The prophet Micah asks an interesting question in chapter 6:6-7 of the Minor Prophecy book bearing his name. He asks what he should bring as a gift when he enters God’s presence. God is King of kings, so the gift he brings must meet the standards of the recipient. So he asks, “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” This is a commendable and generous gift list but it is sorely lacking. Why? It isn’t what God wants or requires.

The valid question deserves an answer. What is a valid offering to compensate for my sin? The answer is that God has already asked for something. He wants man and woman (his image-bearers) to be persons of justice (we fail on this count), to love kindness (we may think we do this, but we don’t) and to walk humbly with our God. Oh my, the task is impossible. I have nothing to bring. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 ESV

Recently I have been immersed in the Pauline Epistle to the church in Rome. God makes it very clear in Romans that we are sinners and there are no works or gifts we can bring to his throne room entrance. But then Romans 8:1-8 is so very encouraging. I come empty-handed. I cannot please God. There is hope, nevertheless. The hope is only found in Christ Jesus. He said this in response to a question Thomas asked: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Paul makes it clear I cannot please God apart from being in Christ Jesus. Read the truth: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”  Romans 8:1-8 ESV

If you cannot do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God, you need Christ Jesus before you are ushered into God’s presence. Don’t delay.

In Christ Alone: