“I’m Not Good Enough”
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“I’m Not Good Enough”
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
From time to time, I have devoted the fourth Sunday evening to dealing with problems we face, even as Christians. We noted struggles we deal with and how God’s word gives us direction. But there are other problems Christians face as well – the attacks of the world that keep them from obeying Him. Attacks on the nature and character of God, as well as Bible difficulties that people struggle with today (why so much evil & suffering, etc.) I would like to focus on a few of these in coming lessons.
Tonight, I want to focus on a particular objection that is levied from time to time as you try to teach someone. It is the one who says, “I’m not good enough to become a Christian.” It is the one who puts off obedience because they feel they can’t do it, or they are not ready because they want to know more, or maybe straighten out some things first. Let’s study how to answer such an objection.
- You’re not good enough
- No one is – Romans 3:23, 9-10, Galatians 3:22 – the scripture has confined all under sin.
- Nor will anyone ever be good enough. If by good enough, we mean that we will do everything right and thus “earn” our salvation. Titus 3:4-5, Ephesians 2:8-9
- Our salvation is not based upon our goodness.
It is based upon the grace of God – Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 5:6-9 points out that Christ died for US, the ungodly. 1 John 4:9-10 – it is in this that the love of God is demonstrated.
There are many examples in scripture that demonstrate this.
1 John 3:1 notes, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God…”
- Paul, was the chiefest of sinners – 1 Timothy 1:12-15, Romans 7:24-25 – Paul realizes how wretched his as a man.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – such were some of you – adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, etc. But they were forgiven.
He forgave David after committing adultery, and other sins.
Jesus forgave Peter after he denied Him 3 times, at his most crucial hour.
There is NO sin God cannot or will not forgive, IF we are willing to repent and do what He says.
- God’s grace is extended to all who are willing to obey His instructions. Hebrews 5:9 – he became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
- In these things, we can see that God is willing to forgiven, but the question is, “Are you willing to forgive yourself.” This often stands in the way when people think they are not worthy. It’s hard to do, but you HAVE TO forgive yourself and by faith ACCEPT God’s forgiveness.
- Is this your real reason? Often times, saying this is hiding the real reasons – such as, 1) “I don’t know enough”, OR 2) “I don’t think I can live the life of a Christian” or 3) “I don’t really want to obey right now” There are answers to these reasons as well. Perhaps we will deal with them in greater detail at another time. But I urge you consider briefly these answers:
1) “I don’t know enough” – if you know that you are a sinner and what you need to do to take care of that, you know enough. Certainly there are some other basics you need to understand and accept – e.g. The Bible IS the word of God, Jesus is the only way to heaven, the need to live faithfully, etc. – you know enough to obey the gospel.
2) “I don’t think I can live the life of a Christian” – Yes you can. But you have to make up your mind that you are going to do that. It will not be easy, but you CAN do it. The real question is are you willing to start.
3) “I don’t really want to change” – this is usually the real reason people put it off. When Paul reasoned with Felix about “righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come” he put It off (Acts 24:25). Think of the rich, young ruler who went away sorrowful because he didn’t want to change – Matthew 19:22. Jesus didn’t say, “That’s ok, come back later.”
The problem with this is you are gambling with your soul and you eternity. More on this in a few moments
- Other considerations
- When you obey the gospel, you are a babe in Christ. Growth with come with time. 1 Peter 2:1-2. Hebrews 6:1 calls for us to “go on to perfection” – that is a direction. God wants you to keep growing, but He understands when you start where you are at.
- As a Christian, you are likely to stumble and sin from time to time. You may even have struggles as you begin your walk that are difficult to overcome, BUT YOU CAN!
Know that just as God made a way to forgive sinners of this world and add them to His family, He knows how to forgive His children – 1 John 1:9, Acts 8:22.
And He knows how to help you – 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Peter 2:9 – He knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.
NOTE: This is not an excuse to do whatever you want, because there are consequences. But we have provisions when we do sin. And as long as we are trying, we can be forgiven.
- We have resources –
If we are striving to be faithful – God’s word will build us up – Acts 20:32 – Paul commended the brethren to God and the word of His grace “which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
We have the avenue of prayer – 1 Peter 3:12, 1 John 1:9, 5:14-15, James 1:5, etc.
And we have a spiritual family to help us – Galatians 6:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, Romans 15:1.
- Putting off obedience never makes it easier, in fact it makes it more difficult.
Think of Felix who trembled and put off Paul. We never read of his returning and obeying?” Sometimes, this is the real issue. Many have good intentions later on. But, if you keep putting it off, that will become the default for most. There’s ALWAYS a reason to delay. But we must not forget, even as Ananias told Paul, “Why are you waiting?…” (Acts 22:16)
2 Corinthians 5:10 – we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
Acts 17:30-31 – He has appointed a day when He will judge.
Hebrews 9:27 – we will die, then after that, the judgment.
These are a few things to consider, as we examine this subject. While obeying the gospel is a serious matter, no matter what you decide is equally serious and will have eternal consequences. Let us keep these things in mind as we seek to reach others. And if these things apply to you, let us help you today, while you still have opportunity. Think about it.