I don't know about you, but this year has been a real learning experience so far. Basically, I’ve learned two things in this past year that I think we could all benefit from:
I am flawed. I owe a debt that I can never repay. I’m imperfect in every stretch of the word. My imperfection is the result of sin that I cannot on my own overcome or compensate for. I was born stained with sin, like when you wear white pants and accidentally sit down on a muddy park bench… Gross, right?
God is perfect. His perfect love and sacrifice cleans me of all my imperfections and makes me whole again where I am lacking. He overcame my sin and your sin, everybody’s sin. He took it and killed it as he died on the cross and rose again in victory over death. He was the perfect atonement for the debt I owed.
Now, It’s not that I hadn’t known this before, at least in the sense that I could tell you all these things and know it was true. But the thing is, I didn't quite understand completely what it meant to be imperfect on my own ability, at least until life seemed to hustle into a dead sprint while I was hopping on one leg trying desperately to keep up pace with everything going on. In other words, I figured out I really really can’t be perfect on my own.
This isn't just a high school kid problem, this is a global pandemic on all human kind. Paul puts this into perspective in Romans 3:10...
“as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God.”
Then he goes further than that and plainly says in verse 23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
I’m sorry, did you think you were doing pretty good there? Maybe every now and then you’re ‘pretty good,’ but even one stain ruins the whole pair of pants, ergo- they are thoroughly imperfect. And trust me, you’re gonna need a little more than detergent to wash that stain out.
But wait! There’s good stuff right after that! There’s a second part to that sentence!
Verses 24-26: “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
BOOM! Did you catch all that? If not, please go back and read that as many times as you need, I’ll wait here.
We are ALL in debt, we are all unable to pay it back because we all fall short of perfection, and perfection is what is required of us to be with God. BUT God gave himself as a sacrifice to pay back a debt we never could. He doesn't even ask us to work our way up to earn this payment, its a free gift! All we have to do is have faith in his word that he payed our debt. He is the only one perfect enough to give such gift. He gave us the gift of Eternal Life
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I pray that you take this to heart when you feel like you’re messed up. I mean, honestly, you are. I am. We all are. But we have a perfect, loving, faithful Savior who covers our imperfections and paid our debts!
JESUS loves you literally to death, and even beyond that.