Does God Grade on the Curve?

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

I remember the first time that I got an exam paper back in college that had a grade below passing, in the numerical score. I was greatly distressed. But the teacher surprised everyone and said, “I have decided to grade on the curve because everyone did so poorly.” So what was a score of about 50 suddenly became a “B”. Wow, was I ever excited.

Surely a loving God must grade on the curve. If a person is “pretty good”, that is they don’t steal or kill, usually tell the truth, go to church, give to charity, don’t cuss, they will be OK in the end, right? It is understandable that Hitler, or Mussolini, or Stalin, or Khadaffi, or someone like that would spend an eternity paying for their crimes against humanity.

But a white lie once in a while (whatever that is), or a little juicy gossip, or cheating on a test once, or taking a few paper clips home from the office, or looking at pornography every now and then, as long as I am “pretty good”, or better than most, surely that is OK. God is going to weigh the good I have done against the bad, and as long as there is more good, I am good to go, right?

James2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” The simplest way to explain that is to say, ‘No God does not grade on a curve.’ In order to be right with God and to get to heaven on the basis of our own goodness, we have to score 100% on God’s moral scale. That means that I have to never ever do anything wrong, and that I must always do every single thing right. Not one sin, or I am guilty of all sins.

WOW! That is tough. Based on that, no one can ever make it. All have sinned. None are righteous. But the Good News of the Bible is that Jesus Christ paid in full the sin debt we have. 2 Cor. 5:21 says that God made Him to be sin for us, even though He never knew sin, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ.
How? The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

THe bad news: No grading on the curve when it comes to righteousness. The Good News: God offers us righteousness in Christ.

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Comments
  1. Travis Roberts says:

    I’ve always kinda thought of it the opposite: God DOES grade on a curve, it’s just based on Jesus’ score, so we fail miserably. The good news is, for those who are believers, Jesus gives us his answers…so to speak.

    I don’t say this to argue with what you said, I think your statements are completely true, I was just sharing the way I tend to think about it. There are no “under the radar” sins. The tiniest sin disqualifies us from being called righteous. Jesus is the only one who passed the test…heck, he wrote the test. Yet he freely gives us his passing grade. God is so merciful and loving.

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