"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient
led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures,
passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness,
but according to his own mercy,
by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by his grace,
we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
I love all the "Buts" in Scripture. Just when everything was hopeless, when the darkness had closed in all around, God appears! We were hopeless, BUT, God stepped in. For all of human history, we were hopeless wanderers, lost and left to die in our own vices. But, about 2000 years ago, God our Savior entered human history in real time. Jesus is the hero. He saves us. This is the story of all life. We need a hero to rescue us. Jesus is that Hero. He entered the scene with the mission to rescue his people. In order to do that, he had to live the perfect human life (so he could count it towards us), die the death that we deserve (substituting for our sin) and resurrect from the dead, thus conquering death and defeating sin once and for all. The Hero has won, he has accomplished his mission. Some 2000 years later, we are still characters in this same story. I'm glad the Hero has rescued me.