Take Comfort – Lance Berkman
By: Lance Berkman
September 12, 2016
Often I will take a book of the Bible and really dive into it from beginning to end, discovering what it is that God wants to teach me through His Word. Lately I’ve been reading through Romans again and what has really stuck out to me this time around is the fact that every one of us is in the same boat. We are all sinners, separated from God, not one of us is better than another. We are all in need of a Savior.
This truth should be enough to keep us from becoming arrogant, but it also should be a great comfort to us. I know that the older I get, the more I realize what a sinner I really am—I see the depravity of humanity more now than I ever have. But I take comfort in the fact that the Apostle Paul struggled with the same realization:
“Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.” —Romans 3:9
Paul talks about doing the things that he doesn’t want to do and not doing the things that he wants to do.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do….For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” —Romans 7:15,19
In this passage, we see that Paul is confessing sins, both of commission and omission. We often think of the things we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing but we don’t often think about the things that we aren’t doing that we should be. Thought we face this battle constantly, we can take comfort in the fact that we don’t fight it alone. Even the great men of faith struggled with this as well.
In the same way, we see David—the man after God’s own heart—struggling with sin. This man was far from perfect; he was a murderer and adulterer. But God loved Him and drew him near to His side. God used these men and many others for His will—to proclaim the glory of God to all people.
I can be pretty hard on myself; it’s always been hard for me to forgive myself. That was especially hard for me as a baseball player. If I was 3 for 4 at bat, I would obsess about the one that I missed. In the same way, I struggle with this battle in my spiritual walk. If I know that I did something wrong, I have a hard time letting that go. But God doesn’t call us to remain in guilt. Instead He calls us to set our eyes on Him who is our righteousness.
God offers comfort to us in the knowledge that we cannot get to Heaven on our own merit anyway. If I were to die today and found myself standing at the gates of Heaven hearing God say, “Why should I let you in?” my only answer would be, “You shouldn’t, except for the grace and saving gift of Jesus Christ.”
God doesn’t want anything to do with my righteousness (which is insufficient in any case); it’s only by the righteousness of Christ that we can be saved.
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” —2 Corinthians 5:21
Lance Berkman is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Lance’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/lanceberkman/
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