Tag: all have sinned

Justified by grace!

Scripture reading for June 16th:  Romans 3

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Romans 3:21-25  “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the Law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.”

After showing that all men, Jew and Gentile, stood guilty of sin before God, Paul gave the simple remedy.  God made a way through faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice of His body and blood to justify all who would believe.  The word ‘justify’ simply means to make right by a legal transaction.  All men had sinned and the penalty was death.  But God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to come and live in this world as a man, but without sin.  Jesus, God’s Son, then offered His blood in place of sinful men’s blood or the blood of innocent animals.  This justly satisfied God’s righteous anger against sin and the penalty of death for all who sinned.  If we believe God, we are made righteous.

Observations for over-comers:  Righteousness cannot be gained by any human works or religion.  It is freely given as a gift to all who believe in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on their behalf.  “Abraham believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.”  (Genesis 15:6)

 

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Righteousness given by faith alone!

Scripture reading for June 17th:  Romans 3

Is there anyone in the world that is righteous–has right standing before God?  Various religions have attempted to answer this question by offering ways that man can perform in a certain way and become right with God.  Atheists and humanists claim that there is no ‘God’, and therefore man is free to do what feels good to him.  Any hint of future reward or punishment is just a figment of the imagination.  But Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, brings the truth to light about righteousness.

Even though the Jews had many advantages because of their history and God’s own written record of His law to them, they still had not kept God’s commands.  The Gentiles, not having God’s law, had a form of it written on their hearts so that they too were without excuse before God on the issue of righteousness. (Romans 2:14-15)  Paul concluded with a quote from the Psalms, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, who seeks God.”  (Romans 3:10-11)  God’s laws only bring a consciousness of sin to Jew and Gentile alike.  All are guilty before God and lack right standing.

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.”  (Romans 3:21-25)

Righteousness is available to all by faith in Jesus Christ!  This truth brings right standing with God on His terms!

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God knows no ‘favorites’!

Scripture reading for June 16th:  Romans 2

The charge that God is unjust and has ‘favorites’ has been around for years.  Different groups and churches have used this idea to proclaim that they are God’s ‘favorites’ and the only way into God’s favor is to become a part of their group.   The Jews of Paul’s day had this idea and Paul addressed it in his letter to the Romans.

The Jews felt that they were God’s ‘favorites’ because of their history.  God had chosen Abraham and built a nation of people around this man’s response of faith to obey and follow God.  God had redeemed this people from Egyptian bondage and given them His holy Law.  The Jews condemned the Gentiles because they broke God’s laws and passed judgment.  Paul warned the Jews to be concerned about their own performance and be quick to repent!

“Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.  So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same thins, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?  Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?”  (Romans 2:2-4)

God knows the truth about each person and He will judge justly.  “For God does not show favoritism.”  (Romans 2:11) We as men do not know the truth about others and are often blind to our own faults and sins.  God has offered mercy to all men, Jew or Gentile through Jesus Christ.  His kindness should lead us to repent–change our minds–about our own sinfulness and allow God to change us.  God will judge men’s secrets on the day He chooses through His Son Jesus Christ!  (Romans 2:16)

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The level ground of faith!

Scripture reading for July 16th: Romans 3:9-31

I have heard it said that we all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ!  There are no big “I’s” or little “You’s” when it comes to our need for salvation and finding the grace that comes from our Lord’s sacrifice.  In Paul’s letter to the Roman, he stresses that all are in need of this grace and explains why!

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.  The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)

These verses from the Old Testament quoted here show the universal rule of sin in the lives of human beings.  Sin has permeated all men and is the cause of evil speech, violence, war, and rebellion against God.  Put another way, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  There is no Jew who has kept the law of God and no Gentile who has not violated his conscience!  (Romans 2:14-15)

But thanks be to God that He has provided a remedy!  “But now a righteousness from God apart from law, has been made known, to which the law and prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:21-22)  Faith is the great equalizer.  God has chosen to give the gift of His righteousness to all who will put their faith in what Jesus has done for them.

The real question for us today concerns whether we have come to understand and confess our sinfulness.  Repentance requires that we know our need to change our minds and hearts.  If we have a godly sorrow over our sins and turn from them to Christ for His cleansing, the gift of righteousness is ours by faith!  This is true for all men and women everywhere.  Faith is the level ground where the grace of God flows freely!

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