I decided to read through What the Bible Teaches, by R.A. Torrey again. It’s a great book – you can download a free PDF here – so we’re doing a little Bible study every Thursday. The collection is here. Subscribe over there to make sure you don’t miss anything, but come back and add your voice in the Comments! >>>
This chapter is a little heavy, so I just want to look at the first part. An outline of Torrey’s Propositions:
- Outside of the redemption in Christ Jesus, there is no difference in the standing of men before God: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; there is none righteous, no, not one.
- Every mouth is stopped and all the world brought under the judgment of God.
- All who are of the deeds of the Law (i.e. outside of the grace of God in Jesus Christ) are under a curse.
- All who have not been born of God (i.e. all outside of the redemption in Christ Jesus) are children of the devil.
It’s not a very cheerful chapter, but it’s the foundation of the gospel, in a way – which makes it really good news.
God’s justice is a great leveler. If anyone can be saved, then I can too. If anyone qualifies for mercy, then so do I – and so do you, and so does that family member you’re praying for or that friend you’ve been talking to about the Lord. It seems harsh to say that before we come to Christ we’re all the same, all hopeless, all under a curse, but really, it’s great news.
If one person (besides Jesus) could be righteous, then I would be held to the same standard, and I would already be disqualified. As it is, however, we’re all cursed, which means we all need a Savior. Enter hope.
Let this not inspire us to sneer at the unredeemed – those still under a curse, whom scripture calls “children of the devil” – because we were them once too. Let this remind us where we came from, and where they may be headed.