If I may, I would like to continue with the theme from last week’s devotional from Matthew 5:3 concerning spiritual poverty. By the way, how are you doing with that idea? Have you filed for spiritual bankruptcy? A Christian is a man or woman who has come to understand and agree that all of our righteousness is like filthy rags before God (Isa 64:6). God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 Jn 1:5). God is absolutely perfect in His character and activities. While the world tells us that we are “mostly good” and only do bad things sometimes, the story of the Bible is that we are mostly bad and sometimes we do good (apart from Christ’s work in us).
So, yes, atheists and religious folks are in the same situation when it comes to their efforts before God. Our human efforts will never be good enough. Our good will never outweigh our bad. Remember, God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Theoretically, someone may keep the whole law, yet stumble in one point, and they are then considered a “lawbreaker” (Jas 2:10). God is holy and righteous. To sin, even in the smallest of ways, is to sin against the perfect Creator God. And, let’s face it, who among us can honestly claim that they have only sinned in the slightest of ways? It was the Lord Jesus who said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matt 12:36). Every word we have mumbled under our breath, every thought that has passed through our mind, and every one of our activities will be audited on Judgment Day. Nobody’s scales will tilt toward the good—Nobody’s.
Therefore, the first step into the Christian experience is coming to a thorough understanding and confessing our spiritual poverty. We must file spiritual bankruptcy before God. Only then can we step into the wonders of the kingdom. Hey, ponder this some more this week, and next week, let’s talk about the glories of the second part of the first beatitude (“for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”).