Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | February 26, 2015

February 26, 2015 “99 and 44/100% Pure”

” For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God,and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17)

Good Morning Everyone! This is the Day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!

I heard a story about a boy who went to school one day, obviously a bit nonplussed about something or other. Rather sheepishly, he raised his hand and the teacher, a Miss Jones, inquired of the lad as to what it was that was troubling him. The boy asked, “Miss Jones…do you think someone should be punished for something they didn’t do?” Miss Jones smiled and answered “Of course not!” The boy sighed in relief and said, “I’m really glad to hear that, because I didn’t do my homework!” The young man was not guilty of the sin of commission… doing something that should not be done, but was guilty of the sin of omission...not doing something that should have been done. Miss Jones was not free of culpability,either. She blithely dismissed, (admittedly through ignorance of the entire situation), the lad’s transgression. One can only hope that upon hearing the boy’s response to her hasty answer, she did, in fact, take action to correct his error and her own as well.

When I was in Confirmation class, many years ago, I remember learning from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, an historic church document laying out reformed church doctrine and teaching, this definition of sin:

“Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.”

Put simply, “want of conformity” means not conforming to, or obeying God’s law…the sin of omission. “Transgression of” means willful disobedience, or the sin of commission. Both are sin and a violation of God’s Holy decrees. Unfortunately, sin without repentance carries with it a terrible penalty…death…eternal separation from God. Even the most minor of transgressions is enough to separate us from a Holy God, who cannot look upon sin with blithe disregard. Years ago there was a detergent that claimed to be “99 and 44/100% pure! What that meant, in point of fact, was that it was impure. By definition, pure means “without spot or blemish of any kind.” Even 56/100th of a percent of impurity rendered the product impure. In our tolerance, we have little trouble dismissing certain sins and transgressions as being nothing more than “little while lies” or “no big deal”. Those “little white lies and no big deals” were not overlooked by a Holy God. He offered sin’s only solution…the perfect sacrifice…the spotless lamb…his only Son, Jesus Christ, to bear the cost we could not hope to pay on the cross of Calvary. The great missionary Amy Carmichael declared,

“If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any; if I can speak in a casual way even of a child’s misdoings, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

The knowledge of our sinfulness, even in the smallest things, should bring us to the humbling realization of our need for a Savior, and his name is Jesus. Sin is a big deal, and we all stand guilty. Understanding that the weight of it was borne on our behalf by our Lord is utterly amazing and beyond comprehension. Such is the love of Christ for you and me. Let’s pray!

Teach me, my Lord, not to regard my salvation as some small act of kindness, but to understand it for the amazing grace it truly is, for “I once was lost, but now am found…was blind, but now I see.” Amen!

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