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February 14

Romans 5:12

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned. — Romans 5:12

Hope From Helplessness

by Jacob Bell
Harpeth Heights Campus

“Restore the joy of your salvation to me.”

It is through remembering the joy we have in the gospel that we will be motivated to teach the rebellious the way of the Lord and see sinners return to Him.

Friends, remember this:

God created all of the cosmos with creativity in His mind and compassion in His heart. His creation was not merely a work of art—it was beautiful and good. God formed humanity not because He was in need of them, but because through His rich love, He knew they would receive His benefits and enjoy His presence.

It was the lure of lust and our clinging to comfort that disrupted the heart of humanity. Humanity traded holiness for heresy and character for corruption. Sin brought disruption to God’s created harmony and destruction to holy living.

“God made people upright, but they pursued many schemes.” // Ecclesiastes 7:29

It is by the sin of one human that all of humanity fell. Sin is our disease and our prognosis is death.

All of humanity pursued their own way—a way of transgression and compromise. Doomed by disobedience, we try whatever we can to make our way back to God. However, nothing we do can save us from our own sin. Sinners simply cannot purify their hearts of sin. There is absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves or earn God’s favor.

We are helpless.

But God is full of mercy and love. Into utter darkness, the light came and walked among sinners. His name is Jesus. God himself came to be with sinners, echoing His presence in the Garden with them. Yet this wandering presence was not the primary purpose for His coming. Rather, he came to embrace shame and death to bring glory to His Father and to restore all things so that humanity could experience salvation and life.

It was through the resurrection of Jesus that this restoration news became true. New Creation was breaking through, into the scars that sin created—scars like those our Savior now bears as evidence of our redemption.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person – though for a good person perhaps someone might dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us – For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” // Romans 5:6-8, 19

Jesus came to call sinners to repentance, and that repentance is what brings refreshment and restoration to our souls.

This is our hope.

“Salvation is the renewal of our souls after the Image of God in righteousness and true holiness in justice, mercy, and truth.” // John Wesley

It is through remembering our doom that the gospel restores the joy of our eternal destiny. God’s promises are still true. He is still calling us to humble ourselves, to pray, and to turn from our wicked ways, because He still desires to bring healing to where sin has brought harm. It is in this posture of obedience that we remember truth: God’s holiness has transformed sinners into saints.


  1. What practices do you have that remind you about the truth of the gospel?
  2. How can you share the joy you have in salvation with wandering neighbors?