Daily Office Thoughts: 07/09/17

For Those Ruled By Sin.

“While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people. It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6–8

There was a time that I thought that I was going to heaven. With absolute certainty. I was well-versed in the vast number of reasons on why other people were going to hell. All I had to do was not do any of those things, and to inform others who were doing those things that they should want to go to heaven like me and stop doing those things.

Come to find out I was more like the Pharisees in the Gospels than I was like those who first flocked to Jesus.

Those who first flocked to Jesus were those who had been pushed to the margins, on the “outs” with God because they didn’t meet certain rules and conditions that had been imposed by the religious elite.

Jesus rarely spoke ill of people but when he did it was the self-righteous hypocrites who condemned others for certain sins while taking a pass on their own.

I was a hypocrite pointing out all the splinters in the eyes of others while taking my righteous stand before them with a plank in my own. And it wasn’t until I admitted my hypocrisy that I finally surrendered my life to Jesus.

It wasn’t until I came to understand in full what Paul had wrote:

“This saying is reliable and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” — and I’m the biggest sinner of all.” 1 Timothy 1:15

I came to see myself as the biggest sinner in the world. Not that I think I’m a bad person. At least, I try not to be. But I am the biggest sinner in the world because I’m the one who has to look myself in the mirror every morning.

Yet that’s one of the faces Jesus saw when he gazed out from the cross. Yours too. One of those to whom he prayed, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.” One of those he died to save.

Jesus didn’t come to save the people who followed the rules. He came to free those who were ruled by sin.

That’s all of us. Sinners, hypocrites alike. With our splinters and our planks. Yet with a Savior who died for those such as us, that we might live and love such as him.

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