*** Sarcasm Alert: For those who cannot easily spot sarcasm in printed material, the following article is not meant to be taken completely seriously. ***
For many who have watched this past NFL season which culminated in Sunday’s broadcast of Superbowl XLII, it has often been difficult to draw distinct lines of demarcation between New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick and the divine. Certainly listening to Coach Belichick’s aloof responses to mere mortals such as newspaper reporters and/or the NFL commissioner would not necessarily show us that, at least in the coach’s mind, there is a difference. Therefore, it is my goal to undertake the seemingly insurmountable task of defining for you, the discerning public, at least one point of dissimilarity between God and Bill Belichick.
The Difference: Holiness
Revelation 4:8b – “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
Holiness is a quality that only God possesses. To be holy is to be so completely perfect that you are different than all others. No one is like God, because God is infinitely perfect, pure, and righteous.
While one might think that the coach’s failure to lead his team to a Superbowl victory is where I’m aiming, think again. Truly demonstrating Coach Belichick’s lack of perfection is the Spygate scandal. Reports are swirling around the NFL that a former Patriots assistant, Matt Walsh, may have illegally videotaped the practices of Patriots’ opponents as far back as 2001. Earlier this season, Coach Belichick was fined $500,000 by the NFL for his illegal videotaping of the hand signals of New York jets’ coaches during a game. So, regardless of the near perfect season, Belichick is a proven cheater, and thus is less than divine.
Some have attempted to argue, by the way, that God is a cheater too. God, his opponents point out, is perfectly just; yet he chooses to forgive the sins of those who come to him in repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Forgiving the guilty does not seem to be perfectly just. Thankfully, the Bible helps us to see an answer to this difficult objection. All people are indeed sinners before a holy God and thus deserving of the wrath of God (Romans 3:23). God is indeed just, and must rightly punish sin in order to remain just. So, how could God get out of the cheating allegation? The only way is to prove that God actually does punish all human sin. And, he does so for the forgiven by sending Jesus Christ to be our sacrificial substitute. For all who are willing to turn from their sin and place their faith in Jesus alone, God will count Jesus as guilty of their sin and count them as righteous. Why did Jesus have to take our place and suffer for our sin?
Romans 3:25b-26 – “This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
So you see, God is perfectly just. All people will either have their sins forgiven by God and the punishment carried out on Jesus on the cross or they will pay for their own sins by suffering god’s wrath. God is no cheater. And that is why we know that God is different than Bill Belichick.
[For another difference, see God’s promise never to leave or forsake his own (Deuteronomy 31:6).]