“You find yourself enjoying a game with a group of friends at the local sports bar. When the game ends you realize you’re the one least drunk. But don’t compare yourself to your friends, compare yourself to someone who hasn’t been drinking at all; that’s the standard the police use.”
This was the heart of a radio ad for a DUI attorney that caught my attention. The police don’t compare a drunk driver to other drunk drivers, but to those who are fully sober.
Our habit is to compare ourselves with others. Our own goodness and badness is based on those around us. We think, “Well, I’m not as bad as that guy over there, so I’m a good person.”
God’s standard isn’t to compare us to each other but to Him. Jesus said, You shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). That’s a very stiff comparison that makes each of us utter and desperate failures. No matter how hard we try, perfection is beyond each of us.
This failure reveals the glory and genius of the gospel. The perfect measure of God is impossible for us, so Jesus came, God in human flesh. Through His death on the cross, He became the bridge between sinful man and holy God. By faith in Jesus, God the Father applies the perfect righteousness of Jesus to the sinner.
Jesus alone makes the sinner right in the eyes of God.
The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22-23).