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Just wretched saints
by Marius Botha
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All to often, we as christians feel browbeaten when facing the prospect of reaching out to others, which we see in obvious error. Afraid of been labeled as narrow minded and judgmental, condemning, or unloving. When in actual fact the exact opposite is true, and to the contrary, it's the single most loving act one can do. “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20 NKJV). The Lord Jesus Christ did not come for those like the self righteous, 'holier-than-thou' scribes and pharisees. It's not whole who have need of a physician, but the sick, Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (see Luke 5:31-32, Mark 2:17, Matthew 9:13).

The pharisees over two thousand years ago displayed this selfsame sanctimonious pseudo disposition, which we observe in most circles nowadays. Christ told them in no uncertain terms, that, they were of their father the devil (see John 8:44). What would He say in regards to mainstream christianity in this present day and age? Who seem to delight in abasing themselves by condemning murderers, thieves, rapists and such, as been worse sinners than what they themselves are. Who are too conceited to let the common homeless man or woman off the street to their Sunday services, for the sake of vanity! This kind attitude is awfully hypocritical. Remember how Jesus answered those who came to inform Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices? He said, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-3 NKJV).

We need to bear in mind that we are all sinners before a Holy God. All are guilty, and all have come short of His glory, the bible is clear-cut on this matter (Romans 3:23, Ecclesiastes 7:20). That Christ alone was the only one who found favour in His Fathers eyes, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (see Luke 9:35). Therefore, it's not our own works which justify us with God, but rather, it's the work of Christ which makes us to be acceptable in His Holy and Righteous presence. If one has a 'holier-than-thou' predisposition, then logically they must assume (either consciously or subconsciously), that somehow they can earn grace, or earn their way into Heaven. If we as christians have kind of a mindset, then what is our need for Christ to begin with?

It's Incontrovertible that Christ came to call us to repentance, disposing the old man Adam, and the putting on of the new man Christ Jesus, thus becoming new creation in Him. However, if one has truly experienced God's grace calling us to righteousness, (which is of course all achieved by His sovereign providence), then we will have grasped the true extent our own unworthiness. Thus, one ought to walk with notable humility. It was not the Pharisee who was justified, who appallingly boasted in his own 'righteousness,' thanking the Lord that he was not made evil like other men. To the contrary, it was the meek publican who so humbled himself, that he would not so much as even lift his head skyward. Who, standing afar off, smote his chest and said, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” (see Luke 18:13). Him it was, who went home justified!

Therefore, with this in mind, one should always be judicious when presenting the gospel to the unconverted, to be self-effacement. Likewise, to be lowly when giving advice to a fellow brother or sister in Christ. The homosexual should know that despite his sexual immorality, that regardless, he is guilty of separate sin. The murderer should know, that despite his malefaction, that he is still falls short of God's glory. He should be reminded that whoever hates his brother, is a murderer (see 1 John 3:15). The 'impeccable' man, should be reminded that whoever looks at a woman with lust, has already committed adultery with her in his heart (see Matthew 5:28). The problem is not so much the law, the problem is indwelling sin. The wages of sin is death, not a physical death, but a spiritual death. As Paul said, the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The law is fulfilled by Him who knew no sin, that we might be justified by faith (see Galatians 3:24). That the righteousness we now possess in the new birth is not our own righteousness, but rather, it's Christ's righteousness which God bestows to us. His righteousness which now propels us towards true repentance, empowering us to forsake our old iniquitous ways. Ultimately calling us to Holiness. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new”(2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).

However, there will always be opposition, no matter how well intended our endeavors are. We will always be told by the majority that we are been condemnatory. The world, having a darkened understanding, fail to comprehend that the infallible word of God, has already judged. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him, the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48 NKJV). Let us as born again Christians, regardless of race or gender, or our eschatology beliefs, be stirred to continue to reprove this world of all modes of sin. Simultaneously, offering the hope one has by faith in the finished work of Jesus, who is the only way, truth and life. The faith of Him abiding in us, generating works of righteousness, His righteousness. “And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:9 NKJV). In these arduous and trying times let's be immovable and resolute in Christ, our High Tower, our Rock, our King, and our Friend. Let us be stalwart pilgrims in our Lord and Savior, and if we be reproached for it, then blessed are we. On their part He is blasphemed, but on our part He is glorified (see 1 Peter 4:14). With the Holy Spirit as our guide, let's continue marching toward Celestial City dear pilgrims. Each one taking up his or her cross daily, resting in the allevation of God's shade, and been revitalized by the sweet savor of prayer. Always been readily armed with the sword (the Bible), and continually looking unto Christ, the Author, and Finisher of our faith.

About the Author:Essayist, and aspiring writer and poet, MariusJBotha, has written a great many inspiring essays, articles, and personal nonfiction stories. He is also in the process of writing a book. Most of his work has been for personal use, or on various social networking sites. A born again Christian, with a passion to spread the truth. Meticulous and concise, who believes solely in Christ been the only acceptability to God, and justification by faith in Him. Having a 'law to the proud and grace to the humble,' disposition. Nonetheless has flexibility and is able to adjust in writing style, when and if required.

Email contact: mariusjbotha@live.co.uk

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