When a jeweler displays a diamond ring, he lays it against a black background, knowing the contrast will magnify the beauty of the sparkling gem. Sure, it’s a beautiful ring apart from the background, but there’s something about the darkness of that backdrop that simply makes the ring pop; even makes it somewhat amazing.
However, when you’re at the jewelers, are you shopping for that black background or are you there to purchase the ring? The ring, of course! You see, other than helping to enhance the elegance of the gem, the backdrop isn’t worth much in itself.
Where Do I Fit In? –
When taking this example and applying it to life, I’d like to place myself as the diamond; shining and beautiful. In reality though, I’m more akin to that backdrop. With the diamond representing God’s love in dying for me, this dark, contrasting background is a direct representation of the sin that separated me from Him in the first place.
Disregarding Sin –
Unfortunately, sin is often a part of the gospel that many people evade all together. No one likes to hear that they’re sinful or helpless; some ministries even explicitly warn their teachers against mentioning sin. We’re afraid that telling people they have sinned will scare them away from the gospel. However, the gospel without sin is incomplete.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” -Romans 3:23
“As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.'” -Romans 3:10-11
Paul says our righteousness is worth filthy rags; pretty worthless right? You see, sin is in our nature. We’re born with a want to sin; no one had to teach us. In simple terms, we are born with a want to do things our own way instead of God’s way.
Without Sin… What? –
But without sin, what’s the point of the gospel? We like to believe that God saves us because we’re worth it, but that’s the beauty of what Christ has done for us; we don’t deserve it.
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:7-8
You see, before God saves us, we’re worthless. Although we’re still the creation of our mighty God, we’re marred by our own will to disregard His authority and live our own way. In fact, our sin not only makes us worthless, it also makes us the rightful enemies of God.
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works…” -Colossians 1:21
And so, the filth and darkness of our unrighteousness contrasts immensely with the sparkling beauty of our Savior’s love. Like that diamond on the black backdrop, the blackness of our sin magnifies our God’s amazing love. Because, if you have trusted Jesus as your Savior from sin,
“He has reconciled [you] in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” -Colossians 1:21-22
And if you hadn’t been so lost, so helpless, so ruined by your sin, what good would the gospel be? Without a need, Jesus’ suffering becomes pointless and empty. But His suffering wasn’t pointless! We cannot disregard sin simply because we’re afraid to tell people they are sinners. We must be truthful. The reality of sin steps on toes and pries at pride, but ultimately, it makes the forgiveness of that sin so beautiful, so magnificent, so amazing! And in the end, we find our true worth in Christ; to Him alone be the glory!