Thank you, Dr. Tony Evans, for this vivid illustration! He writes:
"Whenever I’m scheduled to go to the dentist, I spend extra time brushing my teeth. I try to do a good job so I will make a good impression. So I do extra scrubbing, extra flossing, and extra work to make myself look good to the dentist. The only problem is that when I arrive, the dentist is not satisfied with my good works. He’s not satisfied with how much I brushed or how much I flossed. He looks deeper. He takes X-rays of my mouth and then uses sharp tools to dig in between my teeth, coming up with stuff I never even knew was there. When I go to the dentist he reveals things that I thought I had taken care of on my own. That’s because he’s operating on a different standard. You can brush your teeth all your life long but if you don’t get the stuff that’s down deep, there will still be problems. The Bible declares that on our best day we’ve still got stuff under the gums. On our best day we do not satisfy the demands of a holy God. We cannot meet the demands of perfection without being perfect."
Thank God He sent His one and only Son who makes us clean when we give up our own efforts, and trust in His finished work on the cross (Romans 4:5)