Bible Reading Blog
“You Will Die In Your Sins”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: John 7-8
“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” (John 8.24)
Jesus never felt the need to coddle his listeners because unless they could be saved from their sins, nothing else mattered. As grating as they may seem, his words were carefully crafted to challenge and change. What is most interesting is Jesus speaks these words to those who were already interested and following him.
Do believers today need to be reminded of this brutal reality? Jesus certainly thought so. Not so they would live in a constant state of fear but rather to keep them humble and receptive to the truth from God. The way to him is based on objective reality that recognizes our insufficiency in dealing with the problem of sin.
The religious leaders often resorted to arguments that lauded their own competency (John 7.47-52) and I think sometimes we do the same. We build good spiritual habits and develop a lifestyle that is in line with God‘s expectations thinking that God is now pleased with us. The reality is that while we were still enemies of God (Romans 5.6-10), he offered us grace upon grace (John 1.16). The only bridge across the separation of sin is trusting in Jesus and not in ourselves.
We must be cautious not to think our goodness is some sort of standard. Compared to Almighty God, our righteousness is worthless (Isaiah 64.6). It is pretentious to think that we have arrived at a place of competency before God. This is the root of many sins because it minimizes the need for God in our life.
We must acknowledge that sin is a problem everyone must deal with. It has very definite consequences which we cannot pacify (Romans 3.23; 6.23). For even the most devout believers, our inability to reconcile sin is the primary motivation for belief in Jesus. If we could appease God’s wrath for sins on our own, why would Jesus even matter?And so, we need clear guidance from Jesus to show us the way to the Father (John 14.6).
But Jesus teaching didn’t simply offer some moral code to follow that would justify us before God. The law had already been given and proved to be useless in this regard (Romans 7). Jesus came to free us from the futility of that system, but we must release the grip of self-justification.
Sometimes the truth cuts to the heart (Acts 2.37). But while the truth about sin is brutal, it makes the life Jesus call us to that much more attractive. We would do well to remind ourselves of our condition without Jesus, and humble ourselves accordingly. God is not interested in your competency, rather he desires your trust.
God, help us to be a more humble people.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3.5-6)