Everyone I know says he is no worse than “the next guy.” He doesn’t hurt people or beat his wife or kids, he’s not a burglar. He’s just as good as “the next guy.” In fact, when you talk to people, it becomes clear they are better than the next guy. Everyone is.
I’ve never met “the next guy.” There must be millions of “next guys” out there, because everyone knows him, and is at least as good as him. But I’ve never met “the next guy” who tells me he isn’t as good as his neighbour, I only meet the ones who are better. It would be interesting to meet that “next guy” at least once….
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
And there is none so blind as him who does not want to see.
From 1 Corinthians 1
22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Thanks, Fred. Newton got it right when he wrote, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear.” It is God’s grace that teaches us of our need of a Saviour, and His grace that provided the Saviour — “And grace my fears relieved.”
The Apostle Paul concluded his ministry and his life with the testimony that he was “the next guy,” of whom everyone is a little bit better, referring to himself as the very “chief” of sinners (1Tim.1:15).
Knowing that in other writings Paul clearly sees all as being sinners and under God’s curse upon sin, we may tend to glibly dismiss his statement to Timothy as mere rhetoric.
Rather, it is the fruit of a lifetime of growing in grace and in his knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ (1Pet.3:18, cf. 2Pet.1:2). By this growth Paul had advanced from an early assessment of his being “the least of the apostles” 1.Cor.15:9), to “less than the least of all saints” (Eph.3:8), until he finally realized that the difference between “total” depravity (being a complete separation from fellowship with God) and “utter” depravity (the maximum effect of that separation, by which no sin of any nature or intensity is beyond the capability and desire of any fallen man) is a fine line both drawn and held by divine grace.
After a lifetime of dwelling among those who, reading the headlines, would say confidently, “Oh, I could NEVER do THAT!” I can now say with far greater confidence, “There, but for God’s great grace in Jesus Christ our Lord, go I.”
You need never again, Brother Jon, say you have not met the other guy– I am he, and unspeakably thankful to live to testify of it to our Lord Christ’s eternal glory!
Thanks for this post, because of which I will also post most the of this comment to my FaceBook page.
Well, Brother Al, like I said to you recently, maybe we’ll meet some day! 🙂
You are right, of course. We are all “The Next Guy.” Thank you, as always, for the comment.