You are a sinner (just like everyone else) – in fact, the Bible says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 6:23). Every single person (except Jesus Christ) has sinned, broken God’s Law, and should be condemned by God the perfectly righteous Judge. The correct verdict would be “guilty” for everyone – because we really are all guilty. And remember the standard is God’s perfect holiness, not your neighbor or your sibling or your boss. Sure, you’re better than some people, maybe even better than most people, but my friend, that isn’t the standard.
What about you???
- Do you feel guilty?
- Do you think you might be guilty, even if you don’t feel that way?
- Would you be willing to try a quick test?
Have you ever broken any of God’s laws? Let’s take a look at just a few of them from the 10 Commandments.
How about #1 – have you ever put anything before God in your life? Loved something else more than God? Yep? OK, guilty.
Let’s try #3 – have you ever taken God’s name in vain (used it wrongly, or as a curse), including the words “Jesus”, “Christ”, or the phrase “oh my God” (or even “OMG”)? That is called blasphemy, and it is a serious sin.
How about #5 – have you always honored (given respect to and obeyed) your parents? Not likely, because as kids, we’re pretty good at rebelling and mocking instead of honoring. God says that makes you guilty of sin against Him.
Let’s continue on…
Are you willing to look at #7? – now that one will get a lot of folks. This speaks of sex outside of marriage (both before marriage and with someone other than your spouse). And not only that, Jesus said that anyone who merely looks in order to lust has committed adultery in the heart. OK, guilty there, too, one way or another. Maybe really guilty.
Commandment #8 says we shouldn’t steal – that’s thievery – and most people have done that at some point. Dishonest financial gain takes many different forms. (Ever cheat on your taxes? Ever download music or software that you failed to pay for?) Remember, even if it was of small value, it’s still stealing.
#9 probits lying. Elsewhere, the Bible tells us that lying lips are an abomination to God (Proverbs 12:22), and that all liars will end up in the lake of fire (hell, Revelation 21:8). With that in mind, knowing that God knows the truth of the matter… have you ever lied? (That gets everyone…)
Finally, #10 – who hasn’t coveted (desired, wanted) his neighbor’s stuff – his bigger and nicer house, his newer car, his bigger salary, his attractive wife (or her handsome husband)… which is basically discontentment with what God has given you? OK, guilty there, too.
Even though we’ve only looked at some of the Ten Commandments, you probably recognize that you’re guilty of some (if not all) of them. Even if you’re only guilty of one of them (unlikely, but let’s pretend) – you’re still guilty. Consider what James 2:10 says: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
There you have it – you could do really well, and only sin “a little” (less than most people) – but you might just as well have broken every single commandment, because before God, you’re still guilty. You have sinned against God who is perfectly holy.
Which part of the Bible?
“But”, you say, “that is Old Testament”. Well, yes it is. But we must realize that the moral Law of God has not been rescinded. However, we can also look at the New Testament, because God has reiterated and even expanded His commands. Let’s look at just two of them.
In Matthew 22:36, someone asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And the response from the Lord was this:
And He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Jesus summed up all the commandments in two statements. So test yourself by them. Remembering that biblical love is action, not a feeling… have you loved God above all other things, with your whole being? Second, have you loved others as much as you love yourself? An honest assessment would demand that each of us answer “No” to those questions. Each of us has failed the ultimate New Testament test. We haven’t done what Jesus said what is of utmost importantance. We haven’t obeyed the greatest commandment, and we haven’t obeyed the second greatest commandment either.
According to both the Old and New Testaments, we are sinful, and we are guilty. We’re not good enough for heaven, because we haven’t lived up to God’s perfect Laws. Instead, we deserve God’s perfect and righteous judgment, which means we’d end up in eternal hell. And if that doesn’t bother you, it should! No one deserves heaven, my friend — not you, and not me.
But there is hope, because the story doesn’t end there… Please see The Solution!