The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
In 2009, an atheist group called the Coalition of Reason launched a campaign all over the United States, placing ads on buses, billboards, and subway stations. Maybe you remember seeing their signs. They caused quite a stir here in Dallas-Fort Worth. The signs said, “Millions of Americans are good without God.” In other words, you do not have to believe in God to be a good person. Millions of Americans love their families, pay their taxes, and do good works without ever acknowledging God.
That is true–there are plenty of people out there doing good things without any relationship with God. But that ad campaign missed the whole point. The real question is not “Can you be good without God?” but “Can you be good enough without God?” And the answer from God’s Word is a resounding no. You may be better than many people or even most people. But the standard by which you and I are going to be judged is not other people. Our standard of judgment is the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, and God does not grade on the curve. Unless you are as righteous and as perfect as Jesus Christ, you cannot enter into heaven. The Bible says by that standard, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That is why we need a Savior, Jesus Christ.
The reason God became flesh and came into this world was not to show us how to live, or to teach us how to love other people. Those are good things, but that is not why Jesus Christ came. He Himself said His primary reason for coming to earth was “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). How did He do that? By “[giving] His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). The reason Christ came was to die for our sins, to make up the spiritual deficit you and I have before God.
Now, God does not automatically give everybody His righteousness. You have to agree to His terms. You have to say, “God, I realize I am in a deficit position before You, and I need Jesus to pay for my sins.” You have to receive the perfect righteousness He offers to all who believe. The moment you do that, you begin a relationship with God that will extend throughout eternity.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Putting Out The “Not Welcome” Mat” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org;