You know what I love about the Bible? It’s full of hooligans, miscreants, and rabble-rousers. When reading God’s Word I am hard pressed to find somebody who is a good influence on my behavior. Well okay, there is Jesus and He is God so yah, He’s a good influence, but most of the other people in the Bible are scumbags. If your goal is to be a better person and you’re reading the Bible to bolster that then just put it down and go watch Dr. Phil. If you’re desire is to know God and see how God interacts, reacts, and uses normal, awful, everyday people then I suggest you pick up the Scriptures.
I’m sorry to be the one to break the news (Okay, I’m not really that sorry) but the Bible is an R rated book full of blood, guts, booze, and sex. There is a reason Hollywood stays away and it’s not what most people think. The Bible is too real, it’s too gritty; God sugar coats nothing.
For some this is a hard realization. For people looking for their best life now or a good list of rules to follow hearing that King David was a lying, dirty, sex addict murderer (2 Samuel 11) causes some hurt and confusion. For some you’ve probably written me off as a heretic, and I’m okay with that because there’s just no pleasing some people. But for those of us who don’t fit in, those of us who are admittedly dirty, rotten sinners in need of a holy, loving Savior this is a fantastic realization.
Why would God do this? If we’re in the sales business wouldn’t we want the testimonials? When was the last time you went to buy a car and the salesman said, “Yah, it was a nice car at one point but it’s going to need a lot of work and the older it gets the more work it’ll need and no matter what you do this car will eventually suck some more cash out of you, but hey, it’ll get you where you need to go.” That’s what the Bible does with people. It would be different if the Apostle Peter were an impetuous, pride filled, Nancy pants before He met Jesus but then changed into a bold warrior but that’s not the case. He was that before, he had traces of that later, and the only redeeming quality of Peter was Jesus’ impact on his life.
The Bible is not a testimonial about how awesome it is to lead a good life; it is a testimonial about how awesome God is.
Righteous people looking for religion need not apply.
Sinners looking for Salvation right this way, please.
The Bible holds all believers to a standard of perfection. Holiness. Absolute life change (Matthew 5:48). If this is the standard then why isn’t the Bible full of good people who have that down? Why isn’t the Bible full of good folks who got better? Why are they so many sinners in the Bible?
Holiness, perfection, absolute life change is absolutely impossible without Jesus. Any work we do of that on our own is worthless. In the eyes of God good works done without Him are like dirty tampons (Isaiah 64:6). That is why the Bible is full of rotten nasty people doing great things for God then messing up again then doing more great things for God. God is realistic. God loves. God shows us why we need Him and what He can do.
The next time you think you’re too far away from God to be loved read the Bible and you’ll realize you’re in good company. The next time you think you’re so holy and that God is lucky to have you on His team, read the Bible and realize that you’re wrong.
Danny Exyle is the chief writer for www.sinnerscircle.blogspot.com
(Photo attribution: http://2.bp.blogspot.com)
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