While we want to believe we can pay God back for all our mistakes, the reality is we are truly spiritually bankrupt. Without His assistance, we have no hope.
In economic times like these, Americans constantly hear about businesses declaring bankruptcy, but many do not know the different kinds of bankruptcy. For instance, some businesses file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which indicates that they need to reorganize but plan to repay all of their debt. Some companies file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy which means they are in such bad condition there is no chance they will ever be able to pay anyone back. They are simply broke.
While companies file for different types of bankruptcies, people do the same spiritually.
Some people approach God filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. “God, I know I haven’t been the best person in the world, but I will change it this time for real. I will start attending church regularly, throwing money in the church’s direction, listening more to people, and helping old ladies across the street. I know that I can be a better person. Just watch and see.”
Other people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They approach God and say, “I’ve got nothing. I thought I did once, but the more I try, the more I see I am in serious trouble. I’ve got nothing to offer and nothing to show; I’m just coming to you because you are the only one big enough to help. Please, rescue me.”
Chapter 13 is called religion; Chapter 7 is called salvation.
5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” and walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:5-9
In the passage, John reveals that we are not to walk in the dark, yet he also says that if we say we don’t sin, we are lying and thus still in the dark. His answer is for us to confess our sins. Throw them out on the table before God; he is faithful and righteous to forgive us entirely and clean us anew.
Today, instead of filing Chapter 13 and telling God how you will change, why don’t you file Chapter 7 and tell him you are lost without him? He comes to rescue those who know they need to be saved.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.