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Accept that everyone is a sinner
pastor corner

Friday marks 14 years since that fateful day.

Many of us watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the second tower in New York City. We heard about plane at the Pentagon and the other one that did not make it to its intended destination, crashing in the Pennsylvania countryside. Almost 3,000 people died that day.

Since that time, our world has not been the same. I can remember boarding a plane with my wife and sons standing at the gate to bid me farewell; now we must say goodbye long before arriving at the gate. There are all manner of measures taken to seek to avoid this type of tragedy again; some of them are just downright inconvenient for us. They all remind us of that day.

When I think about Sept. 11, I am reminded of the truthfulness of the biblical teaching of the universality of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It also says, “There is none righteous; no, not one.”

The consistent teaching of the Scriptures is that we all are sinners. We all have messed up; there is no one who is perfect. Almost everyone agrees with that last statement. I know of no one who claims to be perfect. But we do not regularly take that to its logical conclusion. Many today do not want to accept the idea that they are sinners. We would prefer to compare ourselves to others. “I’m better than my neighbor, my cousin, my friend or the man down the hall in the other office.” And with that, we are satisfied.

But the teaching of the Bible takes issue with that. It reminds us that God is holy and perfect in every way. And it tells us that sin is far more serious than what we normally believe.

I decided a long time ago that it is in my best interest to agree with what the Bible says on this issue rather than what my heart says. My conscience can be easily assuaged. But remember this: It was Jiminy Cricket, not the Bible, that said, “Let your conscience be your guide.”

Once I recognize and acknowledge that I am a sinner, then I am prepared to meet God. Then, I can receive his forgiveness and grace. I am grateful for his love that I do not deserve. It is my only hope for eternal life.

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