by James Collins
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7
“Get out of the car,” the police officer said. As I was getting out of the car, Amanda yelled, “Officer, I told him to slow down!” The policeman smiled and said, “Where are you going in such a hurry?” My Bible was in my hand. I reached back and laid it up on the dashboard. I wanted the police officer to know that I am a man of God. I said, “You know, I am a preacher. I’m on my way to minister to a family and preach a funeral down here at Crossroads Church.” The police officer said, “I know. I was at church when you preached last time. I know who you are.” I began to think this wasn’t going to go my way.
My wife, Amanda, and I were on our way to a funeral in Southeast Oklahoma. The funeral was at a church where I had preached before. We were almost there, when I saw a blue flashing light behind me.
The police officer pulled me over on the main road going to the church. The entire time I was standing on the side of the road, people from the church were driving by, honking and waving at me. It is difficult to be spiritual on the side of the road when the police have pulled you over.
The policeman said, “I clocked you doing 47 in a 40 mile per hour zone.” When he said that, I got so mad. I was furious. Seven stinking miles an hour! Are you kidding me! He pulled me over for seven stinking miles an hour!!!
The police officer smiled and said, “Preacher, I’m going to give you what you gave me in church the last time you preached. I’m going to give you a warning.”
After he gave me the warning, I got back in the car to drive away. I was still furious. When I pulled the car out in the road, I finally saw the speed limit sign – 40 miles per hour. Guilty as charged.
The police officer was right – I had broken the law. I was guilty, but the policeman showed me grace. We are all guilty. You may not drive too fast, but you are a guilty sinner. Some people think, “I’ve never killed anyone.” But the Bible says if you have broken one of the Ten Commandments, you have broken them all. You are guilty. You can’t separate the Law from Grace when it comes to salvation. It is by the Law that we know we are sinners.
Have you ever stolen something? An answer from somebody’s test? A nickel from your dad’s dresser? A piece of gum from your sister’s pack? Ten million dollars from your company? Sometime in your life, you have stolen something.
How many lies have you told in your life?
How many times have you used God’s name in vain? God has given life to you, and you have used His name as a cuss-word. That’s called blasphemy.
How many times have you committed adultery? Jesus said that whoever looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery in his heart. Have you ever looked with lust? Even if you have not committed the physical act of adultery, you have looked with lust.
The point is: We are all guilty. To bridge the gap between a Holy God and guilty sinners, Jesus Christ came into the world. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Faith in Jesus is the way to forgiveness and a new relationship with God. All you must do is admit you are a sinner, turn from your sin, trust that Jesus died and rose from the grave for you, and invite Christ to come into your life.
Like the policeman gave me that day, God gives us the Law as a warning. You know that you are guilty. Trust in Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior. Do it today…
This could be your final warning.
James Collins is a pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net.