Man’s Biggest Problem; God’s Larger Solution
21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23For 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 3:21-24
You and I have a big problem; the biggest a person can have. And every one else has that same problem—a universal affliction. We have a sin problem. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short…” (Romans 3:23). There’s no way you get out of “all.” That means everyone has broken God’s law. The Bible also declares, “None is righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10). We were born messed up and we settled into that condition. That’s the bad news; here’s the worse news: “But your iniquities (sins) have made a separation between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Okay? That’s a problem.
Isaiah 53:6 adds, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” You know sinful things in your life you’ve done. And you live with that: things you’ve said and done; places you’ve gone; things you’re ashamed of. What’s your plan? How are you going to deal with that?
You’re like, “Well actually, I’m going to work that off. I’m going to be good.” Yeah, how’s that been going? Bad plan!
Not only do we not have the capacity to be good, the Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 that our desire to erase our sin by being good is an offense to God. God offers the free gift of salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). And you slap it away when you say, “No, I’ll do it myself.”
No, you will not! “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of grace. It’s God doing for you what you could not do for yourself. You owe a debt you cannot pay. He paid a debt He didn’t owe. Look at it this way: God treated Jesus Christ as though He had lived your life so that He could treat you as though you had lived Jesus Christ’s life.
That is awesome! That is the good news of the Gospel. And all you have to do is humbly accept the forgiveness of sins that God offers. “The wages of sin (problem)is death, but the gift (solution)of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23). Like any gift, you’ve got to receive it personally.
- At what point in my life did I understand and respond to the Gospel? When did I last share that good news with someone else?
- From what I just read, what would be the main points I could illustrate about the sin problem from my own life?
Almighty Father, I am overwhelmed again by the gift of salvation! Thank You for showing me, not only that I had sinned, but also that I am a sinner. Thank You for helping me see that You offer the only effective way to deal with my sin condition. And thank You for what You accomplished on the cross to make my salvation possible. In Jesus’ name, Amen.