Today we realize that our sin keeps us from acceptability to God. We cannot do anything in our power to fix that. Jesus can. And did. And so, today let’s look to Jesus. Consider trusting him in faith to fix that for you. Stop falling short. Reach glory. In faith…
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood— to be received by faith.
Many people believe that the gates of heaven sit on the scale of good and evil, that when they stand on the threshold if the scale tips slightly toward ‘good’ they will be welcomed into the pearly gates. This is wishful thinking. It comes from a good place, yet there is a better way for this wish to come true, and it was earned by Jesus.
The laws of Moses, carved on stone tablets and then elaborated on for centuries, first by the children of Israel and then by the Christian church, don’t lead us to God. They lead us to sin…
Okay, hold on a minute. Isn’t that blasphemy? At least heresy? Not according to the Apostle Paul. Not only does he tell us here in verse 20 that we cannot be declared righteous by keeping the law, he tells us that the law elevates our consciousness regarding sin. The law doesn’t lead us to sin in action, it leads us to sin as an issue. The issue. The biggest issue we need to deal with in our relationship with God.
Everybody sins. Everyone falls short of the glory of God. There is no difference between us. In Paul’s time, the paradigm of Jewish thought was to separate all people into the categories of Jew or Gentile. You were a Jew or a non-Jew. Notice Paul’s clear teaching: there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short. All. No difference.
We don’t like the idea of being sinners, yet if we have to be sinners, we can rationalize that as long as our good outweighs our bad, we’re okay. In fact, if we are slightly more righteous than our neighbour, all the better. This is like the comfort that comes from being with a slow swimmer in a shark attack. Don’t take comfort. You’re next.
The new thinking that we have before us in Paul’s teaching is that the righteousness of God has been made known apart from the law. Apart from the law, which we thought told us how to be righteous, there is revelation of the righteousness of God.
Righteousness is modeled in the person of Jesus Christ and is available to you and to me through faith in Jesus.
Justified freely by his grace through his redemption of us on the cross, where he died for you and died for me.
This is received, not by good works, but by faith. Only. Whereas it is our sin which makes us fall short of God’s glory, the opposite of sin here is faith. For all with faith in Christ take hold of the glory of God. That’s the opposite of falling short in sin.
Take the pressure off. Stop trying to be better than others. Stop trying to be more good than bad. Stop focusing on your behaviour. Just for a moment or two. Realize that your sin keeps you from acceptability to God. Then realize you cannot do anything in your power to fix that. Then realize Jesus could. And did. Then trust him in faith to fix that for you. Glory.
Glorrrrry! To all who believe.
So glad we don’t have to earn it.