“’God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14
Our message, as “fishers of men” never changes. It’s called the Gospel. The sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has paved the way for sinful men and women to experience forgiveness and establish a personal and family relationship with God. The Bible says that “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
The role of a “fisher of men” is to get the word out. A response, however, is needed to become a recipient of this new life. And the “fisher of men” must encourage it. Honesty about one’s sinful condition and a cry to the One who was judged for their sin results in “justification.” That’s what Jesus said.
And “Justification” means acquittal and right standing before God. Can you believe it!? Forgiveness and acceptance by God is available to all who humble themselves before God.
God isn’t waiting until a person rights all the wrongs they have caused before they can experience justification. God isn’t waiting until a person proves his sincerity about change with their good works. He is simply waiting for a person to humble himself, confess his sinfulness, and receive the mercy of God. The tax collector that Jesus described in the passage above did it. The thief on the cross did it. So many others have done it. There was nothing else they could do. It was enough.
And it was enough, because Jesus paid the entire debt for our sin.