If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” -- what would your answer be?
What God Demands
God demands perfection -- no more and no less -- because he is perfect and just. God created us to be perfect too. Since Adam and Eve, people are born imperfect and live far less than perfect. But since God is the same, the requirement of perfection remains the same. We may not like
that requirement, but God is God. He makes the rules.
What God Sees
As much as we'd like to deny or hide it, no one can claim to be perfect -- without sin. We'd like to believe that we are but, if we're honest, even our own hearts won't let us get away with that lie. Our Ways of Coping with that Truth Our hearts don't want to believe we're sinful, that there's something wrong with us, and we'll try anything to avoid admitting it. Trying to balance the bad things we do with good things, promising to do better next time, and comparing our lives with others may make us feel better for a time, but they don't solve the problem!
God Has Provided the Solution!
God's remedy centers on a person. That person is God's own Son, Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God from all eternity, but that he became a human being. But Jesus was unlike any other human being. He never sinned in any way. Yet he was put to death. We're told why. "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all." (Isaiah 53:6) In the same way, Jesus' perfection, righteousness, was credited to us. "God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” The answer is because of Jesus! Jesus died for my sins. He was punished for them, not me. I have been declared not guilty through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!
This priceless gift which God has provided for all and that he gives through faith in Jesus Christ is the starting point for our life in him, with him, and for him. It is in this grace of God that we live and grow. Everything we do now, we strive to do out of thankfulness for what he has done. We can't earn his love or make him love us any more than he already does! As his Holy Spirit continues his work in us through Word and Sacraments, we experience more and more the blessings of God: freedom from guilt, power for godly living, answers to prayer, and guidance for life. This is life -- God's kind of life. This is peace with God through Jesus. And he gives it to you.