No saint is immune to error or temptation

stumbleAbsolute perfection is not a requirement to be in the service of God. God has always used fallible humans to carry out his various missions in this world. Critics of the Bible and Christianity have pounced on that reality to advance the false notion that they can dismiss everything the Bible teaches and true Christians believe. Christians themselves have looked at their faults and often tell themselves, “I can’t do this or that for the Lord because I have this problem over here that I have to take care of before I can be useful to him.”

When the Lord places in our hearts the desire to accomplish something for his glory (not our own, mind you), many times it will happen at a time when we don’t have all of our ducks in a row. In those times, a person’s faults at that moment may not be what God is preoccupied with. If the individual is humble enough to realize they have shortcomings and are humble enough to have a genuine desire to be rid of whatever causes them to stumble (as opposed to pridefully making excuses), they may find that stepping out in obedience to begin whatever godly ministry is on their heart is when they will be delivered from the hurdle in their way.

Paul, one of the mighty heroes of the faith, acknowledged he had an evil nature and godly nature battling for dominance inside of him and that the evil nature often won (Romans 7:15-25). Peter had served for many years as a miracle-working apostle in Jerusalem when he was confronted by Paul in Antioch for being a hypocrite in how he, at a weak moment, snubbed some Gentile brethren (Galatians 2:11-14). Yet God still used both men mightily and their doctrinal writings in the New Testament were never nullified because of their shortcomings because they had repentant (contrite) hearts.

God has also used a braggart (Joseph, Genesis 37:5-11), a gang leader (Jephthah, Judges 11:3), a man who had an adulterous wife (Hosea), a man prone to spewing unrighteous words (Isaiah, Isaiah 6:5), a militant (Simon, Luke 6:15), and a man who didn’t have all of his doctrinal facts straight (Apollos, Acts 18). Yet they all stepped out on faith, and all of them were delivered from their faults as they walked on God’s path in humility. So what’s our excuse for hesitating?

With regards to critics claiming we can’t trust the Bible because it was written by fallible men, this really isn’t a valid argument to reject the Lord Jesus and is insincere on their part. If it were really valid, then why is it that many of them obey laws written by fallible men? Why is it that a man who downplays the severity of pedophilia is still held up as a hero (Richard Dawkins)? Why would they embrace and promote the ideas and works of a racist who didn’t always get his scientific theories correct (Charles Darwin)?

Although I’m prone to make mistakes, I’m determined to move forward in my ministry with Christ, since “[t]he Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,” 2 Peter 2:9.

Harry A. Gaylord

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