What Part of Perfect Don’t You Understand?
Bible Reading: Romans 3:10-20
No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands. Romans 3:20
It’s the last week of school before spring break, and Mia can’t wait to see the scores for her fitness tests in gym class. Mia outran, outcrunched, and outscored her whole school in every event. But when her teacher hands her the results, she shrieks in horror. She missed the mark in every single area.
Mia crawls up to her gym teacher, ready to beg for mercy. “Mr. Hammer, what did I do wrong? I thought I would win a fitness award.”
“Award?” Mr. Hammer waves his megamuscular finger at Mia. “You didn’t win any award. You’re not even going to pass my class. Didn’t you read the requirements posted by my office? To pass you have to run a mile in under three minutes, hang from a bar for six hours, do the fifty-yard dash in two seconds, and slam a 32-ounce bottle of Gatorade in six seconds while singing our school song. You have to do a thousand sit-ups, five hundred push-ups, bowl a perfect game, and be voted Best Dancer during the square-dance unit.”
No wonder they call him Mr. Hammer!
Would you walk out of Mr. Hammer’s class feeling a little hopeless? Try totally hopeless! This teacher’s standards are way out of reach—except maybe the part about guzzling Gatorade. And given a few lifetimes, you might be able to do a thousand sit-ups. But the other requirements are absolutely not doable.
It’s obvious that pleasing Mr. Hammer by obeying his rules is impossible.
Hopefully you don’t have teachers as tough and unreasonable as Mr. Hammer. But that’s what we’re up against if we try to please God by obeying his rules. It can’t be done. The point isn’t that God’s rules are unreasonable, but that keeping them perfectly is unreachable. No one can go through life without committing one little sin, and the Bible says, “The person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws” (James 2:10).
Is God as heartless as Mr. Hammer? No way! God didn’t give us his commandments to make us fail. His commandments show what his perfection looks like. But his standards also point out that we aren’t perfect—and that we need another way to come to him.
Jesus is the way. He opens the door and welcomes you into heaven—and to a close relationship with your loving God right now. Do you accept?
TALK: One of the first steps in trusting God is admitting you can’t keep all of his rules perfectly. Do you really believe that? Why or why not?
PRAY: God, thank you for giving us a way to get to you—through Jesus’ death for us.
ACT: Remind a friend today that God accepts us because of Jesus—not because we’re perfect!