Martin Luther was once asked what we contributed to our salvation.

He said, “Sin and resistance.”

My thoughts always fall on those who don’t feel good enough to be a Christian because I used to fall into this camp too. I remember watching Ned Flanders on The Simpsons (one of those shows I can quote in my sleep, right alongside The Office), and I remember thinking how living like Ned was not only unattainable but not nearly as fun as being Homer.

It colored my opinion of the goody-two-shoed Christians who I had absolutely nothing in common with. But what it didn’t do was tell me the truth.

The truth is that none of us are “good enough.” There is no person who has ever been born absolutely sinless except for Jesus Christ. And it took what He did on the cross for us to erase all of our sin (those committed in the past, those we might commit today, and those we might commit in the future) and to invite us into an eternal relationship with the Father.

There is nothing “goody-two-shoed” about any of this.

Instead, this is life. A hard long look at the end of the barrel knowing no matter who or what pulls the trigger, nothing can EVER separate us from God.

I was talking to my next door neighbor (also no Ned Flanders), and we had a fascinating discussion about what it means to follow Christ. Someone in his life is convinced that they have to achieve a series of “points” in order the get into heaven–I suppose some sort of Chuck E. Cheese-like system where we get to cash out at the end. But there is no earning our way to God, and if we have any questions about that, we can remember what happened to those insistent on building the tower of Babel.

Really think about it for a second. Can we “earn” our way to God? And even if we could, what would that say about Him? Maybe that He isn’t as powerful as He should be?

No. There is no earning anything. There is merely accepting the beauty of what He’s been trying to give you and me all along.

Either freely accept it. Or don’t. We have a choice in the matter. And I pray every one of us makes the right decision.

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