Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Enough

"I think I am a good person." Blind with a sinful nature, my friend refused to acknowledge her need for a Savior. The words, cloaked in ignorant pride, pierced my heart and troubled my soul.

Foolishly, I too once believed I was "good enough" for God. After all, I almost always told the truth. And I would never consider stealing or murder, you know the BIG sins. Surely, God was more concerned about the truly evil people in the world than He was about my mistakes. I was "good" enough. Unfortunately, my eyes were veiled to the consequences of my sin.

It is a scenario played out daily to all who are born with a sinful nature, bent towards rebellion against God. No matter how "good" we think we are, our sinful nature remains. Because of this, "all share a common destiny, the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. as it is with the good man, so with the sinner. This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun. The same destiny overtakes all." (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3) Put simply, sin is sin. There is no sliding scale for "big" or "small" sins. All sin separates us from God.

Which leads us to Good Friday. Scripture tells us "If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible." (Leviticus 5:17 NIV) Our Heavenly Father, righteous and Holy, knew we were helpless to recognize our terminal condition. Regardless of how we see ourselves, God painfully witnessed that, "all have turned way, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Romans 3:12) All except Christ. In Him, we find redemption for "the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:7 NIV)

Our Savior came to conquor sin. We are told,"as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. ...On the third day he will be raised to life!"--Matthew 20:17-19. Jesus knew what was lay ahead when he placed his Holy feet on the path to Jeruselum.

Christ was aware of all that awaited him. The betrayal. The flogging. The scourging. The crcifixtion. The triumph over sin. Our Savior saw it all. In his goodness, Jesus took the broken road that led to the Cross. It was the only way to restore us to God. For Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. Though we arrogantly deny our sinful position, we are told:

All have turned aside,
they have together become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one." (Psalm 14:3 NIV)

Deceived by our enemy and blind to our sinful nature, we are able to justify our human tendency toward rebellion. Born divine but fully man, Jesus Christ led a perfect sinless life. He who knew no sin, triumphed over sin, taking our punishment on the Cross. He never stumbled, nor did He fall. Instead, Jesus took the consequences from the fall of man on his scourged shoulders and saved us all from certain death. Through His blood alone, we are made righteous, reconciled to our Holy God. For "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)

The painful truth is we cannot be good enough. Still, in His great love for us ALL, God sent us the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23 NIV)Instead of turning his eyes away from sinful man, Christ took our sins to the cross and redeemed us with His blood. He, alone, is good enough.

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