Professor’s impossible test

One way to make perfect possible


One of my more memorable professors had an unforgettable way of illustrating how we can be changed from imperfect to perfect in God's sight.

As he distributed his course's final exam he cautioned his students to read it all the way through first. As we began reading, it became clear to everyone that we had not studied enough. About halfway through, audible groans could be heard through out the lecture hall.

On the last page, however, was a note that read, "You have a choice. You can either complete the exam as given or sign your name at the bottom and in so doing receive an A for this assignment."

Wow? We sat there stunned. "Was he serious? Just sign it and get an A?" Slowly, the point dawned on us, and one by one we turned in our tests and silently filed out of the room.

When I talked with the professor about it afterward, he shared some of the reactions he had received through the years. Some students began to take the exam without reading it all the way through, and they would sweat it out for the entire two hours of class time before reaching the last page.

Others read the first two pages, became angry, turned the test in blank, and stormed out of the room without signing it. They never realised what was available, and as a result, they lost out totally.

One fellow, however, read the entire test, including the note at the end, but decided to take the exam anyway. He did not want any gifts; he wanted to earn his grade. And he did. He made a C+, but he could easily have had an A.

This story illustrates many people's reaction to God's solution to sin. Some people look at God's standard – moral and ethical perfection – and throw their hands up in surrender. Why even try? They tell themselves. I could never live up to all that stuff.

Others are like the student who read the test through and was aware of the professor's offer but took the test anyway. Unwilling to simply receive God's gift of forgiveness, they set about to rack up enough points with God to earn it. But God's grace truly is like the professor's offer. It may seem unbelievable, but if we accept it, then, like the stunned students who accepted the professor's offer, we, too, will discover that, yes, God's grace truly is free. All we have to do is accept it and trust in Him. He created you, after all.

God's undeserved forgiveness and transforming love, which is His grace, is everything you need for now and eternity.

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