14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” — Luke 18:14 NLT
When we stand before a mighty and just God to petition Him for forgivenss of our sins, we must humble ourselves before Him. Outwardly, we may appear to be doing good deeds that do not require forgiveness. But, inwardly, before God cleans us up, we are a filthy mess. God already knows that, so we must be completely honest with Him. We may smile and say nice things to those around us, but God knows whether we are being serious or being hypocritical. We cannot come before the Lord with the attitude of the Pharisee. God doesn’t use other people, their actions or their words to determine our guilt or innocence. No, He uses a much higher standard. He is the standard and that is a standard that we can never live up to. That is exactly why He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. A perfect gift for an imperfect world. The blood of a spotless Lamb to wash away the filthiness of our sin. The righteousness of the One who had never sinned to cover our sinfulness. The death of His Son to pay a debt that He didn’t owe and we couldn’t pay. Once we accept this truth, those sins are never mentioned by God again. Nothing we have done, can do or will ever do can replace that sacrifice. So, yes, come boldly, but bow humbly, before the King of Kings and receive not only forgiveness, but peace and joy that the world can never know. Come with faith and stay until you are filled with His Spirit and clothed in His righteousness. From that moment on, you will never have to be concerned about leaving His presence, because truly, He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.