“And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes
to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13
“And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
An article in ‘The Grand Rapids Press’ described a woman who overcame her drinking habit only after she admitted she had a problem. She said the “emotional moment” came when she brought herself to say, “I’m Betty and I’m an alcoholic.”
She had been saying that her slurred speech, drowsiness, and other problems were due to the medication she was taking for a chronic ailment. But the family knew the real cause and confronted her. As a result, she ﬁnally faced up to her problem. Before that, she was a hopeless case. But when she said, “I’m an alcoholic,” there was hope.
It’s much the same way with salvation. As long as a person makes excuses for his sinful behav- ior, he’ll never experience deliverance. It’s only when he admits, “I am a sinner and cannot save myself,” that the Lord will rescue him from sin and its awful consequences. The proud and boastful Pharisee in Luke 18 was lost. The tax collector, however, acknowledged his sinfulness and “went down to his house justiﬁed” (v.14).
This publican had come to understand his grossness in light of God’s goodness and glory. “They that know God will be humble,” John Flavel has said, “and they that know themselves cannot be proud.” The publican wasn’t implying that he was merely one sinner among many. In his view, he was “the sinner.” He was concerned only with his personal condition. The Pharisee on the other hand in verses 11 and 12 was comparing himself with others, thought himself better than the rest.
Friends, as a sinner you are not better than the other sinner in the sight of God; there is no greater sin with God, it is the world that views one sin worse than the other. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, you need to acknowledge your sin if you have never done so before, today admit your guilt and receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior. Remember, salvation is for sinners only and Jesus said He came to save the sinners. Jesus can change the foulest sinner into the ﬁnest saint.
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Garment of Praise
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
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