Meeting God’s Standard

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him1 John 2:28-29

Have you ever heard the phrase “setting the bar high”? If you are trying to see who is the best basketball player in your group of friends, you might determine who makes the most points. If the highest scorer scored 10 points in 30 minutes of playing, everyone would think that was an impressive score. However, if a new friend scored 20 points in 30 minutes, you might say that he set the bar of “the best player” even higher. Compared to 20 points, 10 points wouldn’t seem so impressive anymore.
In the same way, many people say that they are good people. But on Judgment Day, when Jesus comes back and judges all people, they will realize that Jesus has set the bar of righteousness pretty high. Jesus not only lived a life free of sin, He defines righteousness. He is righteousness itself. Therefore, when you place our sinful pasts, no matter how little sin we might think we have done, next to His 100% sinless past, we will inevitably look pretty sinful. He has set the bar of righteousness so high that we as humans could never reach it and could never be worthy to be in God’s presence because of our sinful record.
Because we could never be righteous like Jesus, He had to wipe away our sinful past all together. He had to put our sins to death by His own death on the cross so that we could be born again as completely new creations out of righteousness Himself. Therefore, on Judgment Day, vs. 28 says we will no longer feel shame next to Jesus’ righteousness; instead we will feel confidence from being born out of Jesus’ righteousness too. Especially when we choose to abide in Him and actually practice our newfound righteousness.

Questions for reflection and discussion
1. Are you a good person?
2. Do you feel confident about standing before God on Judgment day?

Dear God, we know that on our own, we can never live up to Jesus’ sinless standard. Please give us the grace to lean on Christ’s righteousness as our own and the will to live holy lives. Amen.