Thursday, June 25, 2020

Don’t Stop Short


For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23

For some reason it seems this verse is popping up everywhere I turn. I’ve heard it in sermons, at our family Bible study and read it in more than one devotional.  It’s true, we have all sinned. I’m not denying or arguing the veracity of the words.  Those words on their own are the quick and easy evangelism road. “Are you a sinner? Yes you are! ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ It says so right in the Bible. Now what are you going to do about it?”

          Left alone, presented that way, that precious verse is watered down, too easily ignored and basically just an ad for fire insurance. “Do you want to burn in hell? I didn’t think so!” Yuk! That’s what happens when we pull one little piece of Scripture and flail it around.  Look at it alongside the next verse....

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

There it is! Where the first half, verse 23 is too often misused as a scare tactic, it is truly a door opener for the amazing, beautiful truth of redemption. Verse 24 holds the key…. JUSTIFIED.

          I’ve heard a few sermons on that word but one always sticks in my mind, justified, just as if I’d never sinned.  Just as if I’d never sinned. Wow!

          I don’t know about you but that is grace, real, amazing, all encompassing grace to me. It is easy, very, very easy for me to see myself in verse 23, all have sinned. Yes, unfortunately, that’s me.  Sin? Check. Fall short?  Check. Forget completely about God’s glory? Check. So what can I do? If you read that and said a resounding, “me too” what can you do?

          We can read verse 24. “All are justified by the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (emphasis mine) Justified.  As my granddaughters love to say… Wait! What?

That’s right, all have sinned but all are justified as well. What’s the catch you ask? You are.

          That justification is yours for the taking but the price is humility.  Lay down pride, accept that you cannot erase the sin and that you desperately need a Savior and then there it is. It sounds simple and it can be but too often we make it harder than it has to be, often by getting bogged down in verse 23.

          Take a second and listen to the heartbeat of Abba. Listen to the voice of Jesus whispering forgiveness and mercy in your ear. Justified….. There it is!