If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7
To hear the experts talk, all of us -- just the way we are -- are pretty fine folk.
We're not transgressors; we're pretty perfect people who can't help making an occasional mistake. Genetics have told us we're helplessly programmed to do what we do. Psychology and science have taught us that we're not responsible for our sad situations. Guilt? You can forget about that too. There are psychological and sociological causes that have made us into the wrecks and wretches we are.
We're all okay. That's why sin isn't used in conversation anymore. That's why pastors don't pound on their pulpits and plead with their parishioners anymore. Sin is something for those who lived a long time ago, and guilt is only for folks who aren't nearly as enlightened or sophisticated as we are.
Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn't mean we're sinners. It doesn't mean we're bad.
We're okay and because we believe we're okay, we have become a nation where all things negative -- like our cereal -- have become sugar-coated. Lying is "stretching the truth." Cheating is "bending the rules." Lusting is "healthy admiration." Hatred is "dislike." Gossiping is "harmless talk." Drug abuse is an "unfortunate misdirection." Gluttony is a "lack of willpower," and a person with a temper is "temperamental." Of course, children who are disobedient to parents -- bless their little hearts -- are merely being "strong-willed."
Yes, we're all okay. At least that's what we tell ourselves.
We repeat those words again and again in the hope that we may, eventually, actually come to believe them. But if we really are okay, why is it so many people spend their days and squander their fortunes searching and seeking that something that will satisfy them and give them hope and happiness? If we're okay, why is it that so many families are self-destructing? If we're okay, why is it that school shootings have become second page news? If we're okay, why are our inner cities unsafe for even armed police? If we're okay, why do athletes feel the need to cheat the system with steroids? If we're okay, why do the world's nations continue to be in conflict?
The answer is a simple one. On our own, we're not okay. Left to our own devices, we're not all right.
We are sinners out of harmony with the Lord and the perfect life He wanted to give us. We are in rebellion against our God and, on our own, there's not a thing we can do about it.
Thankfully, we are not on our own.
We have a Savior. In the Person of Jesus Christ, God has sent His Son to carry our sins, take our punishment, die our death. His life -- lived for us -- is the path of reconciliation between a perfect God and sinful humanity.
Now, because of what Jesus has done for us, all who are brought to faith in Him are given hope, happiness, joy, and a knowledge that when we stand before the Lord's judgment seat, He will, because of Jesus say, "You're okay."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks I am declared forgiven because of Jesus' work. May I share His story of salvation so others may also be saved. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries