In every society of man there are persons who, because of their sex, lack of education, financial status, race, or religion are without standing. In many communities age can be a point of non-standing; children and even unborn young can be killed or abused because they literally have no rights, while the old are often thought of as social or economic drains having no value. Some segments of human society even consider people with handicaps as having no social, economic, or intrinsic worth.
The insidious nature of bullying leaves the aftereffect of worthlessness in its victims. Mankind has always been willing to humiliate others in order to achieve a feeling of superiority. Often the ones doing the bullying are the ones who feel they are themselves inferior in some way and are trying to compensate by persecuting those they disdain or fear.
But, I’ve been thinking about our spiritual standing before God. I think the struggle for standing between human beings is a reflection of mankind’s concern for standing before a holy God.
Before we acknowledged Jesus Christ as God’s loving sacrifice on our behalf, we were people without spiritual standing. Romans 3:10-12 makes it clear, …
“There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”
In comparison to a totally holy, totally righteous God we are worthless. Romans 3:23 shouts the news that every human being is a sinner and is therefore lacking.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
So, that raises the question. If we are all without spiritual standing before God, what can we do? This is, of course, the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of us are familiar with John 3:16… at least the first part…
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”
But what affects our standing before God is the last part,
“that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
When we accept Christ as our savior, God freely gives us each a completely new status. We are new people.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
New things include a new standing before the throne of God.
Then, as a completely new person in Christ, I have the opportunity to be used by God to bless others with that same message of “good news.”
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20
I was a spiritually worthless person – completely without standing before a righteous God. But, as a Christian, I am now a person who belongs to God as one of His own children…
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15
Looking at scripture. God, almost as a rule rather than exception, takes people of little or no consequence and changes them into outstanding people. Little David – from shepherd boy to king. Jacob – from cheating scoundrel to father of a nation. Daniel and Joseph – from lowly slaves to second-in-command to kings. Gideon – from an inconsequential individual of a small defeated tribe to a mighty judge of Israel. Ruth – from a non-Jewish widow to the grandmother of King David. Mary Magdalene – from prostitute to the first person to see the risen Christ (Mark 16:9). Peter – from fisherman to church leader. Matthew – from detested taxman to writer of a gospel. Onesimus – from condemned runaway slave to future bishop of the church (Philemon 1:10,11)… And literally countless others throughout the Bible. And then there’s me – from a worthless, self absorbed, directionless sinner to a person who, in Christ, found a purpose for life and a confidence in the future. (1 John 4:16-18)
People without standing become outstanding people because God has moved in their lives. As those of us who are Christians go through life serving our Lord and serving those around us, we truly live out the miracle of going from people without standing to outstanding people. (Mark 10:43-45)
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21
Think about it…