Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

From One Hamilton to Another

Josh Hamilton (no relation) has had quite a roller-coaster life.  From first overall pick in the 1999 Major League Baseball draft to kicked out of baseball because of a drug addiction that resulted in multiple failed drug tests, to back in baseball, to the big leagues, to All Star, to homerun derby hero. 

The roller-coaster recently hit another down-turn, and some folks want to kick the guy while he’s down.  You see, Hamilton credited his faith in Jesus Christ as the reason he fought to kick, and did kick, his drug problem; and as the reason that he was able to save his marriage.  Pictures recently emerged of Hamilton in a bar, shirtless, doing things with women who are not his wife that no man should do with women who are not his wife.  So much for Jesus Christ helping him kick the drug addiction and save his marriage, right?

Not so fast.

Let’s think about this for a second.  Because of Adam and Eve, we know that each and every one of us wakes up a sinner every single day of our lives.  I like the analogy that an apple tree does not become an apple tree when it produces its first apple.  Rather, it produces apples because it is an apple tree.  So it is with you, me, and Josh Hamilton.  We don’t become sinners when we sin.  Rather, we sin because we are sinners.  Every one of Josh Hamilton’s sins- past and present- merely proves the good news of Jesus Christ.  God created a good world, man sinned and God cursed the world as a result of man’s sin.  Every person who has descended from those first two sinners in the garden of Eden is a sinner and therefore needs the mercy of God that is only found in Christ Jesus.

God promises not to leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:7).  We are all guilty.  He will leave none of us unpunished.  Jesus said He is The Way, and that there is no other way to the Father.  This is so because our guilt- the guilt of each and every one of us- will be punished in one of two ways. 

Door #1- we pay the penalty for our guilt, and suffer the punishment of God.  God is eternal, and sinning against God carries an eternal penalty.  Therefore, hell is eternal.  God is the most valuable Person in the universe, and sinning against God is greater than the greatest evil imaginable.  Therefore, the fires of hell are greater than the greatest punishment you or I could imagine.  God will not leave the guilty unpunished.  This eternal, extreme punishment of suffering for eternity in the fire prepared for the devil and his angels is the punishment that we all deserve.  And, all who do not choose “Door #2” will certainly suffer this fate.

Door #2- we take the offer that God gives us.  The offer of forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life by believing in Jesus.  Because God punished Jesus on the cross, although He and He alone was innocent, the penalty that He paid removes the guilt of those guilty ones who believe in Jesus.  Each person who believes in Jesus receives two gifts from Jesus.  The first is that we receive His “penal substitutionary atonement.”  The simply means that He paid the penalty (penal) in our place (substitutionary), and by doing so atoned for our sins.  The second gift is that we receive His righteousness.  We have failed God both negatively and positively.  We have been both too bad and not good enough to get to heaven.  The forgiveness of our sins and the payment of our penalty merely gets us out of hell.  We still lack what we need to get to heaven; namely, the righteousness of God.  We are to be righteous as He is righteous, and perfect as He is perfect.  Only by receiving the gift of the righteousness of Jesus by faith can we have the righteousness and perfection of God necessary to be in His presence.

Josh Hamilton, like all Christians, has chosen Door #2.  This does not mean that he is no longer a sinner.  This means that he has been declared righteous before God, but he has not yet been made perfectly righteous.  That day will come.  But, until he dies or Jesus comes back he is and will be a sinner, and his sins merely prove it.  And they prove that he still needs this good news of Jesus every single day, just like you and I do.

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September 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

2 Comments »

  1. So, as Josh is daily asking for and receiving forgiveness for his sin, are not we all to ask daily, and are we not all forgiven daily?

    Comment by jzh | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. so the big question remains… can salvation be lost?

    If we continue sinning, over and over again doing the things that are in our nature to do, though we know are bad, but because it is in our nature we keep repeating them… can we loose salvation and be condemned?

    Comment by myatama | October 6, 2009 | Reply


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