Monday, August 19, 2013
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV).
Behold, God’s standard of righteousness, of which we all fall short!
Earlier, we briefly mentioned the three types of religious people we meet on a daily basis: (1) those who are too self-righteous to admit that they are sinners, (2) those who are attempting to obey a set of rules to keep God happy and hopefully merit His favor to get them into heaven, and (3) those who believe that their imperfections and transgressions will be dealt with in purgatorial flames. The Bible believer simply cannot hold to any of these viewpoints:
- “I AM GOOD ENOUGH ALREADY” — This viewpoint (self-righteousness) is flawed. When compared to some, we appear good, but when compared to others, we appear bad. Determining our “goodness” by focusing on someone else’s sins is unwise, for others also use our sins to establish their “goodness.” Using this system, one can never definitively conclude who is good and who is not! The standard is not you, I, or any other sinful creature—the standard of righteousness is God (today’s Scripture).
- “I AM TRYING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH” — This viewpoint (self-reformation) is also defective. No matter what set of rules we attempt to keep, we never can keep them perfectly. Although we can keep from committing certain types of sins and we can stop certain sins, we still have plenty of other sins that complicate our lives. How can God be pleased with our “good” deeds when He is too offended by our sins?
- “I WILL BE GOOD ENOUGH AFTER PURGATORY” — This viewpoint (self-suffering) is faulty, too. Can a person suffering in flames of fire really burn away his or her wicked nature and all its resultant sins? Nay, the only flames in the afterlife of which the Bible warns are hell and the lake of fire, where people are never reformed or purified, only preserved and punished!
Dear readers, I warn you in love that these three viewpoints can be summarized as self-delusion. They ignore the very reason why Jesus Christ came to this planet in the first place…!