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999.99 isn't 100%

 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—simply come clean about them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. (I John 1:8-10)

There are a whole lot of ways I show off my 'ignorance', but I don't want one of them to be that I think I am without sin - I am a sinner, yet redeemed from my sin! Admitting our sin is the only way to be free from it. If we admit our sinfulness, does that make us no longer sinners? We all have a human nature - there is always going to be a 'pull toward' sin in our lives as long as we are walking on this earth. Do we have to 'give into' that pull? No, because we have been given a new life in Christ Jesus - the desire might be there, but we have the ability to no longer act upon that desire. Is it still a struggle for us at times? Yes, because the enemy of our souls doesn't like it that we aren't giving into that impulse to sin. 

Some of us need to 'come clean' when it comes to our sinfulness. We have been hiding some things in our lives as well as we possibly can, but the light of God isn't going to allow what we hide to be hidden forever. We are not fooling God - we are merely trying to fool ourselves into believing we aren't 'sinful' or 'sinners'. I have met people who claim to be 'good' - therefore they believe they have no need for a Savior. They justify their 'goodness' by their good deeds and their 'lack of outward sin', all the while denying they still struggle with inner thoughts and desires that aren't all that wholesome. They don't do the 'big sins' like murder, but they might just hold grudges and think themselves better than others. Does that mean they aren't sinners? No, it just means they are disillusioned about what 'sin' actually is. In the simplest sense, sin is defined as anytime we miss the mark. 

What is the 'mark' we are to be aiming at in life? If we don't know God, that 'mark' may actually be something quite different than what God deems to be the 'mark'. God's mark is purity, holiness, and justice. How many of us actually struggle with at least one of those three on occasion? Likely it is all of us. None of us is 100% pure. It amazed me to know the gold jewelry we buy is not 100% pure - there is always some form copper, silver, or other impurities. In all our work to get gold pure, we have only been able to achieve 999.99 purity, leaving that miniscule amount as 'impure'. As much as we may try to 'clean our lives up' and live pure lives on our own, there will always remain some 'miniscule' amount that isn't quite 'hitting the mark'. Grace is the only way to actually rid ourselves of all the impurities - the grace that is only available in Christ Jesus! Just sayin!

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