“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way….” (Isaiah 53:6) “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
In certain stores, you will find a special section where you can get clothes at reduced prices. My wife loves shopping at garage sales and second-hand stores. You can find some great prices there, too. There’s only one catch: In those certain sections of the store, each specially priced item has a tag on it. At garage sales and the Goodwill, the tag is implied.
That tag reads “As Is.” It’s a nice way of saying, “There’s something wrong with this item.” It’s a euphemism for “These are damaged goods.” Sometimes the item is marked “Slightly Irregular.” They are telling us (without actually telling us) that there is a flaw—a hidden stain, a zipper that won’t zip, a sleeve that’s too short, something.
When we bought our second home, the owner who sold it to us kept emphasizing that he was selling it to us “as is.” His repetition was getting ridiculous. I thought, “I got it … the place is as is! I understand English!” Then we moved in and got to know the house.
Pipes under the sink were held in place by bailing wire. The DIY sprinkler system came with its own treasure map. You will find the valve box three paces to the east of the elm tree (which had been cut down years before!). That’s when I realized, “Oh … that’s what he meant. I get it now—as is.”
We’re all “as is.” That’s Isaiah’s point. And Paul’s. The Bible calls it sin. Neil Plantinga describes it this way: “In the biblical view of the world, sin is a familiar, even predictable part of life, but it is not normal. And the fact that ‘everybody does it’ doesn’t make it normal.”
Here’s the good news: “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). While we were still sinners! God takes us as is. We all have hidden stains or broken zippers. God loves us so much he passed by all the Niemann Marcus perfect garments and went straight to the “as is” section. That’s where He finds us and pulls us off the rack. Turns out, we are just what He’s looking for!
We don’t have to get cleaned up to come to Jesus. He takes us as is. But he loves us too much to leave us that way!
Join us Sunday, just as you are!
Jim Mann, Ph.D., pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. and online at 10 a.m. Visit www.newlifedenton.org for more information or www.drjimmann.com.