A Quadriplegic’s Autobiography by JQuisumbing
Click here to read Chapter 2 Part 1
Chapter 2 – Sin
For three decades, I always thought I was okay on a road to Heaven. Little did I know, according to Scriptures, that I was actually on the highway to destruction, because before 1990, I was ‘by nature a child of wrath’1. However, as I was going the wrong way, I recognized, in hindsight, a number of ‘road signs’ that the Lord had planted to get me to go the right way… His way. One of those road signs came to me in a riddle.
When is good news GOOD?
Believe it or not, it actually popped into my mind when learning that the word GOSPEL means Good News. The Gospel, of course, is what Jesus Christ did for mankind… let’s make it more personal, what He did for me. (We’ll talk more about this part in the next chapter.) For now though, why was this riddle significant to me? Well, the obvious answer to that riddle is actually the reverse of that question: When was bad news BAD, especially for me? Let me make a correction. Since, my focus is about SIN then ‘BAD’ is too mild of a word biblically. GRAVE is a word that is more accurate especially from an everlasting perspective.
In 1990, I had a fantastic Bible teacher named Peter Tan-chi. He is the founder of the Christ Commission Fellowship in Manila, the local church that reinforced my spiritual foundation. More importantly, he was the one I first seriously listened to about the Gospel and I became a true believer. It was also he that unapologetically declared to my class the worst news of our lives. Like splashing ice cold water on our faces, he woke us up to an ominous situation. His words were that we all had a SIN problem and if we didn’t change, eternal damnation would be my destiny! Guaranteed! This is the BAD news.
Growing up, I paid little attention to SIN. Even when I went through Catechism2 and my grandmother’s occasional preaching, especially when I misbehaved, sin was not real to me. I was not afraid of it as I should. One factor was my own ignorance of what sin meant.
During my backpacking days (1977-1980), I purchased a collapsible .22 caliber rifle. It was my first firearm which excited the school boy in me opening his long-awaited Christmas gift. And just like any kid, I wanted to try it out right away. So, the next day, off I went to the range with my new toy. Once there, I’d set up a target and got my rifle ready to fire. Now, I had come to that same range before to shoot an air-gun. My aim was pretty good then, so I was a little cocky when I sighted my rifle for a shot. I missed the whole target. I took seven more shots and the target had no marks. I went back to that range several times and spent a fortune on ammo. My aim got a little better and my targets started to show some holes. However, those holes were outside the bulls eye area. Try as I might, I have missed the mark every time. Everyway I think about it, SIN is biblically defined as missing the mark that God had set. And boy, was I far from the mark!
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23 NLT)
I really thought I was a fairly good guy. I mean I’m not exactly perfect, but I have never committed a crime… Oops, I should not say ‘never’. I did break into a neighbor’s house in Florida to take a peek at some… ahem… magazines once. I may have pilfered some items that were not exactly mine. But still nothing so bad for a growing kid. Okay, okay, I confess! Sorry, Mom! I kinda took five dollars or maybe more from your purse even after you said I could not. (My mom did have a bad habit of leaving her purse out where any one of us kids could lay our mischievous hands on it.) So, I made a lot of mistakes but I have never cheated anyone of their belongings, nor have I committed murder, or any of those “mortal sins” that would doom me to HELL. By the world’s standard, I was an average Joe. I really thought that all things were good. Oh, how far away I was from the truth. For instance, I had a wrong concept of God.
To be continued…
 A child of wrath – Ephesians 2:3
 Catechism – a summary of religious doctrine often in the form of questions and answers conducted by the Catholic clergy. Catholic children study this manual as part of their religious education; it outlines the principal tenets of their faith.
Click here to read Chapter 2 Part 3 (not yet posted)