Dear Golf Fans and Friends.

This week is the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.  For golfers this is the high point of the year as Augusta National Golf Club is as if it were holy ground.  It is also an indication that spring has come (although this year winter continues to hold on).

I’ve been a golfer since I was 18 years old and thoroughly love the game of golf…both to watch and to play.  I want to use golf as an illustration of a spiritual truth that many people miss.

Imagine that in order to be SAVED you had to play a PERFECT ROUND OF GOLF?

What would be a PERFECT round of golf?  If you have a birdie on every hole, it would mean your score for 18 holes would be 72 – 18 = 54.  That would be pretty amazing, but the lowest round ever scored on 18 holes in a professional tournament is 58.  But imagine you could be even better than that.  Say you would birdie every hole and eagle all 4 of the par 5s.  That would produce an unimaginable score of 50 or 22 under par on a single round of golf.

However, this is a long way from PERFECT.  Actually the PERFECT round of golf—the absolute minimum possible score for a round of golf—would be to have a hole-in-one on every one of the 18 holes.  So perfection for a round of golf would be a score of 18!!

Hole-in-One Stats:

2,500 to 1: Odds of a Pro Golfer having a hole-in-one

12,500 to 1:  Weekend / average golfer’s odds of making a hole-in-one

1,300,000 to 1:  Odds of making 2 holes-in-one in the same round

50,000,000 to 1:  Odds of making 2 consecutive holes-in-one

6: Number of holes-in-one Tiger Woods has had in his PGA career.

IMPROVING YOUR CHANCES—Can you imagine the odds of making 18 consecutive holes in one?  It would be IMPOSSIBLE!  But suppose you could improve your chances by playing as a four-person team and recording your team score?  You might include Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, or Rickie Fowler.  This would dramatically improve your overall score, but you would still fall woefully short of the PERFECT score.

GOD REQUIRES PERFECTION—Do you realize that in order for you or me to be acceptable to God, we must be PERFECT?  God is holy and cannot tolerate less than perfection.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags”  (Isaiah 64:6a)

Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth” (1 John 1:8).

AND…

The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a).

JESUS ON YOUR TEAM—Now imagine you could have Jesus play the round of golf for you.  Could He make 18 holes-in-one?  Yes, of course He could.  If He can walk on water, turn water into wine, feed 5,000 with a couple of fish sandwiches, making 18 consecutive holes-in-one would be no problem for Him!!

That’s a way to think of what Jesus did for us on the cross.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault” (Colossians 1:22).

In Christ, you and I can stand in the presence of God without a single fault!  In other words PERFECT!  It’s the only hope we have of playing the PERFECT round and therefore being acceptable in the presence of our Holy God!

So you can try to play a PERFECT “round of golf” or you can let Jesus play for you.  I’d highly recommend you allow Jesus to do for you what you cannot do for yourself…be PERFECT!

Onward in His perfection,

Pastor Gary