Mind the Gap

by Impact Church

There is none who does good, no, not one.

Romans 3:12

“Mind the gap!”

Anyone who has traveled by rail abroad, particularly in the UK, has probably heard those words and read them on signs more times than they can remember. For the uninitiated, the friendly warning posted at train stations and repeated verbally at every stop is the equivalent of American signs cautioning travelers to “watch your step!” The “gap” is the narrow, deep opening between a train and the concrete platform several feet above the tracks.

So a man known only as “Andy” created quite a stir last week by getting his leg stuck in the gap in Perth, Australia. What made bigger news – and subsequently went viral on a video viewed by millions around the world – was that Andy was rescued when scores of fellow travelers used their collective weight and strength to tilt the train enough to pull him out to safety.

It was a “feel-good” story with a happy ending, for sure, but the prevailing media reaction was one of overwhelming back-patting of mankind.… “Humans are awesome!” shouted one headline.… “Proves good people still exist!” declared another.

mind the gap

Twitter: @nicolastaylor

Did anyone stop to think that maybe some of the travelers, if not all, pitched in because they were in a hurry and needed to get to their destination? And what about Andy, who apparently wasn’t careful enough and ironically had just stepped over the bright-yellow “MIND THE GAP” block letters painted on the platform? Is he still included in the “awesome” human race?

Let’s look at it from a spiritual perspective. In his letter to the Romans (which we will be studying during our Wednesday evening “TableTalk” series starting in September), Paul declares that the entire human race was born into sin and stands guilty before God. He quotes the words of David who on two occasions concluded that “not one” is righteous, holy or good apart from God (Psalm 14 and Psalm 53). Solomon, revered to be the wisest man who ever lived other than the Son of God, echoed his father’s words in Ecclesiastes 7:20.

Even Jesus Himself, when hailed as “Good Teacher” by the rich young ruler, replied “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19). Rather than identifying Himself with the rest of the sinful human race, Jesus was actually declaring His divinity! If God alone is good, and Jesus of Nazareth lived a perfect life, then certainly He must be the long-awaited Messiah, the God-Man!

Much like the young ruler, mankind continues to tout its own perceived goodness apart from God. “Look what I have done!” … “Humans are awesome!” … “People power!” In reality, Jesus’ words pierce to the heart of the human condition: “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Let’s be sure to “mind the gap” between our best efforts and God’s righteous requirements. The former puts the burden on us to perform; the latter simply trusts in what Jesus has already accomplished. Religion says you can do better,…but God says you can be made new! Only faith in Jesus can bridge the chasm between sinful man and a holy God!