Good News for All…Who Will Receive It (Romans 3:23-24)
[For] all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ²⁴and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus –Romans 3:23-24
From hurricanes to rising prices to disappointing election results, there are plenty of bad news headlines to think about. But no matter what you think your biggest bad news problem is, we all have a much bigger problem–a cosmic problem–that no human being can solve.
Our verses this week tell us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Paul is emphatic–not even the Israelites, the chosen people of God’s promise, are good before God. None can be right with God on their own. Our best attempts to obey even the best laws can’t keep us in good standing with God (Romans 3:9-12).
Thanks be to God that verse 23 doesn’t end with a period. Rather, a comma flows from bad news into good: “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” This is the best news. All peoples, Jews and Gentiles, can be justified–declared righteous–despite their sin. And this declaration of righteousness is given to us through grace. It is the free gift that God offers to everyone, regardless of their ancestry. What mercy. What love.
Only One Way
This is no ordinary gift, however. We dare not reject it, for there is only one way to be saved: through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
It takes humility to admit our need; to agree with God that “yes, I too fall short of your glory. I don’t trust you or obey you like I should.” It goes against the grain of worldly thinking to say “yes, I am dependent on God’s grace, without which I don’t stand a chance.” Our culture insists everyone can figure out his own path to God–often a god made in our own image. To suggest that the only way to God goes through the suffering Servant, Jesus Christ, is an affront to many.
Shelter under His Blood
Tragically, not all will receive this most precious of gifts. They will be like those in Egypt who did not paint their doorposts with the blood of the lamb and consequently, suffered death (Exodus 12:7, 12-13). So, too, death will extend to all who do not believe. One day soon, every knee will bow down to the Lamb who was slain in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. We must take shelter under His blood or He will destroy us. There is no other way to be saved.
Scripture is clear in its warning: take heed, all who refuse this gift will suffer wrath and fury forever. But there’s still time (2 Corinthians 6:2). All who take refuge in Him will be saved.
How do you fall short of the glory of God?
How might this passage encourage you to make a regular practice of repenting for your sins?
Give thanks to God for His redeeming love and pray for those you love who don’t yet trust Him for salvation.
Candice Watters is the Fighter Verses editor. She is married to Steve Watters, Truth78's director of marketing and resource development. She is mom to Harrison, Zoe, Churchill, and Teddy and the author of Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen. Together she and Steve co-authored Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies. The Watterses love helping parents disciple their children.