This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
John 5:39-40 records Jesus speaking to a group of Pharisees, who thought they were going, to "make it" on their own -"You diligently study the Scriptures, because you think that, by them, you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures, that testify about Me, and yet you refuse to come to Me, to have life."
When Paul was writing to the Church in Rome he frames our need for God, the God we know in Jesus, in terms of 'sin' and 'salvation'. We're all sinners (we all have a broken relationship with God) and God's purpose is salvation.
Paul argues that none of us is exempt; we all need salvation. In the second part of Chapter 2 Paul argues that, like the Pharisees Jesus spoke of, even the religious person needs forgiveness and salvation.