accepting His finished work on Calvary, we are not only worthless, but without hope. It is Christ alone who gives worth and value. Until that great transaction is completed within us, we are, spiritually speaking, on Death Row.
In Genesis chapter two, Eve followed a progression that led to that dreaded Death Row experience when she took up conversation with the serpent who was “more subtil than any beast of the field …” Within the framework of this conversation, Eve (1) added to the Word of God, something that we are not permitted to do; (2) she listened to the serpent’s lie; (3) she listened as he appealed to her pride; and (4) she ate of the tree, enticed her husband, Adam, and he ate also. Eve was deceived. “Adam,” according to I Timothy 2:14, “was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
You mean Adam knew? Absolutely. God had specifically forewarned him in the last part of our text verse that, “… for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” Now, for whatever reason—and we can speculate all day on that one—Adam did not obey these instructions and when he partook of the forbidden fruit, he plunged all mankind into sin. “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
God held Adam responsible, not Eve, though her disobedience had a profound impact on and actually changed the state of woman, and in a manner of speaking, Adam’s sin placed us all (for death passed upon all men) on Death Row. What in the world would we be able to do to get our sentence commuted? The answer to that is absolutely nothing! What did the song say … “Nothing in my hand I bring…” You see, there was nothing we could do to save ourselves, for the price was paid in full by the blood of Christ in his death on Calvary, and from Romans 8:1, we know this: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
So, listen to this, dear friend … the moment you receive full pardon through the shed blood of Christ, that will be the moment you move from Death Row to Eternal Life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
The choice is yours. Where do you choose to be? On Death Row or living in light of Eternity with Christ. Trust Him today to forgive you and “cleanse you from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9), receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior (John 1:12), and you will experience the “… peace of God, which passeth all understanding …” (Philippians 4:7a) and “… joy unspeakable and full of glory …” (I Peter 1:9b).
Anchored in Christ alone,
Victor W. Baugh, Sr., Th.D., Ph.D.
Pastor, St. Luke AME Church