for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. Romans 3:23-25
The ability of man to be good has been put to the test from the beginning of time. Over and over men have tried and failed at achieving any kind of righteousness through their own works. After the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden, there was an attempt made to cover their sin by sewing fig leaves for a covering. This attempt failed then and has continued to fail until our current day. Now, just as then, man remains unjustified by his own works.
Paul, the Apostle, in his letter to the Romans, brings all mankind to the harsh reality that all are guilty before God. He does so by boldly declaring that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Many have tried and have failed at becoming righteous through their own merit. Sadly, this leaves the human race without hope of being the “good people” that we tend to think we are. The smallest sin to the greatest are all worthy of eternal punishment.
Thankfully, Paul does not leave us helpless and hopeless. Verse 25 tells us how humanity can be justified or declared righteous before God. In the first three chapters of this letter, it is repeatedly stated that this righteousness cannot be attained by the works of our flesh. As these verses tell how all have sinned, it also brings the greatest hope one could ask for, a declaration of righteousness with no assistance from us.
Righteousness can only be attained one way, a way that is uncommon in a world of people who want to be recognized for their achievements. Grace, God’s grace, is the means in which humanity can be righteous before Him. Divine, unmerited favor is granted as He sees fit. It can not be bought or earned, it is freely given to all who will believe. It is given in spite of our failures, in spite of our shortcomings, in spite of all our failed attempts to be good. Righteousness can be found in the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:17), by grace alone without the help of man. Christian friends, rejoice today that belief in the resurrected Savior is all we need.
In His service,
Pastor Richie Honeycutt