Words from the Heart for Sunday October 27th, 2019
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luke 5:32 (NIV)
Call to Repentance
On November 7, 2018, the Canadian government officially apologized for the 1939 decision to turn away the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 907 German Jews fleeing the Nazi regime. The Canadian government at the time heeded the anti-Semitic sentiment abroad at the time by severely restricting Jewish immigration. From 1933 to 1945, only about 5,000 Jewish refugees were accepted. When Ottawa refused to let the MS St. Louis passengers disembark, the ship returned to Europe.
The Bible is very clear that there is no one who is without sin. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, it says. There is no one righteous, not one. These truths fly in the face of those in the world who believe that men and women are basically good but sometimes do bad things. The Bible teaches that the heart of a person is deceitfully wicked. Now if that was the end of the story, we would be left in our sin without hope. But it is far from the end of the story. Jesus says this in Luke 5:32: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” That is good news for everyone, because none of us are righteous. Now there were, and are, those who claim to be righteous because of their own good deeds. But unless Jesus has transformed their hearts by His grace, they are far from being the righteous person they think they are. Jesus calls each of us to repentance. He calls us to turn our backs on our sin and turn in faith to Him. And when we do, He transforms our hearts and places in us His righteousness. Only then can we call ourselves righteous.
These have been words from the heart.