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Sharing the Gospel isn’t about … “Hey, you aren’t living right, your way is wrong, my way is right – here’s a list I compiled… change these things and live like me!” That’s pointing at other people’s sin and our mask of perfection. That’s pointing at how bad and wrong other people are, and how ‘right’ we are… None of us are picture perfect examples of Christianity for people to follow… So what do we do?
First, we need to realize that we are ALL sinners. No one person is better than another – so who are we to look down on other people for their mistakes? Because of our sin, we are all in desperate need of God and his grace. Secondly we need to realize that it is finished. The work is done. Jesus died on the cross so that we could be forgiven. There aren’t enough good works in the world for us to complete that would help us earn God’s grace and forgiveness. It is simply given to us. All we have to do is accept it. God loves us and forgives us no matter what.
So first– we’re all sinners.
Second– the price is paid, it is finished, the victory is won, our sin is forgiven!
There is a part three to remember – we will ALWAYS sin and we will ALWAYS need God’s grace. It’s not “Oh I said the sinners prayer, I’m no longer a sinner, I no longer need God”. When we give our lives to Christ, sin no longer REIGNS, but it does REMAIN.
Romans 7:17-25 The Message:
But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
We all make mistakes. We don’t graduate beyond our need for Christ, our need for the cross.
The Gospel story points towards God and His love for us. It points to the cross.
If we point to the cross we are living by compassion, and grace. If we point at sin we are living by comparison and the law. The next time we have the urge to point a finger, let it not be at somebody’s mistake, but the CROSS, to the one perfect example of God and Christianity- Jesus Christ. He is ultimate grace, love, forgiveness, hope, and purpose. He gives life.