This devotional was written by Jim Burns
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. —Romans 3:23
On a sunny September day, a stern-faced, plainly dressed man stood on a street corner in downtown Chicago. Pedestrians hurried by on their way to lunch, shopping, or business. This solemn-faced man would lift his right arm, point to the person nearest him, and intone loudly the single word "GUILTY!"
Then, without any change of expression, he would resume his stiff stance for a few minutes before repeating the same gesture again, raising his arm and pointing to another person, then pronouncing loudly that one word "GUILTY!"
The effect that this strange man had on the people was almost eerie. People would stare at him, hesitate, look aside, and then hurry away as if they had been caught. One man turned to another man and exclaimed, "But how did he know?" Guilty! We are all guilty. We have made some major mistakes in our life, and many minor ones; we are all guilty.
When it comes to our relationship with God, we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. To sin means to "miss the mark," and we have all missed the mark of God's perfection.
The good news is that sin and guilt are erased in Jesus Christ. There is a Scriptural principle which helps us understand the beauty of God's forgiveness of our sin and guilt. It's found in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
You don't have to live in the guilt of your past sins. You are forgiven. You are cleansed. Your sins are no longer remembered. Hallelujah!
2. We have established that we all have sinned and that we all face death because of that sin; but what hope does the second part of Romans 6:23 offer us? How can we be freed from the guilt of sin in our daily lives according to 1 John 1:9?