There are many misconceptions about the Christian faith – many. These misconceptions obscure the truth, and they stop people finding out what they need to know about this world and this life.
One such very serious misconception is that to be a Christian you must be a good person! That once you make that commitment, you will have to be good thereafter. What a burden to lay on any one’s shoulders !
Jesus stated explicitly that none is good save God himself alone. NONE.
That is the point. That is why Jesus came. If we were already such wonderful people, so good and right, why would we need to be saved from our selfish sinfulness ? We wouldn’t, would we !
The point is that we human beings have a real problem with being wrong and getting it wrong. Even the best of us have pride, or hatred, or jealousy, or unforgiveness in our hearts somewhere, at some time with regard to someone or other …
The apostle Paul clearly teaches that none is righteous, no not one.
Except for Christ himself, who was of course God come in the form of a man. That’s the Christian creed. God who is perfect comes to imperfect human beings to save them from their imperfection, not just on one occasion but continually.
The person who places their life in Jesus hands, must understand that he or she can never get it right, and will never be able to be perfect of themselves. It is impossible. But God in their lives in the form of the Holy Spirit will enable them to understand and to live their lives aright.
It is all of God and none of us. And until we come to that understanding, we cannot become a Christian – because you do not yet understand your need of Jesus Christ.
This writer despairs of all the salesmanship and the crusades, and the invitations to accept Christ as if he were a happy pill you just pop in your mouth and all will be well !
Jesus is no pill or medication. He is the Physician. And his prescription, his recipe for getting well is to heed his teaching. Pure and simple. DO AS HE SAYS !
Stop living your life your way, according to your own understanding. Start living according to God’s understanding, to God’s perspective, according to God’s grace and strength extended to you by God himself in God the Holy Spirit.
In the second chapter of the Gospel account of Mark, we read that the religious scribes and the Pharisees criticised Jesus for eating and drinking with the social outcasts of their day – the turncoat Jews who collected taxes for the hated Romans; the prostitutes; the drunkards and the down and outs. Today we’d have to include the drug addicts, even the dealers.
The outcasts of ‘good’, ‘respectable’ society. And what does Jesus say to his critics ?
They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Verse 17 of the second chapter of Mark, recorded also in Matthew 9 and Luke chapter 5.
Jesus Christ is our SPIRITUAL PHYSICIAN. He knows and understands the depths of our malaise, our illness, our disease. He knows what it is and he knows how it works. He knows what it does to us. He knows just how badly we can be infected, and that this infection can cause us to be utterly without any hope of deliverance and healing. That we cannot even begin to believe that there is a way out.
He knows, and he cares, and he knows the way out. The ultimate problem in this world, the most fundamental cause of all the problems and evil that exist is this.
Our estrangement from God our Maker because of our disobedience to him.
The ultimate problem is MORAL. And until we clean up our moral act – and understand what is right and wrong in God’s eyes, we can never get clean. We can never get right. But once we wake up and realise what we are and why we are as we are, then we can start down the road to deliverance and healing from the core of the problem: selfish sin and its inevitable consequence of living contrary to God’s law of life.
You will never find the answer in religions, philosophies, political ideologies or any other form of thinking or lifestyle which purports to have the answer. You may find some transitory relief in this life here and now. But there is no relief or answer in eternity. For the simple reason that God has appointed Jesus Christ as the answer. And there is no other.
There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all.
We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains He had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there.
He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by His precious blood.
There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin; He only could unlock the gate of heaven, and let us in. [see footnote]
O dearly, dearly has He loved ! And we must love Him too, and trust in his redeeming love, and try His works to do.
Will you take the medication God prescribes in the New Testament of the Bible ? Will you accept the record of a real Person with a real teaching applicable to the human condition for all time, and for all people ? Will you call out to him to help you, to take charge of your life from now on ? Will you ?
Footnote: Hymn written by Cecil F Alexander who lived 1823-1895 and replicated from Grace Hymns, published by the copyright holders, Grace Publications Trust of 139 Grosvenor Avenue, London N5 2NH the second Words edition 1978