There is something resident within us that wants perfection. We see it in our mind as we observe things around us that are not perfect. We feel uncomfortable when entering a hotel room that is old, dirty, and unkempt. We feel displeasure when lied to. There is a righteous anger that mounts upon our heart when we see or hear about a child or elderly person that has been abused.
Perfection is an ideal that we all want, yet accept that we can never apprehend. Why is it that we earnestly desire perfection and feel disappointed, angry, or perplexed when every human being we meet is incapable of this perfection?
When God first created mankind upon the earth, we were perfect in every regard. All of the ideals that we hope for in ourselves and others, were a part of life from the beginning. We were made to live in a perfect world and until this becomes our reality we will never be truly satisfied.
All of us know and accept the imperfections of our being. We know that perfection in all our words and deeds is never going to happen. We hope that people will grant us mercy when we fail and exhibit behavior or conversation that is not correct. On the other hand, when people do these very same things to us, we instantly feel a sense of disgust. This double standard for righteousness is present in all human beings. What we hold others accountable for, we often fail to hold ourselves accountable to.
We are, by nature, selfish. We spend all of our days completely focussed on our self and pursue things that bring us satisfaction and pleasure. Even when we do a magnanimous deed for the benefit of others, we are still thinking about how this might benefit ourselves. It is virtually impossible for a human being to do anything without seeking some sort of benefit for themselves. This is observed in us by the way that we feel when we do or say something loving or kind for another person and they do not acknowledge our good deed.
I read a post on Facebook by one of my friends a while back that stated that when they held the door open for a person at the entrance to a store, this person never said anything in response to their good deed. This friend stated that they immediately said to this person who ignored their good work: “your welcome.” In other words, they expected to hear a thank you from this stranger to whom they held the door for. If my friend was truly interested only in blessing this passing stranger, then no response would be necessary. They were expecting some sort of reward for their kindness and felt displeasure at being ignored.
I say these things so that we can have a basic understanding of the reasons why we all need a Savior. It is because of our imperfect nature that cannot ever be free of defects, that we need to be changed. We have lived so long inside an imperfect body—with behavior that is deficient, that we do not notice our imperfections any more. Our world and all those in it are just as imperfect as we are, some even more so. This reality has immunized us against seeing how degraded human life truly is.
The problem is that we cannot change ourselves and become perfect; neither can anyone else on this earth make us perfect. Many people have tried to develop must-step processes whereby a person can change themselves, but these efforts often do not work in the long term.
In order to experience perfection we must have the opportunity to start our life over again as a brand new person, with a body, mind and heart that are perfect. This is the reason that Jesus came into the world and became one of us. He entered the world much differently than all of us. We all have the defective DNA that Adam possessed which makes it impossible for us to be perfect. Jesus was born into the world without the DNA of Adam and this made it possible for Him to be perfect and therefore our representative.
Of course our behavior and lack of perfection are not really related to our DNA. I use this term for illustrative purposes only. The defect that we posses is called “sin.” It basically means that we are incapable of hitting the mark of perfection. It is a term that began long ago and is used to define the nature of all human beings. We are sinners by nature. That is, we naturally do those things that are wrong because it is our nature to do so. When we are good, it is by effort in overcoming our basic nature to do bad. We are not basically good, we are by nature bad and the evidence of this truth is observed all over the word—everyday. Just turn on the TV or your Smart Phone and read the news. Each day the horrible things that people do to each other are seen all across our planet. The bad things that people do, greatly outnumber the good things.
Jesus came into the world as God and took a body that was prepared for Him (Hebrews 10:5). This body was necessary so that He might be one of us and thereby qualified to die for all our sins and make us perfect by taking them all away. When we forgive someone for what they have done, we simply chose to lay their wrong aside and go on. When God forgives sins, there is a penalty to be paid for the violation of His laws.
The penalty for sin is death. In order to make a provision that would satisfy God’s law and punish sin with death, God chose to punish His Son instead of us.
Jesus took the penalty that all of us deserve for our sins. All those who simply believe that Jesus died for their sins and begin to live their life like they believe this, are accounted as righteous and perfect before God. This means that God looks upon you as if you are perfect and have never sinned. You are then fully ready for heaven. Only people who have never sinned can live in heaven. It is the basic residency requirement for the dwelling place of God. He wants to live with people who are like Himself, perfect. By Jesus’ death on the Cross, when He paid for all the sins of the world; every person who believes this, is made perfect and fully qualified for heaven. Every wrong word and deed of your life is instantly removed from your record at the moment that you believe in Jesus as your Savior. Jesus described this process as being “born again.” In John chapter 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that each human being must experience a Spiritual Rebirth, in order to apprehend eternal life. At the moment that a person believes in their heart that Jesus died for them and accept this work as sufficient to save them, they are born again. This happens within the heart of the person who believes and it cannot be observed outwardly. The external affects of this change are seen over time as a person begins their transformation from within.
If we did not need a Savior, then Jesus would never have left heaven and suffered such horrific torture.
The men who punished Jesus and placed Him upon the cross, literally tore Him to pieces. The fifty-second chapter of Isaiah describes Jesus as barely recognizable as a human being. By the time that He was nailed to the Cross, His flesh was torn to pieces, and He no longer looked like a man. Jesus suffered all of this torture because this is what we deserved for our sins. He was not willing that you and I would ever suffer judgment so He came and took all the punishment for us, so that we could go free.
We need a Savior, and Jesus is the only perfect Savior that God has ever given to the descendants of Adam. When the angels fell, God provided no offer of Salvation. Only to us, has a perfect Savior been given who lived a life without sin, and offered it up for each one of us. Why is Jesus the only Savior? Only Jesus is God dwelling within the body of a sinless man. Every other person or plan of salvation for man includes people who are themselves sinners. A person who is themselves a sinner, cannot act as the Savior for any other sinner. Every other method to reach heaven that we see in the world, includes things that you must do in order to be saved. Only Jesus presented a perfect life to God and His completed work requires nothing for you to do, except believe. God sent us a perfect Savior, there is no other way to heaven that is necessary.
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. —Romans 3:22-26 (NLT)