God’s standards are high: the perfection of Christ

12/21/2013 8:44 PM

12/21/2013 8:44 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve really tried to live a good life and do what I think God must want me to do. But I wonder sometimes if I’ve done enough, because I know I’ve probably done wrong things without even realizing it. What exactly does God expect of me? — C.R.

DEAR C.R.:

The answer to your question may shock you: God expects nothing less than perfection. God is absolutely perfect and pure, and sin of any kind is an offense to him.

In other words, even one sin — just one — would be enough to keep you and me out of heaven. This is hard for us to understand; after all, we tolerate imperfect people all the time, and we think God ought to do the same. But God’s standard is different from ours, and his standard is perfection. The Bible says, “For whoever keeps the whole law (of God) and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).

Does this mean we have no hope of ever getting into heaven? Yes, it does, as long as we are depending on ourselves and our goodness. The reason is because no matter how good we are, we still fall short of God’s perfect standard.

But listen: God has opened up another way — a way for us to be forgiven of all our sins and clothed in perfect righteousness. That way is Jesus Christ. He was without sin, but on the cross all our sins were transferred to him, and he died in our place. Now by faith in him we can be forgiven and cleansed of our sins, and made ready for heaven. Don’t trust in your own goodness any longer, but by faith put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation.

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