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Gold is gold, right? If someone offered you a bar of gold bullion, absolutely free, you’d take it. And be glad. Now imagine someone offers you a bar of gold, but tosses it into a pit full of sewage. Do you wade in after it? Gold is gold, right? A little sewage on the outside is easily wiped off the bar. Oh, it would be unpleasant to retrieve it, but cleanup is easy. And gold is gold.
I know this is a gross illustration. But some people see themselves in the same way. They see themselves as good people. They may be a bit messy on the outside. Nobody is perfect. Everyone does some things wrong. But underneath they believe they have a heart of gold.
The apostle John challenges this thinking in 1 John 1:8, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (NIV) The verse refers to a state of being. People claim they are not sinful. They claim to be good. They claim their acts of sin only mess up the surface, like sewage on a bar of gold. They feel no need for change or transformation of their inner self.
John calls this is self-deception. When we violate God’s laws, claims we are not sinful are lies. We all need Jesus to cleans us from sin. Rejoice that Jesus purifies us from sin and transforms our hearts.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.