• James McMaster

When it’s not ‘Wow!’ but ‘Woe!’

In my last article we were looking at the prophet Isaiah as he had his devastating vision of God. At that moment, for the first time, he became painfully aware, not of his neighbour’s misdeeds, but of his own sin.


If the story ended at that point there would not be much hope for the rest of us who are in the same boat as the prophet.


The question is what can be done? Religion would tell us that if we beat ourselves us enough, climb enough mountains, do enough good works then maybe, just maybe, we might be in with a chance of forgiveness. This is the exact opposite of what the Bible says. Why? Because these various approaches all have one common denominator; salvation through self-effort. To the God of the Bible this is utter nonsense.


Think again of Isaiah; he cries out in desperation to God, knowing that he has absolutely nothing to trade with. He simply confesses his sin directly to God. And what happens? There and then he immediately receives God’s forgiveness with no ‘buts’ or ‘maybes’ or conditions attached!


The message is clear; for all who will fully acknowledge their sin and reach out with their empty hands (empty of good works) in faith to Jesus- they receive, there and then, full forgiveness. All of this comes on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and that alone.


It is at this point that we can stand back in amazement at God’s grace. And yes, even go ‘Wow!’

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