Two Kinds of People: Perfect…Or Sinful.
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10 NIV).
Wow. That’s sobering…some spiritual caffeine on a Tuesday morning to wake us up to what’s really important!
Why is the truth revealed in this verse so important?
1. It reminds us of the seriousness of sin. Though of course different sins cause different levels of earthly pain/suffering for ourselves and others (please click HERE for more thoughts on sin), all sin is theologically serious and Personally serious for God–the sins of humans nailed God’s only Son to an excruciating and humiliating cross. We wouldn’t want even the smallest needle stabbed into the bodies of our loved ones, so let’s remember that the next time we are playfully toying with a “small sin.”
2. It keeps us from feeling good about our “mistakes.” When I was teenager and my parents caught me doing something wrong, I would often retort, “Well at least I’m not doing cocaine!” Ah, the logic of a 16 year old male brain. We adults do this too, though–we see another person commit a “really bad sin” and we are frequently satisfied inside that we have never done such a thing or at least we “just can’t understand” how a person could do something so reprehensible. Jesus examines a similar situation in the Bible (please click HERE for Luke 18:9-14) and rebukes the proud person for thinking he was somehow in a better spiritual position than another person. Instead of using the sins of others to feel good about our own, we should weep over even the slightest ways that we disrespect God and hurt others made in His image.
3. It helps us avoid comparing our sins against others’ sins. “I’m not perfect, but I’m no Hitler!” You may not be Hitler, but you are in the same group as him–sinner. There are no “box seats” in Sin Stadium–every view is nosebleed, every space is standing-room-only, every ticket price costs you your immortal life (unless you allow Jesus to redeem you–please click HERE for more info on salvation/redemption). Just as their aren’t different levels of being pregnant–you’re either pregnant or not; one pregnant woman is not more or less pregnant than another–in God’s perspective there are two groups of people: perfect (only Jesus!) or sinful (everyone else). There’s no such thing as a “less filthy” pig in a pig-pen.
4. It reminds us of our desperate need for a Savior. If committing certain crimes once can get you locked in prison for the rest of your earthly life, how much more serious is it if everyday we commit EVERY CRIME all at once against a perfect and holy God? Yikes. And out of that seemingly hopeless situation God–Whom we all have Personally disrespected and wronged–chose to provide an offer of clemency/forgiveness (for past, present, AND FUTURE sins) written on the parchment of the Cross with the ink of the blood of His only Son Jesus: that whoever–NO MATTER WHAT WE HAVE DONE/NOT DONE–genuinely trusts in Jesus as their Forgiver, such people will be forgiven forever! And not only that, but once forgiven by Jesus, we get to move out of the Sinful Group and into the Perfect Group, right alongside the Lord Jesus Himself forever (please click HERE for Hebrews 10:14).
WOW! What an offer…what a verse of Scripture…what a Truth of God that we could never figure out on our own.
May we genuinely accept God’s loving offer of clemency today…right now…immediately…so that we can finally stop running from, and start living for, the One Who “died to be our Savior and lives to be our King” (Aaron Shust).