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Session 9

Being right with God is not the same as being perfect

Read: Matthew 9

There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But Jesus taught, “If it ain’t broke, it can’t be fixed!” He said, “...It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick … For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:12, 13b).  

Matthew’s audience was mainly Jewish, and much of his writing was aimed at the Jewish religious leaders of the day. For centuries they had believed being “good people” and “obeying the rules” made them right with God. But even if their behavior wasn’t always perfect, they knew their family heritage had them covered. Really? The naked truth is these folks didn’t want Jesus. They didn’t see a need for change, nor were they willing to change. They thought they could do things for themselves. Furthermore, they hated Jesus for hanging out with all the sinful people they looked down on.  

Humans love to self-improve. It feeds our pride. But if someone can fix himself, then what’s the need for Jesus? The apostle Paul said it this way, “I do not set aside (reject) the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing” (Galatians 2:21). In other words, if someone can work hard enough to get right with God, then what was the point of Christ crucified?

Jesus is for everyone, from preachers to prostitutes. Everyone needs God’s grace. Salvation is not a life made better. It is a life made brand new (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Bible teaches a broken and burdened life is the requirement for entering God’s kingdom (Matthew 11:28). After all, only sinners need a savior. Forgiving sins is what Jesus does best. It is an act of worship when we release our sins and let God forgive us.

Reflect:

  • No one becomes God’s child by having Christian parents or being born into a Christian family. You must have your own personal relationship with Jesus. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus today? If you aren't sure, find out more information here. 
  • Are you still trying to earn God’s acceptance by “being good” and “obeying all the rules?”
  • What is one thing you’ve been trying to fix on your own that you need to let God handle instead?

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