by Leon Hartwell
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) – Evangelist Scott Dawson edified the Truett-McConnell College student body during a convicting chapel service on Thursday, April 9th.
“I think it’s a God given desire inside every one of us to want to make our lives count. We don’t just want to be a blip on the human radar and then just go out into oblivion. Every one of us wants our life to count,” Dawson said at the beginning of his message.
Sharing from Galatians 6:14, Dawson said of the Apostle Paul: “Paul’s life has been impacted by the gospel.” He made it clear that if people want their lives to matter, they can learn from Paul’s teachings: “If your life is going to matter, you’re going to have to be spiritual. America is just wide open with spirituality. When we use the term spiritual, we realize that Scripture (Paul, specifically) gives us three states of mankind.”
A lesson from the Apostle Paul
Describing these states, Dawson shared the first one being the natural state. “We understand that we were birthed into this world in a natural state. That simply means we’re lost,” he said. “We come into this world lost. I’m not saying you’re a bad person. I’m not even saying you’re an amoral person. I’m saying you’re in your natural state: you’re apart from God.”
Dawson went on to explain the cause of humanity’s lost state using the book of Genesis. He described the original state of Adam and Eve and how their sin led to humanity’s current sinful state of being.
“Every one of us – I mean, it should not shock us that we have one thing in common. We’re all sinners.”
He continued relating the states of mankind saying, “The second state of mankind that Paul refers to is that of a carnal man. That’s the person that would say ‘I know Jesus,’ but by their lifestyle, they reveal that they really don’t.” He then offered a warning, “If you’re not careful, you can get in a mindset where you know the jargon, you know the motions, you know how to jockey through situations, but there’s never been a life-change that’s taken place.”
A life-changing experience
He then spoke of Jesus and the salvation He offers saying: “You know what? In the south, you can be vaccinated by Jesus, or you can be infected with Jesus. If you’re vaccinated with Jesus, you get just enough of Him inside of you where you can go to a Christian college, you can sing the songs, you can even tolerate the message, but when you walk out the door, there’s never been life-change taken place.”
Dawson used this analogy to clarify Paul’s point in chapter 6 of Galatians. He pointed out that true life-change cannot occur in either a carnal or a natural state, but rather, a spiritual state of being.
Flipping back to chapter 5 in Galatians, Dawson read about the works of the flesh versus the works of the spirit. Using this as a guideline to determine a person’s state of being, he challenged students to examine themselves and figure out which state of being they belong to.
Relating to Paul’s convicting warning, he said: “Those who practice the habitual lifestyle of such [works of the flesh] things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Dawson then described the spiritual state, which is relative to the works of the Holy Spirit. “Let me ask you this morning, where are you, natural, carnal, or spiritual? If your life is going to count, you’re going to be infected with the disease of Jesus.”
The second characteristic Paul writes about in Galatians is humility. Dawson said, “I think most of us think about ourselves a little too much. You know what a haughty spirit is? It’s when you’ve got too much swag. It’s when you’ve got just a little too much step in the giddy-up.”
Describing the short life of evangelist William Borden, Dawson shared Borden’s famous words: “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets.”
“Today, if you’re going to make your life count, some of you just need to…grow up. You just need to be persistent. You’ve got one shot at this thing called life. Make your life count.”
Leon is a junior English major and freelance writer for TMC.
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