Warts and All

Several years ago I preached a message titled something to this effect on a Wednesday night. I began by teaching some of the high standards found in the New Testament. Those concerning sin and righteousness, but mainly those concerning love, even reading the most beautiful passage on love found in 1 Corinthians 13.

From there we began to look at failures by some of the very ones who penned the New Testament…
• Peter’s prejudice exposed and sharply rebuked by Paul at the Galatian Church.
• The struggles of the early Jewish Church accepting gentiles into the faith in Acts 15.
• The classic falling out of Paul and Barnabas, evidently a very heated one over John Mark.

That is what I love about the Bible! It records real life people desiring to flesh out the highest of principles and yet failing at times themselves.

Why do I write this?

First, cause it points us time and time again back to our righteousness that is found in the grace of Christ alone. On our best (or worst) day, our acceptance before the Father is based upon Jesus’ work on the cross. The shedding of His blood is the bedrock of every spiritual blessing we have been bestowed. Salvation, justification, redemption, and all the rest of the biblical terms that seem to have faded from modern church teaching are the only things that allow us right standing before God.

Second, it gives us all hope. If the writers who penned such high standards failed themselves at times, the potential and probability of our doing the same is there. And just like them, we will still be loved and used of God if we choose to keep trusting in the Cross of Calvary alone.

As best I can tell from the Bible, both Old and New Testament, God has only used one perfect person in all of history. His name is Jesus. The rest of us, He chooses to use, warts and all.

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