Do you have trouble steering conversations toward the things of God? Would you like a simple way to get to the root of spiritual issues at work in a person’s life? I suggest these four questions as a helpful way to transition from the a person’s natural view of things to God’s view of things.
1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you with your life? This begins where virtually every person is thinking — Am I happy? People love to talk about themselves!
2. What would it take to make your life a perfect ten? This continues the conversation by inviting the person to share their dreams and hopes for life. After they have shared their answer, transition by asking: Can I ask you the same two questions but with just one word changed?
3. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy is God with your life? This transitions the person from their natural, self-oriented view of life to the reality that they are standing before a holy God, who knows all things and it is His pleasure that is paramount!
4. What would it take to make your life a perfect ten for God? This takes the conversation to the core of how such a God can ever be pleased with us.
People will offer one of two answers to the final question …
1. They will give some kind of a works-righteousness answer, naming something they must do to make God happier with them.
2. They will say, “God doesn’t expect me to be perfect.”
Every person needs to see that they lack perfect righteousness before a perfectly righteous God.
Share these verses with them …
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
“I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
We need to see that there is nothing WE CAN DO to make our life a perfect ten before a perfectly righteous God!
But what then is the answer? The answer is that GOD DID SOMETHING for us …
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law [doing good things]; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin [only there do we see our own failures to keep God’s law perfectly]. 21 But now a righteousness from God [coming from God to us, not from us to God], apart from law [apart from doing good things to earn His favor], has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify [even the Old Testament tells us this]. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace [as a gift, not by our works] through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:20-24)
“But whatever was to my profit [all the Apostle Paul’s good works] I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law [not by my doing good things], but that which is through faith in Christ– the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” (Philippians 3:7-9)
“For it is by grace [as a gift] you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves [not by something you accomplish], it is the gift of God– 9 not by works [your religious efforts], so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Jesus the perfectly righteous One died for us, taking our sins upon Himself and paying their penalty. When we place our trust in Him, God the Father declares the righteousness of Christ to be placed on our account in heaven. We are free, for the Father forever promises to see us through the righteousness of His Son!
Jesus took our sin. The Father declares Jesus’ righteousness to be ours.
We rely completely on the substitutionary death of Christ and upon the righteousness of Christ (His perfect life) credited to our account by God!
REST! BE AT PEACE!