This is a new tract I wrote up and making available. Download and use it if you'd like!
When my wife and children go away for the week, I live the stereotypical bachelor’s life. As a result, the house doesn’t typically have that “woman’s touch” that makes it so warm and inviting.
On one of these occasions a friend of mine came over to hang out. When we entered the house I did a quick breeze through to clean up the worst of the mess. I didn’t worry that my tidying up left much to be desired. I knew my friend would not be concerned about the smaller things still scattered around the room.
Many people view their life with God in the same way. We think that God will accept us as long as our lives are somewhat tidy. We know those whose sins are flagrant and scandalous deserve to go to hell. However, God isn’t so picky as to worry about some of the smaller sins that clutter up our lives… right?
Wrong. The Bible makes it quite clear God hates even the smallest infraction of his law, and he will not overlook any of them.
Consider the very first sin. Adam and Eve were given only one stipulation. God commanded them not to eat of the fruit of one particular tree in the midst of the vast paradise spread before them. Despite the prohibition they ate the fruit, and the consequences were disastrous. They were expelled from God’s presence, given over to live a life of misery, and condemned to die.
All that for eating one little piece of fruit!
The Bible makes it clear that God takes sin very seriously. That’s because God is infinitely holy. Since he is infinitely holy, even the slightest transgression of his law is infinitely evil and deserves an infinite punishment.
Some will object and say, “But God is a God of love! How can he be that austere?” It is true, God is love. However, we must always remember that God loves his own honor first and foremost. So whatever offends God must be dealt with in such a manner so as to defend his honor.
That obviously puts us in a dilemma. If God really is that picky, it means we are all liable to his wrath and curse. Even if we had only one “little” sin for which we were accountable (and, of course, we have many), O what a dreadful punishment that would be!
The good news is that there is a remedy for our predicament. The seriousness of sin is dealt with in the cross of Jesus Christ. When Christ went to the cross, he died a painful and shameful death to atone for all sin, be it great or “small.” That means he died in our place. He took the curse that was due to us for our sin and paid the penalty in full.
Moreover, Jesus’ life was the tidy life God requires. He never sinned once in all the days he lived. As a result, his life can make us acceptable to God.
In essence, Jesus makes it possible for sinners of all sorts to be right with a picky God. And if you wish to be delivered from the sins that still clutter up your life, all you have to do is this: acknowledge that your life does not measure up to God’s perfect standard and turn to Jesus. When you do that, the life Jesus lived will be transferred to you, and all your sin will be wiped away. You will never need to fear standing before God because he will not count one of your sins against you. When he looks upon you, he will only see the perfect life of Christ.
If you would like to receive Jesus as your Savior, you can use this prayer as a guide:
Dear God, I might not be a murderer or a horrendous villain in the world’s eyes, but I do know that I am a sinner. As such I know too that I deserve to be punished. But I am sorry for the things I’ve done. I pray that you would forgive me. Thank you for sending Jesus to live and die for me. I know that only he could live the life I could not, and I want him to be my savior.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.