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Establishing Believers in the Christian Faith

from the book Why I Love God

21: Moral Codes can Only Condemn

In the Bible there is the record of God giving the 10 commandments, and unfortunately many take these commandments to defend their own righteousness. The commandments include have no other gods, honor your father and mother, do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not bear false witness, do not covet, and others. Some limit these commandments to a literal interpretation and say to themselves “I am in right standing with God. I have never murdered anyone, and I have never committed adultery, so God will see my good works and those good works will atone for anything bad I have ever done.” Others say “I am a decent person; its not like I’m a murderer or something. God knows I am a good person and He will accept me. I keep the commandments — or at least try to.”

To use the 10 commandments or any moral code as a basis for being in a right standing with God is a serious error. It is a gross misuse of the commandments and that moral code. As respects the commandments, you may not have violated the letter of the command, but the spirit of the command we all have most certainly violated. Unforgiveness, resentment, unrighteous anger, vengeance and the like are the seeds of murder. And Jesus taught anyone who looks after a woman to lust for her has already commuted adultery in his heart. The correct use of the 10 commandments, therefore, is as a basis for our condemnation, not our justification. And when our lives are measured against the evil thoughts we have conceived, the illicit desires we have entertained in our hearts, and the ungodly impulses we have experienced, the verdict and assessment of God is clear. And He has revealed that verdict to us in scripture.

Friend, this passage is describing not only me, but you, and every person you have known, know now, or will come to know. There is absolutely nothing in your life to commend you to God. The offenses, injustices, and hurts you have committed against God are far greater than any offenses, injustices or hurts that have been committed personally against you by others. There is absolutely no comparison. You are hopelessly condemned and incapable of redeeming yourself. You owe God an insurmountable debt that can in no way be repaid.

Not only does your life warrant nothing but God’s judgment, but that judgment is what you have earned on account of your evil works. Your unrighteous, guilty standing before God is your own doing, and you must take responsibility for it. No one made you unrighteous, and it is not as if you can blame your upbringing, your circumstances, your spouse, or anything else. You, and you alone, have earned the just sentence of condemnation and eternal punishment from God.

You and you alone are responsible for your sins.

from the book Why I Love God

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