Who Have I Sinned Against?

“Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4) 

Oh, how it might be different if we saw sin the way David wrote about it in Psalm 51. Sometimes it took him a while to recognize his sin and who his sin offended, but David always got there. Unfortunately, many of us never get to that point. All sin first and foremost is against God. Seen or unseen, known or unknown, God sees it and knows it. However, for some reason we have this idea that our “hidden” sins—hidden in the sense that few if any know about them, or are sins that don’t necessarily affect anyone else—are somehow of less importance to God. You know the ones I’m talking about: the lie you told, that sexual indiscretion. How about that questionable tax deduction or that fake expense you submitted on your company expense report? How about that anger, even if only in your heart, toward your spouse, parent, or child? The list goes on and on. Continue reading

Created for Good Works

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10)

The Apostle Paul taught clearly that salvation was by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone—that there was nothing in man that merited salvation. Not only in Ephesians did he emphasize this message, but in all of his letters and throughout his ministry. This is the gospel, the “good news” he received from Christ. It is also the gospel Paul would die proclaiming. Continue reading

Grading on a Curve

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Most of us are probably familiar with what it means to grade on a curve. Some of us may have even benefited from it in school. In education, it is a statistical method of assigning grades in order to yield a predetermined distribution of grades among students in a class. One of the outcomes of grading on a curve is ensuring that students are assessed relative to peers in their class. When I was in school, I loved it when my teachers graded on a curve because I knew if I did just enough to be better than the majority of the people in my class, I would get by. Continue reading