by Justin Huffman
Romans 4:25 says that Jesus was "delivered for our offenses."
Your initial response to that statement might be: “Offenses? What offenses? I’m a pretty good person who lives a pretty good life.” And you’re probably right! You haven’t killed anybody ever, you haven’t stolen from anybody lately, and you haven’t lied to anybody… today.
You and I are pretty good people. But that’s just the problem.
We are pretty good people living in a world that was created by a perfectly good God! And before we get back to the good news, we need to pause here and think about what it means to have this infinite and untraversible gap between our flawed character and record, and God’s perfectly good character and standard.
As Paul explains in the previous chapter (Romans 3): "There is none righteous, no, not one…and the way of peace have they not known (how true!)…Therefore by the deeds of the law [no one can] be justified in [God’s] sight." God is perfectly good, and we are -- at best -- only pretty good people with lots of flaws and failures. And because God is good, he does not lower his standards in order to let sinners slide; God doesn't minimize lying or stealing or selfishness in order to make us feel better. Our sins, our failures offend the goodness of God.
There is no way that pretty good people can be good enough for a perfectly good God.
The Bible, then, is not primarily calling you to be a good person, but to trust in the grace of God to make you good enough. And so now the good news: God has made a way of salvation! And the grace of God is entirely wrapped up in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was delivered for our offenses.
Jesus was betrayed into the hands of hateful people, not by accident or merely by human cunning, but according to God’s eternal purpose to deliver Jesus for our offenses.
Jesus died in order to take our offenses, and the punishment for them, on himself and pay completely for them on the cross.
So whether you are a pretty good person, or a notoriously poor excuse for a human being -- Jesus is your only hope for standing before the perfectly good God who created this world.
© Baptist Bible Hour
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