I obey the law, drive carefully, donate to charities that touch my emotions and I am generally liked by others.
Does this sound familiar? The secular world is full of “good persons”. But, so is the Christian church militant.
Those “good persons” in the temporal world are right to a point. Using their scale of what is good to their fellowman, they can always find someone not as good as they are.
Ask the average person if they think they’ll go to heaven when they die and they will answer ‘well, I’m a good person; I haven’t killed anyone’ or words to that affect.
‘I’m not as bad as most people’. That is not a “good person”; that is a modern day Pharisee.
We as Lutheran Christians, being “in the world” can easily fall into that scenario of comparing ourselves to others to establish our “goodness” quotient. We can quickly fall into the pharisaical thinking.
As Lutheran Christians we are to be “in the world’ and not “of the world”. In this fast growing technological age, it is easier to slip into the temporal thinking mentioned above.
In order to avoid this trap that the evil one has so craftily set for , we need to, we must prepare against it.
How do we do that? We avail ourselves of all the defensive gifts given to us by our Creator God in the Bible and our churches. Put God at the top of our priority list. Prayer is the way to begin – establish a regular program of prayer, conversing with the one who created us.
We get prepared by attending divine worship services and partaking of the gifts God is there to give us; the gift of the sacraments.
We maintain contact with our Savior by getting involved in a regular formal Bible Study and setting a certain time of day to read from our Bibles.
In doing this we will learn and remember that we are not looking to be judged by the people of this world. Their measuring stick is subjective; you might measure up with some and not with others.
We are being measured by God’s holy and inerrant Word. And, in order to measure up to be that “good person” we must take on the mantle of our Savior Jesus Christ.
He and only He can clear us of our sins and forgives us of our lapses into the worldly pharisaical thinking.
I am a good person. Yes, indeed through the life, suffering, death and resurrection of the Son of God, our Savior Jesus Christ. Are we fit to go to heaven when we die? Yes, through Christ who saves us.