You are Not Good Enough for God

"I'm not good enough". Have you ever said that to yourself? Has this ever crossed your mind? Chances are, unless your blind or dishonest, you've thought this on more than one occasion. Often times it comes up in unexpected ways.

  • "I disappoint God so often, I'm not good enough to have salvation."
  • "I struggle with this same sin over and over. I'm not good enough. There is no way God could love me."
  • "I can't serve in ministry at church. I'm not good enough."
  • "God couldn't use me to bring someone to know Christ, I'm not good enough."

Pop psychology and all the self help books (including many "christian" ones) would tell you to stop the negative thinking and start with the positive thinking. They would encourage you to think about how special you are or how unique you are like a dainty little snow flake.

You Are Not Good Enough

Let me break the hard news to you. You are not good enough. What you think about yourself is 100% true. Did I just hurt your feelings? Please stick with me to the end. You and I are wicked sinners who disobey and reject God. The Bible tells us that each and every one of us are slaves to our sin. Paul tells us in Romans 3:10 "None is righteous, no, not one." We do not measure up. God's standard is perfection. No matter how much good we do we will never measure up to God's standard. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). Every single one of us do not measure up. We are not good enough.

Now if that was the whole story, this just might be the most depressing blog post you've ever read. Satan often speaks bold and direct lies to us, but he is much craftier than that. Often what he does is he takes a truth and twists it just as he did in the Garden of Eden. Often when we are plagued with doubts of "I'm not good enough" we are told a twisted version of the truth. Yes, You are not good enough, but that is not the end of the story.

But Jesus Is

Where we fail constantly to be obedient to the Lord, Jesus was fully obedient to God. He lived his life in total and complete submission to his Father. Jesus was completely blameless and perfect. He is the very righteousness of God.

So when we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we confess our unworthiness. We confess that we are sinners who are not good enough. This is why we need Jesus. At the cross Jesus took on the punishment for your sins. He absorbed the wrath you were due and gave you his righteousness.  You have gotten a grade of "0" at life, Jesus gives you his perfect "100." We who were the wicked are now righteous through Jesus Christ.

So as you live your life for Jesus Christ and face the nagging, recurring voice telling you "You're not good enough". Agree, and then state the other half of the truth:

"Yes, I am not good enough, but Jesus is. 'I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me' (Gal 2:20)"

You see the truth is that you are not good enough for God. But the good news is that God has made us a way to be righteous through Jesus Christ. How great is God that he would send a savior to us to make us his righteousness? What amazing love! How wonderful in Jesus that he would give us his righteousness in exchange for our filthy rags? Yet this is the wonderful mystery and life changing truth of the Gospel.

So every time you think "I'm not good enough" just remember Jesus is.

Am I Beyond Repair? - Our Holiness in Christ

2515800654 bd1562ae72 o Have you ever thought that you were beyond repair?  Have you felt like you have so many problems, that there is no hope for you?  I think many of us tend to feel this way so you are no stranger.  The good news is that there is a God who has not given up on you.  There is a God who can take your broken sinful life and make you holy and blameless.

In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians church, Paul makes a starling claim about the church in the first few verses.  Here is how he greets them:

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus…

Notice that verb in that greeting - "to those sanctified".  In the Greek, that word "sanctified" is passive and in the perfect tense.  The perfect tense was a tense to describe an action that has already been completed.  Passive means that the action is being done to the Corinthians.  So when Paul greets them, he greets them as those who have already been made holy.  Now, if you have ever read 1 Corinthians, you know just how astonishing that statement is.  The church at Corinth didn't seem to be a very holy church.  Here are a few of the issue Paul addresses in this letter:

  • There were fighting over who to follow (Ch. 3)
  • A guy was sleeping with his step-mom (Ch. 5)
  • The church was suing one another (Ch. 6)
  • There were marriage problems (Ch. 7)
  • Some were worshiping idols and practicing pagan religious rituals (Ch. 10)
  • There was gender role confusion & women were dressing immodestly (Ch. 11)
  • They were getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper (Ch. 11)
  • They were fighting over which spiritual gift was better (Ch. 12)
  • They had disorderly worship services (Ch. 14)
  • Some were denying the resurrection (Ch. 15)
A quick glance through that list will tell you one thing.  This church had issues.  They seem to be anything but holy, yet Paul greets them as saints.  How can this be?
The answer lies in the good news of the Gospel.  For those who are in Christ, we are given the righteousness of Christ.  We are declared holy and pure before God because of Jesus.  Jesus went to the cross and paid the price for our sins on the cross.  Through the cross, God has declared his people holy and blameless.  Although the church at Corinth has some major sin in its midst, Paul still addresses them as holy, because they have been made holy through Christ!

This has huge implications for you and me.  You see, our holiness is simply the outworking of who we are.  In Christ, we are holy.  So when the Scriptures call us to live lives of holiness, it commands us to be who we already are.  Our personal holiness is the outworking of who God has already declared us to be in Christ!  Even though we might feel like we are beyond repair, God in Christ has already made us holy.  Our salvation and imputed righteousness is secured through the blood of the lamb!  Be holy, because that is who you are.  That is what Christ has made you to be.

So are you beyond repair? If you are in Christ you have already been repaired through the cross.  Live your life now in obedience and holiness in joyful thanksgiving to Jesus.

How is God making you holy? How does the Gospel encourage you to be holy? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Freedom from Past Guilt

We all have skeletons in our closet. Even for the best of us, there are some sins that seem to haunt us when our soul gets quiet and still. Our past failures tend to come back over and over again to remind us of just how much we fall short. For some of us, these memories make us feel worthless and empty. So often we get plagued by thoughts such as, “I will never be good enough for God to accept me” or thoughts like, “I’ve failed so many times, there is no way I can be saved!” Oh friend, if this is you, you are being deceived by the lies of the enemy. You have forgotten the beauty of the Gospel! You see, the Gospel breaks us free from the chains of past failures. Although we are all failures, and although we have committed horrendous sins, the Gospel is the good news that Jesus was righteous for you. The apostle Paul tells us that, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus took on your sins past, present, and future on the cross. If you believe in him, and trust in Jesus you are given the righteousness of Christ. You were once an enemy of God, but now you are adopted as a son or daughter.

Don’t be haunted by your past failures, the Gospel has freed you from guilt. In Christ, God sees you as valuable and righteous. You can never be good enough to earn God’s favor, but by God’s grace he has given you his favor through Jesus. Remind yourself of the Gospel daily. Preach it to yourself often, and counter attack the lies of the enemy with the truth. You are accepted and righteous before God not on your own merit, but on the merit of Jesus. What glorious news!