Years ago, when the Internet was in its inception, Sun Microsystems engineer John Gage changed our thinking about technology when he declared, “the Network IS the computer.” How true his words have turned out to be. To have a computer not connected to the Internet makes it almost useless. This is even more true with smart phones, iPads and the explosion of social networking. The Network IS the Computer. We are all looking for the hot-spot where we can connect.
Yet, what is true for our electronic devices is even more true for us. We are created to be connected. In particular, we are created to be connected to the God from whom we draw all life and purpose. God established this connection in the beginning. The Bible says that when “the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7). What was this “breath of life?” The Scripture reveals that this was the Holy Spirit indwelling man to enable the first man, Adam, to be connected to God. Notice that the Bible says it is this “breath of life” that makes man truly alive. From the very beginning the Bible makes it plain that purpose and life depend upon our access, our connection, to the Lord. Man is made for wireless connection.
But before long, however, something deadly happened to Adam and his wife, Eve. They were tempted by the devil, who came to them in the form of a serpent. They were tempted not to believe God’s Word but to live life their own way, not dependent on the “breath of life,” the Holy Spirit that God had given to connect them to Him. They disobeyed God and from that day, God’s Holy Spirit was withdrawn from man. Adam’s connection to God was broken. His access was denied. Though he remained physically alive, the Bible speaks of Adam as a dead man. We, his offspring, are also “dead in sins and transgressions” by nature and from birth. We are disconnected from God and we have no access.
Just as no network device can force its way onto a network if there is no access, we cannot reestablish the connection to God by ourselves. We think that we can find some way to repair the connection ourselves, on our own terms. Throughout human history men have tried to find their own way to restore this broken connection. They devised false religions, they drew lines in the Peruvian desert, they sacrificed every kind of animal imaginable. They even sacrificed their own children. They built towers to reach up to the heavens. They climbed high mountains. They tried in vain to live morally upright lives. They tried to do all the right religious acts, hoping that somehow they might impress God or at least appease His wrath.
God revealed to them His unattainably high requirements in His Word to show them that all their works were insufficient. In the Law man is driven to look to God alone for the solution to this broken connection. Yet, man keeps trying to hack into God’s network. Every attempt to access God through some connection other than the one He offers is simply more unbelief and disobedience. Attempts to hack God result in even more brokenness and disconnection. Our connection is hopelessly broken because we are broken by sin. Like many of our electronic devices, if they are broken, the instruction manual does not help, it only drives us to look to the manufacturer for the fix.
But our broken connection is not just a mechanical dysfunction. In our case, it is rebellion against God. The Bible calls it sin. Sin is offensive to God, because it flows from unwillingness to believe and act upon His Word to us. Sin robs God of His glory as the Lord of all creation. When we sin, we take the moral authority that belongs to God upon ourselves. The Bible says that God is perfectly just. He must put down our rebellion. He must judge us for our sin. Yet, God is also merciful. He has love for his broken creatures. He desires to restore the connection and breathe into us again the “breath of life” that makes us real living beings. How can God be both just and merciful? This seems to be impossible. What hope can we have that God will be merciful to us?
The Scripture gives us a most unexpected answer. The Bible says that God is both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. “(Romans 3:26 ESV) Jesus is God’s one and only begotten Son. He is fully God and fully man. Together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus is part of the Triune God; one God who exists in three persons, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Because Jesus is fully God he is able to perfectly keep the moral law of God for us – something no ordinary man can do. Because Jesus is fully man, tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin He is able to bear God’s judgment against sin executed in death and separation from fellowship with the Father. Jesus did not deserve this judgment. He bore it for us – in our place, on our behalf, instead of us. Jesus did this by laying down his life for us, being crucified unjustly during the time of the Roman Empire. The Bible says, that “God demonstrated His love, His mercy for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 ESV)
We deserve to be put to death eternally by God for our sin, but Jesus bore God’s judgment in the place of those who accept Him as Lord and Savior. But Jesus did not remain in the grave. The Bible tells us that on the third day after his execution He rose from the dead to declare victory over sin and death. The Bible says that because He was raised, we too may be raised with Him to walk in the newness of life.” Jesus conquered sin and death by his obedience to God, even obedience to death on the cross. Jesus does this for sinful men who put their faith in his sacrifice on their behalf and commit their lives to follow Him.
This faith, God gives to sinners to understand their sin, their separation from God, and God’s merciful provision for them. This faith includes repentance, which simply means that we turn away from our selfish, sinful lives and turn to Christ. In the Bible, the Lord calls us to “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22 ESV) This faith includes a commitment to follow Jesus and to allow Him to lead us. He invites us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
When we place our faith in Jesus as our substitute, as our Savior, and commit to trust Him and to follow Him as Lord, then he grants us the indwelling Holy Spirit and the connection, broken so long ago, when the breath of life was withdrawn from Adam and all his natural offspring, is restored. Again we become living beings and God becomes again our Father.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:1-6 ESV)
Until the connection is restored, our lives are broken and obsolete. Not only is our connection to God destroyed by our sin, but our connections to everyone else are impeded by our sin. When the connection is restored, we are brought from death to life — real life. It is in our connection to God through Christ Jesus that we have life.
We can only have this connection, this access, through faith in Jesus, however. Jesus, himself, said. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” ( John 14:6) According to Jesus, there are no other ways to God. When we trust in Jesus, however, we have access, full access to God, access that is completely free, access that never has any down-time, access that lasts forever. The Scripture tells us.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2 ESV)
When we are granted access to God through faith in Christ, then we are also granted access to intimate and lasting fellowship with His people, the Church. For man was forged by God in the beginning for connections. The only thing God created that was declared “not good” was man’s aloneness. God created us to be connected to others by being connected to Him. Our sin prevents this connection, but God’s Son restores it.
Are you connected? Why are you waiting? There is nothing that you must clean up or do.
- Simply pray that God would grant you the faith to believe that Jesus Christ died for sinners and was raised again to life again on the third day to destroy the power of sin and death and to restore you to God.
- Pray that God will grant you repentance so that you can turn away from following your own selfish desires and to following Christ.
- Pray that God will direct you to a Church where you can be discipled and taught and where you can serve the Lord and His people.
The Lord’s disciple, Simon Peter was once asked, “what must we do to be saved?” Peter’s simple answer was, “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Are you part of everyone? Call upon the name of the Lord today and get connected to Jesus and His people. Get connected today. The Bible says, “today is the day of salvation.”. For the network IS the computer. There is no real life without this connection.