Overheard this conversation few weeks ago in the office..
Officemate1: Yung pamangkin ko nagiinvite sa church.
Officemate2: Saang church yan?
Officemate1: Sa victory, Christian un, mag accept ka lang daw kay Jesus saved ka na, ano kaya un kung di ka naman nagbabago?
It’s hard for us to change, to be blameless, to try to keep up with God’s holiness. There’s always that gap, God is holy and we are not, God is perfect and we are sinners. That’s why some wouldn’t go to church because they think they would melt. All because of that infinite gap between man and God. We try to count our good works so that it remains greater than our bad works, but at the end of the day, we still do the math because we keep on sinning. We are selfish in nature, rotten to the very core of our hearts, that’s why it’s very hard for us to change.
The gospel: Christ dying for our sins is good news. It’s not a good advice, it does not list out 10 ways to become a better you. What the gospel says is that while we are still sinners, Christ loved us and died for us. While we are rebellious and ugly, He chose to die on the cross to reconcile us to Him, so that we may belong to Him and have a relationship with Him.
God is inviting us to a have a relationship with Him. So that “accept ka lang daw kay Jesus” part is not a one time ceremonial event. It’s entering into a loving relationship with Jesus. Ceremonies, rituals, good works won’t change a person. But knowing that you are loved despite being rotten and ugly to the core makes you fall in love with Jesus and produces a real change in you. It’s more like falling in love than getting into a religion. It’s more like being consumed by a relationship than being governed by rules. Getting into relationship with Jesus means you’re not of your own, you belong to Him and you abhor sin because it is what He died for. But because you love Him, you will keep His commandments not because you’re obliged to, but because you want to. That’s how seamlessly it will work. Instead of compliance, it becomes a romance.
I pray that we get to realize how much of a sinner we are and how much God loved us despite being such. I pray that we all fall in love with Jesus, accept His invitation to have a relationship with Him, so that relationship will replace the rules. Rules on stone tablets won’t produce change in us, rituals won’t make us any better as well, good works outweighing your bad works won’t get us out of our sin. But being loved by Jesus and loving Jesus is the change in itself that we need, becoming a better version of yourself is just the fruit of having it.