2002-12-09 - Common Errors
Genesis 8:21 The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.
Second error: "I have never injured any one, I have never been a Swearer, a Robber, or a Murderer, like others: if I am not saved, what will become of multitudes?"
The two other editions of this series can be found on the cfdevotionals.org web site from the two previous Monday's. Please don't write and request copies of previous installments. I don't keep copies. They can easily be obtained on the web at http://www.cfdevotionals.org. This web site is so well laid out, with no advertisements, and such a nice clean useful tool for Christian's that I encourage you to get to know it. There will be seven more in this series after this one.
This error is kind of the, "I'm not as bad as so and so, and therefore I am sure I will saved," error. It is very easy to look about us and see all the sin, pain, suffering, and think that since we had nothing to do with that, what is wrong with us? We can secretly say in our own hearts that we are simply not as bad as others. Such thoughts may be true. Maybe we are not as bad as some are, but that has nothing to do with salvation. We must remember Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Or even more to the point is Romans 1:12, "There is none that does good, no not one." I point you also to the verse we started with.
There are strong declarations to our sinfulness throughout the Bible. Romans 3:19 tells us why; "That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." Think about your character. Remember that the standard is perfection. Can you honestly say that all your thoughts, manners, words, actions and the like are driven by sole motivation of seeking God's glory. Of course you can't, no one can. The standard for us is not Joe Smith, next door neighbor. Our standard is perfection, and none of us measure up to it. How many of us fulfill Deuteronomy 6:5, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." These words are repeated by Christ in Mark 12:30.
Can you honestly say that every part of you pulsates and longs to please the Lord Jesus Christ? That is the standard. This is why comparisons to others are of little use. We stand before God alone, or we stand clothed in Christ's righteousness. This is what makes this an error. Maybe it is not common for you, but if you examine your heart you might find it to be an error that has roots in your soul. We need to diss-delude ourselves. "The heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?," Jeremiah 17:9.
Being free from the "huge" sins will not excuse us from the guilt of pride, wicked thoughts, sensual desires, and the secret sins we all hope no one finds out. Our only hope is Jesus Christ. He, as God, took our nature, lived a sinless life, and died a shameful death for our sins. He did it "to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself," Hebrews 9:6. We are warned that if we do not repent of our sin we will perish, Luke 13:3, 5.
I could pile on verse after verse here, but let me summarize. The issue is not how bad we are, but rather the fact that we are all tainted by sin. We can't compare ourselves to so-and-so, and conclude that we are not as bad as them. Maybe we are not as bad as them, but the problem for us is that we all still have indwelling sin, and when we meet God on that judicial day, unless we stand clothed in the righteousness of Christ, we stand alone clothed in our sin. Without Christ's atonement and holiness, it matters not if we are only guilty of small sins. Sin defiles us and without Christ we will be condemned to an eternity outside the presence of God. I urge you to not seek to view yourselves by your goodness (which is the error is dealing with), but rather by the standard of perfection. Then I urge you to rest in the grace, mercy and forgiveness that is found in Christ alone.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God John 3:3.
Soli Deo Gloria,