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Justifying Ourselves and Condemning Others

March 29, 2010

An excerpt from Tim Chester’s new book You Can Change:

I remember telling a man that his alcoholic daughter was getting baptized.  He was shocked and even a little angry.  He had always thought of himself as someone who was good enough for God.  In fact his life was a mess in all sorts of ways, but he maintained the illusion that he was okay with God by pointing out other people’s faults.  At least he could think of himself as better than them.  But suddenly here was his alcoholic daughter entering the kingdom of God.  She wasn’t good enough for God, but now that didn’t seem to matter.  His basis for acceptance with God was suddenly turned upside down.

Chester continues:

God has given his Son for us so that we can be justified.  Jesus died on the cross, separated from his Father, bearing the full weight of God’s wrath so that we can be accepted by God.  When we try to prove ourselves by our good works, we’re saying, in effect, that the cross wasn’t enough.

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