If we are living our lives in view of the cross, then we will recognize that we are standing on level ground with everyone else. We might need to let this sink in a bit, because most all of us seek to justify ourselves by making a name for ourselves. And since I desperately want there to be something about me that does not require me as much grace as somebody else, I may say I need grace, but I don’t really live as if the ground really is level at the cross.
We all tend to find something superior in ourselves, or tend to bring others down to validate our standing. These “titles of superiority” can be a bank account, a neighborhood in which we live, skin color, a theological degree, a leadership position, a political affiliation, sexual orientation, a level of education, taste in decor, a sales record, social manners, the behavior of my children, athletic ability, popularity at school, my SATs, my style of clothing, skill as an outdoorsman or with tools, the number of books in my library, the shoes I wear, the phone I use— we use anything and everything to feel superior to others. When I recognize this, I realize that I am no longer standing in view of the cross.
But this is where spiritual transformation takes place—when I trade in those titles of superiority for the perfect righteousness of Jesus. So that I now am known not for my greatness, but for the greatness of God’s grace—that I am the forgiven and loved of God! I am known as a recipient of grace!
For at that point, we are able to look every other sinner in the world eye to eye with the same need for the same Savior. And when a group of these grace-captivated people gather, we call it a church!