My kids received their report cards this past week and getting report cards can be either a pleasant experience or an unpleasant one, depending on your standing at school and the expectations of your parents. As I was looking at my kids report cards, I had the thought that it might be nice if God sent me a report card of my own… something black and white that left no doubt as to my progress and standing. I had that thought for about 15 seconds, and then I wised up. I am certain that if that report card was delivered, it would be pretty ugly. While we don’t get report cards, we have been given a training manual and a standard to live up to. The Bible serves both purposes and reminds us that we must also pray and confess our failings to God as well as be accountable to and pray for one another.
15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
One of the problems with trying to earn passing grade in the classroom of life is that the class itself is pass/fail. If your every thought, every word, and every deed are perfect, you pass. If not, you fail. I must say, even graded on an extremely generous curve, my own report card would be stamped with a giant, red F.
However, God in his mercy doesn’t look at the grades on our report cards. If we recognize and confess our inability to earn a passing grade and, instead, put our faith in Jesus Christ, God uses Christ’s perfect report card in place of our own. We are saved solely through the work and sacrifice of the Son of God and not by anything we have done.
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.