A New Record
Living in Lake Nona, there’s a lot of talk about career advancement. There’s a lot of emphasis on education and on improving one’s resume for the future. Whether you are currently looking for a new job, or whether you’re staying home with children every day of the week, I think we’re all attempting to write a better resume. We all want to demonstrate to the watching world that we have it together and we’re the right person for the job.
When it comes to our relationship with God, I think most of us think in resume terms. We believe that if we were to die and stand before God, and he was to ask us why he should let us into his heaven, that we would be able to present our resume to him. On our resume we would demonstrate that we’ve done far more good things than bad. That we’ve raised children, worked honestly, paid our taxes on time, and therefore should be found more than acceptable for the God of heaven.
I would argue that most world religions actually think in these terms as well. The way you are found acceptable to God is that if your life works are put on a scale, the good things you’ve done need to outweigh the bad. As long as your scale is like this, you can feel confident that God will allow you into his presence. As common as this belief is, it’s actually quite contradictory to the message of the Bible.
The Bible demonstrates that God is perfectly holy and without any fault or sin at all. He created human beings to be like him, to love him, to serve him, and to never do anything evil. But in our own selfish rebellion, we have destroyed ourselves by sinning against him. Therefore, if the only resume that’s acceptable to God is one that’s perfect none of us stands a chance. It’s not a matter of good deeds outweighing bad deeds. It’s a matter of there being no evil deeds at all. None of us has a resume like that.
The apostle Paul talks about this dilemma in Philippians chapter 3. He states there that our record falls short, even when we think we’ve done a lot of good things. In fact, Paul lists his own resume in verses 4-6 to illustrate this reality. If eternal life with God could be achieved by keeping the law, his resume should have done it. He was circumcised on the 8th day (according to the Mosaic law), a Pharisee of Pharisee’s, and in terms of keeping the law, he says he was blameless. But now, Paul says, he counts his resume as rubbish in order that he may gain Christ. Why? Because Christ has the only perfect resume.
Christ is God the Son. He came from heaven to live the life we were meant to live without succumbing to evil. Jesus came to die for us, taking our sinful resume on himself. And God shows that our resume is dealt with in Jesus’ by bringing him back to life after he died. Paul now sees that his own record is broken, but Christ’s record is perfect. And here’s the amazing truth of the gospel. If we believe in Jesus, looking to his cross, Jesus exchanges his record for ours. When a person believes in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we stand before God and submit Jesus’ resume instead of our own!
This is the good news. If we think that we can achieve a good enough resume to be acceptable to God on our own we are gravely mistaken. Our resume will always fall short. But when we look to the cross of Jesus, not only is our broken resume dealt with, but his perfect resume is given to us and we can stand before God’s throne with confidence. Jesus gives us a new record; his own. You can’t get a better resume than that.