September 7, 2016
READ: Romans 3:21-26
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard (v.23).
Sometimes we can make sweeping generalizations about all sorts of things—or even about people. “No ___________ are friendly,” we might say. “All ___________ are corrupt,” we insist.
Staunch judgments, prejudices, and unbendable views often result when individuals and groups assume every person belonging to a particular ethnic group, religion, or region believes and behaves the same way.
I vividly remember when I was walking down the streets of a major city with a friend and uttered a blanket statement about the people who lived there. Rather than agreeing with me, my friend urged me to seek the exceptions. “In the midst of the powerful, there will be the meek. Look for them,” she said. “Among the proud, seek the humble, and you’ll find some in the midst.”
Unlike our own opinions that are often uninformed and laden with stereotypes, in Scripture we find a holy God who makes perfectly accurate generalizations. When He says “everyone has sinned” (Romans 3:23), He’s referring to every person ever born—without exception. But rather than condemn us for our sins, God has extended grace to all who will believe in Jesus and receive salvation. “God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (v.24).
Through His one and only Son, God makes forgiveness of sins and salvation available to all—the poor and the rich, the kind and the unkind, the meek and the proud. As Paul wrote, “[Jesus] died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them” (2 Corinthians 5:15). God clearly knows our sinful hearts but has chosen a way for us to know and live for Him!
365-day plan: Luke 21:1-24
Read Romans 5:8 and consider what God has done for you.
What does God’s grace mean to you? How does He view us once we’ve received salvation in Jesus?