One of the greatest beauties of Christianity is that the Lord uses weak and broken vessels to demonstrate the living gospel to others. Redemption is not for perfect people. It is only for those who know their own brokenness and depravity. I wrote an article sometime back on how the Lord uses the wrong kind of people. You can read it here. Let us never lose the sight of the beauty of mercy and grace.
I think sometimes we fail to clearly communicate the gospel with the full force of truth concerning our human need for salvation. We’ve ‘pop-psychologized’ the message of redemption. By this I mean we present the gospel as a help for the situation or problem people find themselves in. This literally turns Jesus into a bell-hop or personal dispensing machine to help make man better. It is not the gospel.
The gospel is that we are ‘really sinners.’ Not theoretically or just theologically, but really…with force. We are undone, unholy, broken to the core by original and personal sin and stand condemned before the justice of God. When this is woven into the fabric of our understanding and implanted into the depths of our heart, we begin to see the revelation of the glorious nature of the gospel. Which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
And it does not stop here. At salvation we are redeemed and stand before God in the righteousness of Christ. However, we still “fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) This means we still fail to measure up to God’s standard and that we continually need the conscious work of His grace and mercy in our life every day! Again, this is not an abstract or philosophical thought. It is an existential need we must realize in order to walk with freedom, joy and victory in Christ day to day.
You and I are broken jars of clay. We are earthen vessels which will not perfectly demonstrate the beauty of Christ until we lay down our unredeemed bodies. Yes, we are broken vessels…BUT we have the treasure of the person of Christ living in us! (2Cor. 4:7) And through these broken vessels, as we yield our members to His Lordship and Spirit, the life and love of Christ flows out of us.
In our best state we are broken. Therefore, the only person to boast in is Jesus Christ as He shines forth through us. (1Cor. 1:29-31) This is part of the mystery and glory of the Gospel. We do not excuse sin in our life, but at the same time, we realize we continually fall short. And in spite of this, we can focus upon Christ crucified with empty hands of faith and be a living example of the grace, mercy and truth of Christ.
Yes, even in redemption we are broken jars…and these are the vessels God has chosen to use to display His Glory! Hallelujah…what a Savior.