History of Redemption: Blog Post 17
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:9 (NASB); Romans 3:10-18; 23 (ESV).
I draw incredible comfort from this passage of scripture. You might ask why. I grew up thinking that I had to be good enough to get to God. But I never knew how good I had to be. That is a dangerous and scary place to be. Either you feel like you have failed, and are going to spend eternity in hell, or (more rarely) you feel like you have succeeded, and you are puffed up with pride.... and then you have again failed and are destined for eternity in hell. It was not until I spent time in this passage from scripture, that I understood, that NO ONE is good enough to get to God. But yet, scripture also tells us that many WILL get to spend eternity in paradise with our God.
It was our pastor in Seattle, Mark Driscoll, who very simply, yet elegantly, unpacked this theology for me. He explained that many religions and even many churches think that the world is divided into the good guys and the bad guys. That is wrong. We are ALL bad guys, and there has only ever been one good guy, Jesus Christ. He ALONE lived a sinless life, He ALONE is righteous, and so He ALONE is able to atone for all of my sins, past, present and future. What a glorious and liberating truth this is! Yes, ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. You have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Theresa have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I cannot be “good enough” to get to God, so God entered into human history, and lived a perfect life, “good enough” to get to God. Through His sacrificial death, He secured a path for me and for you to get to God, despite the sin that we were all stained with, and are now cleansed from, because of His blood shed for us. Let us find rest and peace in this, that we are now “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 3:24-25).
Thank you Lord Jesus Christ, that there is now a fountain filled with Your blood, and that we, when plunged beneath that flood, lose all our guilty stains.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment” (Psalm 51:1-4).