Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
You’ve heard the saying, “That’s good enough for government work.” The idea behind this is that “details” aren’t important, as long as the job gets done. So, even if a detail here and there gets missed, it’s no big deal. We got through the task. Frankly, that line of reasoning has always rubbed me the wrong way as I think we should put forth our best efforts in all things.
God’s word calls on us to pay attention to details, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace … in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:10-11). When “everything” is used in scripture, it means 100% – not 99%. So, what does “everything” entail? James clarifies saying, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10). With God, details matter. Miss one little thing and you might as well have missed them all. Looking at murder, Martin Luther explains that in addition to literally taking a life, we also violate this law with the seemingly small detail of not providing food, a basic necessity of life, to someone in need. On adultery, Jesus says that even if you think about committing adultery, you have sinned (Matthew 5:27-28). God is detail oriented – there’s no “good enough” with Him.
Except … with His Son. Jesus was good enough. Jesus obeyed every single detail, 100% of the law. And then He was executed on the cross. Because of His 100% obedience, all who believe in Him are forgiven for the details they miss. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we realize the details we miss. He helps us to confess our sins to receive God’s forgiveness. He helps us to grow in holiness throughout our lives – growing to miss fewer and fewer details while living our lives in faith, evidenced by our good works (James 2:14-18) in response to His love for us.
In Christ’s Love,