We Fall Short of God’s Standard

 

Affirmation 3

God has a standard: His Law. According to God’s Law, we all stand rightfully condemned as sinners.

 

 

This isn’t a pleasant thing to hear or think about,  but we are interested in the truth of the matter aren’t we?  If God exists and has revealed himself, doesn’t the Creator have the right and authority to impose his standard upon his creation?From the beginning, God’s moral Law (the Ten Commandments* —particularly as taught by Jesus Christ)  was supposed to be taught so that we would know our current predicament. We are sinners separated from an unspeakably Holy God. Do you doubt this? Have you ever lied? stolen anything (regardless of value)? looked upon someone with lust (Jesus called this adultery of the heart)?  [That’s only 3 of them… how are you doing so far?] This makes you a sinner.  Take no comfort in the fact that everyone else is because you will not be judged on a curve.

Have you ever been asked if you were “saved?”Have you ever wondered “from what?”We need to be saved from God’s perfect and righteous judgment of our sin. What can you do to save yourself? —-Nothing. The Law leaves us helpless…. in need of a Savior.

Unloving?

Isn’t it unloving to tell people they are sinners?  A well known TV preacher once remarked:

“I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition.”

So shouldn’t we find a nicer way?

A Helpful Analogy

Consider the case of a physician who has examined a patient and concluded beyond any doubt that the patient has a grave disease.  Without a cure the patient will surely die.  To complicate matters, the patient feels fine and has no idea there is a problem; and the only cure is considered by many to be inconvenient, distasteful, or even foolish.

Questions to Ponder

  1. Is it unloving for the doctor to tell the patient his condition?
  2. Instead of telling the patient about his condition, would it be better to disguise the cure?  Perhaps coat it with candy, and attempt to fool the patient into taking them because they are "better than Skittles?"
  3. Since the patient doesn’t know his condition, perhaps the physician can find something the patient needs or wants and convince him the cure he offers will help the patient with his felt-need?  ("This will help you lose weight" or "… improve your self-esteem" or "… lower your golf handicap")
  4. If the doctor faithfully and truthfully explains to the patient his condition, patiently answering all of his questions or helping him find the answer to his questions, until the patient is convinced of the truth of his condition.  How much of a sales pitch or candy coating will the cure require?

 

Unfortunately, because the modern (and now post-modern) church has answered the first question above wrongly, she has been in a futile struggle with those methods revealed in questions two and three.  As physicians bringing the cure (Grace) to the patients (sinners), we must faithfully return to the method of the forth question.  No, it is not pleasant to tell the bad news to the patient, but it is the loving (and obedient) thing to do.