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February 6, 2020


“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10)

When life after death comes up as a topic of conversation with family, friends, or teammates it’s not uncommon to hear people say things like this: “I think I’ll go to heaven because I try to be a good person.” “I’m not perfect, but I’ve done more good than bad.” “I’m as good as the next guy so I think God will accept me.”

These are all part of what I call the “relative goodness” argument for acceptance with God. The idea is that, all things considered, you’ve been good enough to get to heaven. Surely, God will see your relative goodness and decide in your favor.

But that’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that God is perfect and holy and that to gain acceptance with him on our own merit requires that we be perfect and holy as well. And none of us are. Reread today’s focal verse. Despite our relative goodness we all stand guilty before God because none of us has completely lived up to his righteous requirements. The Bible teaches the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Only one human being—Jesus, who was God in the flesh—has ever fully kept all of God’s commands. And because of that He was able to offer Himself as the penalty for our sins that we might be forgiven and made acceptable to God. He did that through His death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 3-4).

By taking the penalty for our sins upon Himself Jesus grants us the incredible standing of “not guilty” before God, and we are credited with the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ (Romans 4:24). We should therefore do good, not to gain acceptance with God, but in gratitude for what God has so graciously done for us.

Question: Are you trying to gain acceptance with God through relative goodness?

Challenge: Confess your sins to God and accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your saving grace. May we trust in you alone for our eternal security.

Dan Kinnaman, Chapel Leader -- Norwich Sea Unicorns

Baseball Chapel
P.O. Box 10102
Largo, FL 33773

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