THE EXAM Another in a series of stories
depicting Biblical truths.
The man was thinking how very unreasonable it was. How could anyone be expected to pass this exam?
He was already two hours into the eight hour exam. He needed to pass it to even have a chance of getting
into the company. It was a very good company and maintained very high standards for all employees.
He was determined to make it. His family, friends and even his minister had said, "Don't worry. Just
try your best. Most of the questions are essays so just do a good job and you will have a good chance of
passing the exam." "Easier said than done," he thought. But he went on trying his best hour after pain
staking hour. Ironically, he felt a certain pride in trying to reach the goal on his own despite the exam's
difficulty. But what if he failed?
"I must not lose faith," he thought. "I must keep on trying my best. They have to see that I sincerely
tried. My efforts have to count for something. After all, I'm only human." Regardless, he couldn't stop
asking himself why the exam had to be so unreasonable. The last hour had come. He still had a few
questions to answer. Would he have enough time left for review and to correct any previous mistakes.
Finally, it was over. He had tried his best. Now it was just a matter of the company weighing his good
answers against his bad ones. Hopefully, he would make it into the company.
The following conversation then took place. "How do you think you did," asked the exam monitor. "Not
bad I hope, but I must say the exam seemed a bit too unreasonable." "Yes, we have very high standards.
I hope for your sake that you answered every question perfectly." "What?" exclaimed the man. "Don't
I get partial credit?" "Of course not. It is all or nothing."
The man was getting upset by now. "But its not fair to require perfection. How could you expect anyone
to pass this exam under his own power?"
"We don't," said the monitor. "That's why we offer the other option. You must have seen it written on
the wall in front of you." Just then the man remembered the sign. He had read it time and time again.
IF AT ANYTIME DURING THIS EXAM, THE PERSON ATTEMPTING
IT HUMBLES HIMSELF AND ADMITS THAT HE CANNOT PASS
IT ON HIS OWN, HE MAY ASK THE WRITER OF THE EXAM
TO TAKE IT FOR HIM.
Realization fell upon the man. How could he have blown it? He had seen the sign but didn't believe it
or accept it. He had wanted the satisfaction of doing it on his own. But now it was too late. His pride
had done him in. As he slowly walked away he asked, "By the way, who is the writer of this exam?"
"I am," said the monitor. "That's why I was sitting in the room the whole time. I was just waiting for
you to call upon me, but you never did."
PARABLE EXPLAINED THIS PARABLE DEPICTS BIBLE SALVATION
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
The Man . . . . . . . . . Us
The Company . . . . . . Heaven
The Exam . . . . . . . . . God's Plan
The Monitor . . . . . . . Jesus Christ
What a shock for that man. Spending all that time struggling with the exam only to find out that his best
was not good enough. Even worse was the discovery that the company was willing to let someone else
take the exam in his place.
We are all required to pass the exam known as God's Law (Romans 3:19). The problem is the standard
is too high (Romans 3:23). The law requires perfection (James 2:10,11) and no one can pass by their own
power (Galatians 2:16). Yet, many try. If they were only honest with themselves they would have to
admit that it is hopeless (Romans 7:14-20). Fortunately, God also knows it is hopeless. That is why He
provided the other option which in reality is the only option.
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Romans 3:19)
"(10)For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (11)For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." (James 2:10-11)
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16)
"(14)For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15)For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16)If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17)Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18)For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19)For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20)Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." (Romans 7:14-20)
Jesus Christ is our option. Like the exam monitor in our story, He is willing to fulfill the requirements
for us. He died in our place to satisfy the requirements of the law on our behalf (Romans 8:1-4;
10:4,5). All we have to do is admit that we can't do it ourselves. That means repenting of our pride and
sins and believing God when He says it has been settled by Christ. We must put our trust in Him and not
in our own ability to satisfy God's law (Ephesians 1:12-14; Philippians 3:3- 9). Until we do this there is
no rest and no peace - only the feeling of taking an unreasonable exam for a whole lifetime.
"(1)There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2)For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3)For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4)That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1-4)
"(4)For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (5)For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them." (Romans 10:4-5)
"(12)That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13)In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14)Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:12-14)
"(3)For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (4)Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: (5)Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (6)Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (7)But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8)Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9)And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" (Philippians 3:3-9).
GOD'S ONLY OPTION
FIRST THE BAD NEWS:
1. We must realize that we are lost, sinners that are spiritually dead.
* "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10
* "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
* "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
* "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6
2. As spiritually dead, lost sinners, God's judgment and wrath are upon us.
* "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27.
* "For which things' sake [sin] the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
[sinners]:" Colossians 3:6.
3. Our good works can't stop this judgment and wrath. God demands death as payment
* "Not of works..." Ephesians 2:8,9.
* "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
* "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4
* "For the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!!
4. God is willing to accept someone else's death in our place. That someone is Jesus Christ.
* "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who
gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." I Timothy 2:5-6
* "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us." Romans 5:8
5. Jesus has bought salvation for us and now God can offer it as a gift by grace.
* "Ye are bought with a price;" I Corinthians 7:23.
* "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not
of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9
How does someone accept this gift? Through repentance and faith.
REPENTANCE: means to change your mind and adapt an attitude of not rebelling against God.
FAITH: means to simply take God at His Word, i.e., believe the verses you have just read.
* "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward
our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21
* "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
6. Upon being saved and born again spiritually, we become converted to a new creature in
* "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall
not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3
* "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold,
all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17
3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103
Speaking the truth in love
(701) 232-5500 Pastor T. C. Scheving Schedule of Services Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship . . . . . 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Evening Service . . . . . . . 6:00 p.m.
Proteens (Wednesday) . . . . . . . . 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday Bible Study . . . . . . . 7:00 p.m.
[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]