God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
As I prepare my heart in the new year to bring unto you what words God has given me for my weary soul and yours, I have been struck by something I read in my Pastoral Counseling text.
John Kie Vining writes this in Soul Care, “Everyone kneels on equal ground at the altar.” I found that to be a profound statement.
If we were to unpack what is said there it would make for lengthy conversation, but what it says to me “off the cuff” is that we all need Jesus.
We are easily entangled into a web of comparison. My sin is better or worse than his or hers. I don’t deserve happiness because of my sin, and they must have done something great for God to bless them that way. Yes, my pastor is blessed because, well he or she is a pastor. I’m not a saint like them.
LIES. LIES. LIES!
Blessings do not come as an answer to someones works. They are a gift of God due to the work executed by Jesus Christ.
In Christ we are forgiven. In Christ we are redeemed. In Christ, we are holy. In Christ, we are fully accepted. In Christ we are given every spiritual blessing. Et cetera.
Left to our own works of righteousness, counted as filthy rags by God, we are all sinners in need of a Savior.
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6 NIV
As the New Year has dawned let us start out on equal footing and remain there. In a constant remembrance of a simple statement with profound wisdom.
Then remember your friend, your church, your pastor, your teacher, your mentor, your spouse, your children, your parents all kneel at the same altar.
And let us thank God that He knew our great need for Him alone.