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July 25, 2011 / joelmalm

Why God Scares Me

The scary thing about God isn’t that he judges sin.  I delight in knowing that one day soon he’s going to open up a can of whoop-arse and bring down crushing wrath on rapists, human traffickers and rapacious despots who oppress the poor.

No, the scary thing about God is that all my goodness isn’t enough.  “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)

You see, most of the time I feel pretty good about my goodness.  I’ve never killed anyone.  I rarely steal and I only use mild expletives.  The problem is, in God’s grading rubric you either score 100% or you utterly fail.  One mistake and it’s over.  (And you thought your parents had high standards.)

God will accept nothing short of perfection.

Fortunately, Jesus passed the test.  He lived a perfect life.  He held it together from first to last breath.  Not even one second of a bad attitude.  He is righteous and he imputes, or credits to our accounts, that righteousness.  God set a high standard and made a way for us to make the cut – through him.  It all begins and ends with him.  How’s that for scary and reassuring at the same time?

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