There are some passages of Scripture that seem to hit me right between the eyes almost every time I read them. One of these passages is Romans 5:6-8:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christianity is the only religion in the world that points to God as the only source of righteousness. Every other religion wants to include man’s righteousness through good works. Roman Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, … All of these other religions are bankrupt because mankind has no righteousness of its own to bring to the table.
That Christ died for sinners like me is the only hope that I have. Or you have. We cannot look at our neighbor to decide if we have even a shred of righteousness. We can only look at God and see that we have none. In the words of Isaiah:
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5).
Isaiah saw God and realized he was lost. When we look at God, we too should recognize that we too are lost. Isaiah’s sin was atoned for by God, and God took away his guilt. Likewise, only God can take away ours through the atonement of Jesus’ blood on the cross.