The largest rollout of vaccines in human history is happening right now, even as you read this. The need for a vaccine arises when the average human body is incapable of producing a biological tactical force adept at overwhelming an invading microbial army by obliterating them and successfully learning “battle formations” to quickly annihilate impending attempts at future invasions. A vaccine is essentially a load of unharmful microbial particles developed and harvested from an “alien” source – a source external to the human body. In our case, we are dependent on “an alien impact” in our bodies to rescue us from a deadly virus – an impact that most of us are unable to produce on our own. Almost 500 years ago, a monk called Martin Luther was thrilled to discover an alien impact that is beneficial to humans in their losing battle against the sickness of sin and death. Luther found in the Bible that all humans are incapable of producing the kind of good in them that will help them escape their impending doom in sin and in hell. He understood that if help were to come, it will have to come from an “alien” source – not from Mars or outer space – but from a source external to all of creation as we all face the same doom. What was dreadful for Luther is that the kind of good, the righteousness, that we required had to be God’s own. Without God’s own righteousness given to him, Luther, and all of us for that matter, are helpless! However, to Luther’s exceeding joy, he found that God had made a way for us to receive His own righteousness. From the Bible, Luther found that only Jesus had succeeded to do as a human, “in the flesh”, what we were unable to do: namely defeating sin. When Christ grants His righteousness to us, we are rescued from the sickness of sin and death. Luther called this “the alien righteousness” which sinful man is unable to produce on his own for his own benefit. Paul, who lived 1500 years before Luther, rightly understood this truth. He said that we all, as sinners, are “alienated” from God – meaning that we were separated from Him as though we were “strangers”, even “enemies” to God. Paul said, “For our sake He (God) made Him (Jesus Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him (Jesus Christ) we might become the righteousness of God.” This is the grace of God, in that He gives Jesus’ righteousness to all who believe in Him.
The Crew on “Uniform Lima” heard this good news of God’s grace on Christmas Day as I preached to them from 2 Corinthians 5. What was truly unbelievable for these men was what precedes Paul’s statement above: “…we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) I implored the Crew to think about this. God, Who needs nobody, Who owes nobody anything, Who is absolutely Holy, Who is justified in His part to obliterate all men for their sins, would lovingly implore them to accept what He offers them through Jesus Christ. Isn’t this the most remarkable message of hope for mankind? I am sure, when you hear more news about the vaccine, you will ponder on the “alien righteousness” of Christ offered to you if only you believe in Him. Yet, why wait until then? If you are a seafarer reading this, why not humble yourself under God, request Him to grant you Christ’s righteousness right now? Remember, you cannot produce on your own the righteousness that God requires. If you would like to know more about this amazing good news of God’s grace, please do contact us using the details on the last page of this document.
…not having a righteousness of my own …but that which comes through faith in Christ… Philippians 3:9