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Excuses

Our Daily Bread, December 8

Praise God that He has not withdrawn His offer of forgiveness for sin! This good news, however, is for sinners only. Many people, though, don't see themselves as sinners in need of salvation. They make excuses like these: My good deeds outweigh my bad. I'm not as bad as some people. Usually I'm a good person.

Their shortcomings, they feel, don't jeopardize their standing before Almighty God.

Imagine a citizen being brought to trial for several charges of shoplifting. It would be useless for that person to appeal to the judge by saying: "Don't forget, my good deeds outweigh my bad." "I'm not as bad as many others." "Most of the time I'm a law-abiding citizen." The offender must be judged according to the offense, not according to previous good deeds. If justice is to be done, someone must pay, and that someone should be the offender&md;unless another is allowed to bear the penalty instead. That's exactly what Christ in love did for sinners, which we all are, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).