Man's Real Trouble

W. Terry Varner
August 21, 2016

Listening to some talk, both Christian and non-Christian, alike, preaching of the gospel is out of style, old-fashioned, and non-essential. However, if we listen to the Bible, preaching is designed by God to meet man’s real need—salvation from his sin. The gospel proclaims not only man’s real problem—sin—but also man’s real need—salvation. The Bible states: “How shall they call on Him whom they have not believed? How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? .... How beautiful are the feet or them that preach the gospel of peace” (Rom. 10:14-15).

A False View of Man’s Real Trouble. To some man’s real trouble is described as being sick. In the attempt to diagnose man’s situation, he is often described as being sick, unhappy, a victim of circumstances, etc. But this is far too superficial of diagnosing man’s real trouble. Man’s real trouble is that he sins and has rebelled against God and is under the wrath of God.

If we allow the Bible to describe man’s trouble, we find in clear language that man outside of Christ is there by choice and is "'dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1, emp. added). Sin is powerful. Sin “blinds” man (cf. 2 Cor. 4:3-4). Man in sin has his “understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through ignorance” (Eph. 4:18, emp. added). Jesus stated: “men love darkness rather than light, because they deeds were evil” (John 3:19., emp. added). These terms—dead, blinded, darkened, darkness—are indicative of both man’s light outside of Christ and his ignorance of his situation in sin.

Knowledge that Saves. The Bible’s description of man’s trouble is not surprising when we understand the biblical term—salvation. The word salvation (soteria) was used in the time of Jesus to describe good, vibrant health as opposed to poor health or sickness. Inspiration lifted this everyday term to describe salvation as being a good, living, vibrant relationship with God. It describes man’s spiritual state in relationship to God. The question is HOW is one able to come from a blind, dark ignorant relationship with God to a good, living relationship with God whose end result from a faithful life is eternal life? The Bible clearly gives us the answer. In man’s ignorance of his state of sin, he is “to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). God does not desire any man to be lost but desires the salvation of all men. Peter states: “The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). When Paul stood on Mars Hill in Athens, he told the Athenian philosophers, “tne One whom you worship without knowing [ignorantly, KJV], Him I proclaim to you (Acts 17:23, NKJV). They were ignorant of God ana ofJesus as Savior even though they were philosophers (cf. John 4:4r2; Acts 5:31; 13:23; Eph. 5:23; 1 Tim. 4:10; Titus 1:4; 1 Peter 1:11; 1 John4:14).

The biblical teaching concerning man’s salvation is not difficult to understand. Men must realize they choose to sin and that choices have consequences. When men sin, their sin separates them from God (cf. Isa. 59:1-2). One’s life in sin is described as a state of lacking knowledge— ignorance, spiritually dead, blind, or living in darkness. The gospel explains: “the knowledge of truth” to which men are to come (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4) to learn ihe unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).

How We Get INTO Christ. There are ONLY two Scriptures explaining the HOW we enter Jesus Christ. “Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death” Rom. 6:3, emp. added). Tor as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have out on Christ” (Gal. 3:27, emp. added). Our baptism is preceded by a living faith (Mark 16:16), repentance (Luke 13:3), ana confession that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior or man (cf. Matt. 10:32-33). While baptism translates us from the state of sin (lostness) to salvation, we must then “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12) and living “faithful unto death” (Rev. 2:10). Man’s real trouble is sin. Man’s real need is the Lord Jesus Christ.