The Power That Creates New Life from Dead Things

There are times when certain people say things that are so theologically loaded that the significance of what they have said can fly right by us. Here in "The O.C.", I think we're all a bit more guilty than many of being too busy to take the time to unpack these words that we hear. You know the kind—the ones that feel a little bit like a punch to the stomach.
Paul Washer is a preacher of unusual gifting and experience. In a particularly challenging sermon given by Washer just a few years ago, he said the following words which, shall we say, "caught my attention."

"There is a greater manifestation of the power of God in the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit than in the creation of the world, of the universe, because he created the world ex nihilo out of nothing. But he recreates a man out of a corrupt mass." —Paul Washer

Starting from zero and creating the universe out of nothing is one of the greatest miracles we recognize—in fact, theologians call the witness that the miracle of creation provides to all mankind as "General Revelation." As in, "Generally, you'd have to be blind not put together that something much bigger and greater than you made all of this." But what of me? Is the prospect of creating new life from a "corrupt mass" like myself the same task? Picture this in your mind. If you were a carpenter and decided to build a dining room table, would it be an easier job if you could start from newly felled lumber—a virtual blank slate—or from a hodge-podge of second-hand furniture that was all missing pieces or badly smashed and burned? As I've grown older, God has mercifully allowed his Holy Spirit to convict me of my desperate need for grace. I used to think that I was more like the newly felled tree, perhaps with a few knots or blemishes, but certainly not the wreck of a sinner that I turned into as the fullness of my depravity bore its ugly fruit. Now, with the clarity of a greater knowledge of Jesus and His perfection, I can see how far off the mark my life has been. Thankfully, God's salvation is His work and not mine. Otherwise, I'd have reason for a lot of worry. Thankfully, I can look at the work of creation and feel confident that the God who can speak everything I see into existence is more than capable of giving new life where, before, there was a dead sinner.