Monday, September 24, 2012

No one does good. Everyone sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:20

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

If there are two things we can conclude from our observation of the world around us and the world within us, it is this: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Most of us readily observe how far short the rest of the world falls of the standards of God.  By God's grace, some of us are also then able to discern that we also belong in that group we formerly labelled "them."

C.S. Lewis osbserved in Mere Christianity that we simultaneously know two things:

(1) There are rules that ought to be followed by everyone.

(2) We have broken the very rules we know others ought to follow.

Knowing that people should not lie and feeling the sting of being lied against by others somehow does not prevent us from lying to others when it benefits us to do so.  It is a desperate situation in which we find ourselves.

C.S. Lewis said it this way,

“Now we our failure to keep God's law except by trying our very hardest (and then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, "You must do this. I can't.”

It is amazing to me the number of people whose hearts are so hardened as to come to this point in a sincere, deep, humiliating way.  Some will parrot these words and live in self-reliance, but so few truly surrender their lives to Jesus in full repentance and obedience to this reality.  So many say they need Jesus but deny Him by their lives.  Saying the words, "I trust in Jesus," does not mean you do per se. 

C.S. Lewis also said this,

"This is the fix we are in. If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day, and are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again. We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion.”

In Jesus we have a perfect Mediator who bridges the terrible gap back to God.

1 comment:

  1. great c.s. lewis quotes - have you been reading his stuff lately/were you reading it when you wrote this?