Too many of us in the Christian faith think a certain insufficiency of goodness is acceptable; at least to ourselves, and maybe even to God.
Even Pastors, seem to have this mindset.
I say “Even” Pastors because many people seem to think Pastors are above sinning. This is something which is far from the truth.
The word of God tells us:
Jer 17:9 the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
And of course: Rom 3:10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one
The first rule of salvation is the knowing the simple fact that ALL are sinners. That fact does not change upon salvation; it only is ignored by the blood of Jesus. When I say “ignored” I only mean it in the eternal sense where our sins have been pardoned. In the worldly sense, we are still liable for our sins and face chastisement by our heavenly Father.
To recall Genesis where Cain had already brought a sacrifice not ordered or neither was acceptable to God, God asks the question: Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?
We walk around sometimes sad that things are not going well with us but the attitude demands an answer. God asks the question, “Why are you wroth?” Hey Cain, why do you look like a dried prune? Why are you so angry, sad, feeling down?
He then instructs Cain on the way to be obedient and accepted by God:
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
The answer- Do Well- God said it. Do well and you will have my approval. The opposite of that was not to do well and we will not be approved and the chastisement of the Lord may come upon us.
We should be very careful, especially those of us who will be held more strictly accountable as we teach and guide others. That scenario in Genesis tells us that if we “doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. The interpretation of that is if we are not doing what we ought; sin is at our door constantly, wanting to devour us but WE MUST MASTER IT!
It does not say be as good as you can it says to master your sinful ways. Are you boastful? Master it. Arrogant? Master it. Do you Lie? Master it. Cheat? Master it. Do you have things that you do that are displeasing to God? Master it.
I used to smoke three packs of cigarettes per day. I used Charles Spurgeon as my excuse for being a Christian and smoking. Finally, when I came to my senses and realized that smoking is not in the will of God, I stopped. I stopped cold and immediately and haven’t looked back. Was it painful? Yes and very difficult but I had to master it.
By the way, God will help you and give you strength to master something that you have determined to master for Him.
The Lord is coming back soon. Let us show Him that we are not comfortable doing some things right but we are striving to do all things right as we strive to master our sin.