Before I became a believer, I did not want to accept His offer of salvation because I did not feel ready. A part of me thought that I needed to be worthy of it first. I told myself that the only way the gospel applied to me would be if God spoke to me or miraculously zapped my heart so that I suddenly found myself completely different. There were intellectual roadblocks too, but the heart of it was the deep unworthiness that pressed upon my conscience which prevented me from believing the gospel applied to me. I let my self-judgement rule over God’s offer of salvation in which He would personally judge me as righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice. I treated the gospel as a mere abstraction, rather than a personal offer. I’m here to tell you the good news: I was wrong.
Imagine some children played in the mud and got all dirty as a result. The father says, “Children, please take a shower. I want you to be clean” but the dirtiest child says, “No dad, you certainly can’t mean me. I’m not worthy of it. I’m super unclean!” Wouldn’t this be silly? The whole point of taking a shower is to be made clean no matter how dirty. If you were already clean, there would be no point in taking a shower. Imagine further that this child consistently gets dirty every single day. If this child thought that his father must love him less then this would be mistaken. What kind of father would kick his child outside and not allow him to shower because he has failed an X amount of times?
If our earthly fathers do this, how much more so does our heavenly Father (Luke 11:13)? Salvation is not about being worthy, it is about being made worthy. Now it may seem difficult. You may think, “But God! Even so, I will repeatedly fail you. I know my ways and how wicked they are.” However, God will say, “You don’t think I know this already? And yet I still say to you, come and choose life. Be cleansed.” We are not qualified by our righteous actions. Even if fail on a consistent basis, Jesus saved us in spite of our wickedness. How then could it be that we remain in Christ by our righteousness?
God’s Offer Applies To You
God wants “all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), so much so that “He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). This offer is not exclusive to the elect: “He Himself is the propitiation for our sin, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). So long as you are a human being, the offer applies to you. These are the words of God Himself and to cast doubt upon them is to elevate your judgement over God. So you can either accept God at His Word or you can reject God as a liar. There is no middle ground here.
You do not need to wait for God to miraculously zap your heart or speak directly in order to know that this offer applies to you. Stop waiting! The dirty child does not wait outside for water and soap to miraculously descend from the sky. He has faith in his father so he acts upon the offer by giving himself over to be cleansed. You should do the same! Do you trust that God offers this to you? Do you trust that God will repair your sin? Then give yourself to Him! It is really that simple.
Walk In Faith
What’s difficult is continuing to walk in that faith in the midst of failure. Failure tries to point the focus back to you, but faith points the focus back on God. All of the pain, guilt, and despair that you feel should assure you even more that you cannot do this, only God can. Failure should strengthen our faith, not weaken it. Any guilt that weakens our faith is a work of the devil. As long as you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can make it in the kingdom of God. Whenever you experience trials, think of it as an opportunity for your mustard seed faith to grow bigger.
All you need to do is trust in Him and His promises: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). How do you know the Son has in fact set you free? By believing in Him (John 3:16).