Romans 3:9-31; 1 Samuel 12; Psalm 57
If you have ever talked to a Baptist, you probably know Romans 3:23. We like to talk to people about their relationship with God and this verse begins the process because it highlights a truth that most people don’t want to hear. The problem we have is that we forget that when God talks about sin, He almost always reminds us of His grace. We get so wrapped up in noting that everybody has sinned, that we forget about the next verse. “…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.” (Romans 3:23-24) (emphasis mine) Some people seem to weigh sins like they are trying to make a trade with God: “this kind of sin is worth three of that other kind – I won’t commit murder, but that lets me commit four of these sins.” Obviously, we aren’t so open about that thinking, but anytime we attack any sin as being worse than another, we minimize the impact of sin on our relationship with God. In truth, no matter how “great” or how “small” our sin may be, there is only one hope for restoring our relationship with God: the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. Paul notes that we are justified freely through God’s grace so that our relationship with Him can be restored. The idea of sin without redemption creates a picture of a stern unyielding God who is seeking to find reasons to punish us. Grace without recognition of sin leads to a lifestyle where anything goes and personal destruction. It is only when we recognize that we have sinned against God AND that God restores our relationship with Him that our lives have balance. Spiritually healthy people recognize not only their sin, but also the grace of God which forgives and restores our relationship with Him.
Lord, I do recognize that I have sinned and that I continue to sin. I pray for Your grace to forgive my sins and to restore my relationship with You. I pray for power to overcome my desire to sin and keep that relationship strong.