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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of March 15, 2021

You are more sinful than you can believe, but you are more loved than you can imagine.

Outside of conservative Christian circles, it's not very common for people to believe that they are inherently bad. Instead, people's logic often goes like this: Sure, I occasionally do bad things, but at heart I'm a good person.

Although it may be tempting to give yourself credit as being a good (or, in Biblical lingo, righteous) person at heart, such a view of human nature is at odds with what God reveals in his word. God makes it very clear that every one of us is "bad." We don't just do bad things; we are bad.

The Apostle Paul exclaims that because of our sin every one of us falls short of God's radiant splendor and glory (Romans 3:23). None of us are good—that is, righteous (Romans 3:10).

Our unrighteousness is not due to the fact that we break God's commands. Instead, we are unrighteous because we are "in Adam," to borrow the language of Paul in Romans 5. Even people who did not sin by breaking a command still died because they were by nature sinners (Romans 5:14).

The bad news is that you're sinful by nature. Even if you lived your whole life without breaking a single command of God you'd still reap death. The bad news is probably worse than you may care to admit.

Fortunately, that makes the good news better than you had imagined. Despite your sinful nature, God offers the life of his very son for you (Romans 5:8-10). God doesn't owe you anything, but he gives you everything. That's love.

Your sin is placed on Christ, and Christ's righteousness is placed on you. You gain what he deserved—life—and he gains what you deserved—death. How great is the love God lavishes on us! (1 John 3:1)

A person who can't submit to authority has no business being in authority.

Romans 13:1-2 says, Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

It is clear that submission to authority is a key requirement for being in authority. Rebelling against authority is rebelling against God because God has instituted that authority. God will not bless someone who rebels against Him. Thus, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience (Romans 13:5).

Furthermore, the Bible instructs you to obey your leaders and submit to their authority (Hebrews 13:17). This means that even if you disagree with your pastor, you ought to submit to him out of respect for God.

Therefore, submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men (1 Peter 2:13). Submit yourself to authority because a person who can't submit to authority has no business being in authority.