Have No Fear
April 25, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8.
For forty years, I have had somewhat of an aversion to the use of chewing gum. I used to enjoy it but I find no joy in chewing gum now. It has probably come about from an incident I experienced in high school. A teacher had a rule that there should be no chewing of gum in his class. One day, I had forgotten about the rule until the class was already underway. I was sitting almost in the front row and knew that the teacher would see me if I took the gum out of my mouth. So, I tried not to move the gum around and succeeded for some minutes. However, the teacher did finally notice the rule breaker in his class and justice was administered very quickly. He told me to come with him and he administered three licks with a wooden paddle that had holes drilled in it to make it sting more. The punishment was effective for the teacher’s purposes because it did strike fear into the hearts of all prospective gum chewers in his class, including me.
Surprisingly, I read this morning that a man in Turkey was arrested because he was chewing gum when he laid a wreath at the monument to Kemal Ataturk who was the country’s founder. Chewing of gum, according to the law, is disrespectful - at least in this instance. His excuse was that he was trying to cover up his garlic breath. It is unknown what penalty he will face for this breach of his country’s rules.
You may never have broken a rule of a teacher or of a country by chewing gum but, you are still a rule breaker. Why do I say that? Because we have all come short of the absolute holiness of God. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned. You have sinned and I have sinned. We have all come short of the holiness of God. It may have only been what in our eyes was a little lie. But, we failed at that point to live perfectly. We were tempted at all points and we failed.
If it were possible for us to live perfectly by never breaking any of God’s rules, then, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to come down from the glories of Heaven and suffer and die on the cross for our sins. Jesus has done what we could not do. He lived a perfect life and became the perfect sacrificial lamb dying in our place. In Hebrews 4:14-16 are told, "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."
Unlike many human enforcers of human rules and laws, God does have mercy and He has demonstrated the love from which that mercy flows. We may have a fear of chewing gum or other things but, we should never be afraid of approaching God in the Name of Jesus. In verse 17 of Hebrews chapter four this is made very clear when we are told, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Have no fear of approaching God for mercy when you come in the Name of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.