It is partly because sin does not provoke our own wrath that we do not believe that sin provokes the wrath of God. — R.W. Dale
The Bible and life are filled with stunning contrasts. We need those contrasts to put things in perspective. What's one of the most important contrasts? It's the contrast between what life looks like when we are “in Christ” and what life looks like for someone who is “out of Christ.” (I just made that phrase up. Don't go looking for it in your concordance!)
Without that contrast we lose the “full picture”—we lose perspective on the Great Story of the Gospel we are living in. When that happens, we lose the reference point for our true identity in Christ as we forget who we would have been apart from Him:
“There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they don't know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)
Let's be clear about this: someone who is “out of Christ” is also out of luck. It's the crisis: There is simply no way that a holy and just God could have fellowship with someone like that. Be eternally thankful that the story doesn't end there!
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Righteous Father, may the contrast between these two passages soak deep into my soul… and then may the truth of who I am in Christ leak out into my life. Amen.