Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Most of us do. However, our definition of “good” is very different from what God has set as His standard of goodness- The Ten Commandments. Please take a few minutes and honestly measure yourself against God’s law. Have you always obeyed the following?
1. You shall have no other gods before Me. (Have you always loved God above all else?)
2. You shall not make yourself an idol. (Have you made a god in your mind that you're more comfortable with, a god to suit yourself?)
3. You shall not take God's name in vain. (Have you ever used God's holy Name as a cuss word?)
4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You shall not murder. (God considers hatred to be as murder).
7. You shall not commit adultery. ("Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" Matthew 5:27-28; this also includes sex before marriage).
8. You shall not steal. (Have you ever stolen anything? the value of the item is irrelevant).
9. You shall not lie. (Have you lied even once? Including answering these questions).
10. You shall not covet. (Have you ever jealously desired what belongs to others?)
So, how did you do? If you’re like me you may be realizing you are not quite as good as you thought. I was basing my goodness on others around me. Compared to most people I was a good person. Unfortunately, God does not compare us with anyone else. He expects us to keep all His commandments in order to go to heaven.
To me it seemed unfair of God to set a standard that is impossible to meet. Wouldn’t a good and loving God overlook my sins? A friend used this analogy to help me see another perspective.
God’s goodness is the very reason he cannot overlook our sin. Let’s say your mom went out one afternoon to run errands. As she hopped out of her car at the bank, a man who just robbed the bank ran out and demanded her car. She says “take it-here are the keys”! He snatches the keys from her trembling hands, hops in her car then suddenly turns and shoots her in the head. The cops pull in and arrest him. When he faced the judge for sentencing, the man says, “I promise I won’t rob another bank, I’m sorry for killing that lady, and besides you are a very good judge, you love people and you are forgiving so I’m sure you’ll overlook my crime right?” If the judge says “yes I am good and loving and since you promise you won’t kill anyone else, I’ll let you go free”. Is he a good judge? NO, he is a corrupt judge! God will not overlook sin because he can’t, He is a good and just God.
I began to grasp the severity of my situation -God is good and I am not good! I know that I have lied, cheated, stolen, lusted in my heart not to mention used God’s name in vain innumerable times. If I am honest with myself, I know I am guilty and deserve punishment. But I could never keep all the commandments so what hope is there? My friend explained to me that God Himself made a way where His justice and His goodness could meet. He said,
We broke God’s law and deserve punishment, but God became a man and took our punishment on Himself. The Bible says God became flesh being conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin. Jesus then lived a perfect and sinless life, willingly died a cruel death on a cross, suffered the wrath of God His father for our sin, then on the third day God raised Jesus to life again. That means God can forgive our sins because Jesus took our punishment. We can be set free based on what Jesus did for us.
I realized that I am the thief and the murderer in the story. But after the good judge sentences me to the death, a man steps out from the crowd and says “I will die in her place because I love her”.
My heart was captured by this demonstration of sacrificial love so I asked my friend to share more about Jesus. He said,
You must repent, which simply means change your mind, and believe on the name of Jesus and you will be saved. What that means is you must admit that you have broken God’s laws and you deserve His punishment. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and trust that He died for your sins.
It seemed too simple, what does it mean to put all my trust in Jesus? He explained how real faith plays itself out in our daily lives using the concept of a parachute to help me get the full picture.
If you are in a plane and you say you believe in the parachute but you don’t actually put it on, when the plane goes down you will die; you have to put the parachute on! In the same way when you accept the free gift of Salvation through faith in Christ you trust Him for everything. You love the things He loves and you hate the things He hates, you want to talk to Him through prayer and spend time with Him. You run to Him when you fail and run to Him when you succeed as well. Your behaviors change because you love Him and want to please him. It is a relationship!
But Don’t wait he warned,
If you die in your sins there is no second chance. God will give you justice and you will end up in Hell apart from Him forever. Either you take the punishment for your sins or you put your trust in Jesus who took the punishment for you. Don’t try to pacify yourself by thinking you are a good person. The Bible says there is none good but God alone.
Because I still had doubts and many questions, I decided to read The Bible for myself. I began to realize that God is not like me, He is Holy and Perfect. I had made a god of my own imagination and it quickly became evident the god I had created in my mind was not God at all. God reveals himself in the Bible and there I found the One True God. It became clear that what I consider a small mistake, God considers sin and because He is “a good judge” He must punish all sin. But God does not want anyone to go to hell, that is why he made a way so we don’t have to.
I still don’t understand everything but thankfully I didn’t wait to get it all figured out. I confessed to God that I am a sinner who broke His laws and I put my full trust and faith in His son Jesus. From that very moment I knew God saved me and my life would never be the same. Now Christ is my Lord and Savior as well as my friend. I love to spend time with Him in prayer and our relationship continues to deepen as I read The Bible, attend church and participate in a bible study group.
Please don’t dismiss what I have shared with you and please don’t wait, we are not promised a tomorrow. You can be saved from the punishment of your sins this very moment. Simply talk to God in prayer, acknowledge that you have broken His laws and you want forgiveness and a relationship with Him. Put your full trust in Christ alone! Jesus said, “I am the truth, the way, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14:6. Trust in Jesus to be saved.
If you have any questions or would like to talk to someone more about how to pursue a relationship with Christ write us a note and leave your name and contact information.