6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

(If you want to listen to an audio version of today’s blog post, simply go to https://anchor.fm/mattellis1997, or search for “Reflections on Truth” by Matt Ellis wherever you download your favorite podcasts.)

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 3
Romans 3
Jeremiah 41
Psalms 17

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Romans 3:10–12 (CSB): “as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Over and over, I have shared the Gospel with people. I want to tell others how they can enter into a relationship with the Lord and enjoy eternity with Him in Heaven.

But, the Bible says that the Gospel is an offense. The exact words found in Galatians 5:11 is “the offense of the cross.”

What’s so offensive about the cross? How can anyone be offended by a God who stepped out of Heaven, came to earth, and died on a cross to offer forgiveness to every single person to asks for it?

Believe it or not, that last statement is precisely what the offense of the cross is. Simply put, sinful humanity doesn’t like to acknowledge that we need forgiveness. In fact, sinful humanity would be offended if you said that they needed to be forgiven. Because, as far as they are concerned, they are a pretty good person.

Just share the Gospel with people. One of the questions that I like to ask in every Gospel presentation, and most recently used this past Saturday morning with a gentleman, is this: “Suppose you were to die today and God were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’, what would you say?”

That’s a great question, isn’t it? It was formulated by a pastor, D. James Kennedy, and it gets at the root of what someone is relying on to get them into Heaven. As the gentleman responded this past Saturday, and as most people respond to that question, I hear people over and over tell me that they try to be a good person.

So, then, I ask them questions like: “Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever been angry with someone? Have you ever had thoughts of lust?” Usually, by the time they answer those three questions, their eyes are showing signs that they have been found out. They aren’t as good as they like to think they are.

That’s the offense of the Gospel. It’s the realization that before we can receive the healing remedy of the cross, we have to admit that we’re horribly sick and are in desperate need of forgiveness. A sinner must realize that they are a sinner before they are prepared to receive the Savior.

But Christian, let’s drive this principle home to our own hearts. It’s not simply unbelievers who struggle to acknowledge that they have broken plenty of God’s laws. It’s also us. I am thoroughly convinced that if enough Jesus-followers took a hard look at our actions, the words that come out of our mouths, the sort of thoughts we think, our motives and attitudes, and if we were brutally honest with ourselves, broken over our sin, and were moved to repentance, we might see the greatest spiritual revival that this land has ever experienced.

This is the irony of getting cleaned up and getting our joy back. We have to go down into repentance before we can go up in happiness. And the deeper we go, the higher we go.

So, what about you? Since we can take it for granted that you haven’t reached perfection yet, what sin or sins have you been tolerating? What must go so that Jesus can come?

And here’s the final question: “Is Jesus important enough to you that you are willing, right now, to make things right?”

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, as much as I may not like to realize how sinful I really am, I know that I must go to that dark place if there is any hope of experiencing Your cleansing forgiveness and getting my joy back. So, I pray that whatever sin or sins come to mind that I am engaged in, I want to confess them and forsake them. I also pray that You would open my eyes each day as I read my Bible and that Your Holy Spirit would expose any area in my life that isn’t in conformity to Your Word. Once again, I will confess and forsake whatever sin is brought to my attention. Jesus, what You did for me on that cross is worth whatever I can do for You in this life and in eternity. Amen.

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash