Does God grade on a curve? Many Christians hope so—thinking, “Well, I’m not doing as badly as those people, who claim to be Christians, so I must be doing okay.”
Throughout my years in school, I took a lot of tests. Some I did well on, some not so good. Before taking exams, I always wanted to know whether the professor would grade on a curve—always hoping that was the case. Because if the grade was determined based on a comparison to every other student’s score, it was likely I could pass.
Back then, I would shamefully take comfort in the hope that others were not adequately prepared for the exam… because their failure would make me look better in comparison. Grading on a curve essentially allows the students to set the standard, rather than the instructor who developed the test.
Unlike college, God is the instructor who issues our life exam; and it is He, not the students, who sets the standard. God’s test is unlike any other we will ever take, and the only passing score is perfection. In this test, if you fail a single question due to sin, you have failed the entire thing.
We have an assigned “textbook”—the Bible—that contains all the answers needed. We choose to prepare for the test, or not. Then we attempt to select the right answers on the test according to what seems right.                                                                                                                                                .
In truth, God, not people, sets the standard. And He does not grade on a curve. That is exactly what James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, is saying: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law” James 2:10-11 (NKJV).
James knew that Jesus was the only one who ever lived to score a 100 percent on God’s exam. Only Jesus, in his perfect obedience to the Father, achieved the standard required. James also knew that on his own he could never receive the passing score required for eternal life. He understood that his entrance into heaven would only come through being justified by faith in Christ.
In the book of Romans, Paul taught this profound principle to the early church. It is included below, in the Amplified version, in order to give you a more thorough review of this powerful truth that the early church understood and taught. It is a truth we need to meditate on and fully grasp, to guide and guard us.
“For no person will be justified [freed of guilt and declared righteous] in His sight by [trying to do] the works of the Law. For through the Law we become conscious of sin [and the recognition of sin directs us toward repentance, but provides no remedy for sin]. But now the righteousness of God has been clearly revealed [independently and completely] apart from the Law, though it is [actually] confirmed by the Law and the [words and writings of the] Prophets. 
This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all those [Jew or Gentile] who believe [and trust in Him and acknowledge Him as God’s Son]. There is no distinction, since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith.

This was to demonstrate His righteousness [which demands punishment for sin], because in His forbearance [His deliberate restraint] He passed over the sins previously committed [before Jesus’ crucifixion].” Romans 3:20-25 (AMP).

Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness, freely given to the believer, will be the only way you and I can pass this test. On the cross, God, the Father, gave Jesus our “F” and gave the believer in Jesus, His “A”.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) describes this event. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Many people have adopted a false theology that says their entrance into heaven is relative to the performance of others. Too often we keep our eyes on other people’s performance rather than on God’s Word.

“All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]” 2 Timothy 3:16 (AMP).

“I’m not as bad as the other guy,” is the poisonous deception that soothes the guilty conscience. The dangerous and fatal belief that there is safety in numbers is pervasive in our culture. “Surely, the professor won’t fail all of us,” is the thought of the unrepentant sinner.

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it Matthew 7:13,14 (NKJV).

Here, Jesus destroys the common false assertion of safety in numbers for the wicked. In this life, if we trust in our own efforts and compare ourselves to others, we will fail. When we trust in Christ, looking to Him as the example to follow, we will experience victory. Only then, will we pass the test.

The temptation to slip into the practice of culturally acceptable sin, while claiming righteousness, becomes more tempting, as we see many within the church, move in that direction.

1 John 3:7-10 in the Amplified Bible, is a wonderful passage that strengthens our understanding of how God looks at us, at sin, and at whether we pass His test of righteousness.

“Little children (believers, dear ones), do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who practices righteousness [the one who strives to live a consistently honorable life—in private as well as in public—and to conform to God’s precepts] is righteous, just as He is righteous. The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 

No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, because God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose]; and he [who is born again] cannot habitually [live a life characterized by] sin, because he is born of God and longs to please Him. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are clearly identified: anyone who does not practice righteousness [who does not seek God’s will in thought, action, and purpose] is not of God, nor is the one who does not [unselfishly] love his [believing] brother.”

Trusting God with our eternal life, is an ongoing exercise of faith in action. Repenting when we sin, and continuously pursuing a life that is pleasing to God and in agreement with His Word, is our highest aim.

With God, nothing is impossible!

Dale and Paula Black



HEAVEN PROJECT: Every person is precious to God and that also means YOU. Let’s join together to reach more. Please prayerfully give today to help us reach more souls for God’s kingdom. Thank you!

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What Others are Saying:
     “Your book Dale was in Poland love it and I gave it to American Pastor. Hanka – Poland
     “Thank you Paula and Dale for your wonderful teaching! God bless you and your ministry.” Ronnie
     “Dale, it’s good to hear God’s reality these days. I’m a retired pastor with over 4 decades of ministry and it caught my attention your reference to Mr. Joel Green, being 77 yrs. old, because that’s how old I am. See brother Dale, your story can be substantiated with God’s Word. That’s what the His Word tells us to do in order to avoid being deceived. Keep up the good work our Lord has assigned you to do, you’ll reap abundant fruits and at the end great rewards from Jesus. I’ll surely keep you and yours in my prayers. ” William
     “Thank God for sending a true prophet to help guide us and keep us focused on Him and His Truth in these perplexing and troubled times! Jesus bless and keep you and yours now, and until He appears.” – Jane
     “Thank you, Dale, for sharing what God has showed you. It’s so easy to see The Holy Spirit “speaking” through you when you write these messages and make your videos. May God bless you and your team in abundance. I look forward to meet you all in Heaven.”  Elisabeth




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