A turning point that led me to become a Christian 6 months ago was when I realized how broken, hurting, and sinful we all are. Yet we all have the law of God written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). When we reject God, as our secular society does, our moral compass becomes cloudy. Our standards of morality are nothing more than leaves in the wind with our feet firmly placed in the air.
Through the Ten Commandments and the furthering of God’s standard through Christ, we become aware of our sin. I think that is what blew the shutters off my eyes before I believed. I realized I was in need of a Savior, and we all do. Psalm 14 says, ‘The fool says in his heart,“There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.’
In Romans 7 15-20, the Apostle Paul wrote the following in regards to sin, ‘15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.’
For we are all under the power of sin, and in God’s eyes no one is good. You may say you are a good and decent person, but what standard are you measuring your goodness by? Human standards or God’s standard? We all have sinned and therefore we have all broken the law. Romans 3:20, ‘Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.’
There is no one righteous. That is the hard truth in the Bible that some people in the West try to dilute and ignore, and in doing so, downplays the seriousness of sin. The problems of this world will never be solved through our own intellect and reasoning alone, because our minds are not the source of the issue. The human heart is the issue, and it has never changed. The only way to change our hearts is through the unconditional, self-sacrificial, radical love we receive and know through Christ. And it is our duty as followers in Christ to spread and show that love to the world. It requires a humble heart to receive the gospel.
When Christ came, He upheld the law of the Old Testament, but took it even further. Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew 5:21-22:
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.’
And in Matthew 5:27-28:
27 ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’
Furthermore, Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus tells us of loving our enemies:
43 ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
But does this mean we have to be perfect and do perfect works all our lives? No, for God alone is perfect. Christ doesn’t say these things to bear us down with weight of deeds and works, but rather to lift us up, and to show us His true character and standard. Works and deeds have their place, but it is through faith in Christ alone that God begins to restore us, and it is through that faith that we all of a sudden desire to do good things for His sake. Believers feel compelled to help others in need, become more like Christ, and we gladly obey His commands, for it gives us joy. In Matthew 11:28-30 Christ says:
28 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'
If we are honest with ourselves then, it is clear that no one is free from God’s judgment. Everyone has sinned. But through Jesus, we learn what God’s love is for us: Unconditional, self-sacrificial, and freely given to the undeserved. We are the undeserved. Because of his love for us, God gave his only Son, whom being perfectly righteous, laid his life down for us on the cross and rose again so that we who have faith in Him will not face condemnation, but have eternal life.
When we truly confess, turn from our sins, and accept Christ as our Savior with our hearts, we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit encourages and moves through the world so people may come to know Him and dwell in believers. And through the Spirit we are given fruits. In Galatians 5:22-23, ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law’. When we choose Christ, we are born again. Ezekiel 36:26, 'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.'
From a personal level, I can tell you my heart overflowed with peace, joy and all these things when I accepted Christ, and it has only grown since. I look at my old self now and detest the things I did, the thoughts I thought, and the selfishness and hollowness within me. I was truly saved through Jesus, and for that I owe Him my life.
This doesn’t mean I or any Christian will live a comfortable life in earthly terms. Following Christ doesn’t guarantee monetary success or personal achievement. But we know this, Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Suffering is temporary, but love, hope, faith, and life in Christ is eternal. He alone is the only thing that can make you whole.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Do you seek truth? Or do you only seek your own truth that is pleasing to you?
John 4:14 – ‘Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’