“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.”
Romans 3:10-11 NKJV
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Romans 3:21-26 NKJV
At the time of the writing of the letter to the Romans, the church was beginning to expand, as gentiles had come into the body in increasing numbers. Inevitably, there were conflicts over doctrine with implications that some were more “holy” than others because they kept the law. Paul sought to enlighten them by differentiating the righteousness of the law from the righteousness of Christ.
In reality, there was no difference, as all were sinners in need of a Savior, all people fell short of the glory of God, being as archers missing the mark. None has standing over another.
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.”
Romans 3:9-11 NKJV
One thing that I have noticed over the years, is the tendency of some believers to become puffed up, self righteous, having forgotten what it is to be a sinner. We go into the world as if we are somehow better, and look upon those who have not come to Christ, based on the given sin that appears to permeate their lives.
Of this, I am most certainly guilty.
As I have matured, I have also become more aware of my own sin. God has given me the curse of memory, as I frequently deal with a highlight reel of “Bernie’s darkest moments.” A memory enters my mind, and it is like awakened nightmare, and I am momentarily flooded with shame and guilt.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
II Corinthians 12:7 NKJV
The thoughts are from the evil one, but ordained by God as a thorn in the flesh, lest I become too big for my britches. Then, before I am swept away by the darkness, God’s grace washes over me, reminding me that I have been forgiven and there is now no condemnation.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
Remembering that we were once sinners and bound for hell is the greatest tool for evangelism we can have. The world does not need more “perfect people”, who have never sinned, but people recovered and rescued from the pit of hell. In our testimonies, there is hope for those seeking and for those who feel lost without remedy.
Brothers and sisters, we are all a work in progress, being made over in the image of Jesus. Some of us are just beginning in that journey, and have not come to the point where we are willing to trust the Lord enough to let go of the things that are damaging our lives.
Some of us seem to have it all together. We face the danger of complacency, as we no longer guard ourselves. We walk blindly, and a fall is eventually going to come, as we were tripped up by unseen pitfalls.
“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Proverbs 16:18-19 NKJV
Let us pray that the Lord help us to remember that were were once sinners, that we be able to lead others of Jesus. Let us not be caught up in judging unbelievers by the standards that even we can fail to live to, though we have the Holy Spirit.
Let the offense of the sin we see in others be a point of remembrance, and an alert that opportunity is knocking for the presentation of the Gospel.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!