In a letter to his protege Timothy, the Apostle Paul calls himself the worst (1 Timothy 1:15).
I think we all need to look at ourselves as among the worst of sinners, because all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). All of us have lied, have cheated, have harbored anger, have held ill will towards others, have acted selfishly, have manipulated. We sin.
Our society likes to undermine sin, and call it freedom. We like to deny sin and blame other factors such as society and upbringing. We like to undermine the culpability for addictions and call them diseases.
But we regularly, freely, reject to carry out the will of God.
The higher the view we have of sin and of the cost of our sin, the greater the appreciation we can have for the grace of God. Because in the gospel, in spite of our sin and imperfection, we see Jesus dying so that we could be redeemed. We have a savior who died to save the worst of sinners. And on that cross, he shows that sin is costly. The cross makes no sense otherwise. Jesus died to make the ungodly, Godly.
May we rejoice in that.
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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.