If you were to survey 100 people, asking them, “do you consider yourself a good person?”, the majority would probably say yes. In our culture, we have a way of separating really bad people with everyone else. And so, if you haven’t committed serious crimes you are overall a good person. In Romans 3:9–20, however, Paul provides us with a very different view of humanity. Quoting from the Psalms, Paul says, “None is righteous, no not one.” He then goes on to describe ho w humanity is not righteous—no one has done good, their tongues are deceptive, they are full of curses and bitterness, they are quick to shed blood, they do not fear God. Quite a rap sheet. The point is this: when compared to God, no one measures up. We are all sinful. There is not an ounce of our selves not contaminated by sin. While we are probably not as sinful as we could be, we are sinful enough to separate us from God.
Depressing news, right? If no one is righteous is there any hope? If we only look at our sin, there is no hope. But we have to see our sin. We have to see that we all have a problem. We have to see our sin in light of God and his character. When we see God and his holiness, we quickly realize that there are no good people, only sinful people. However, if we pan out a bit, we can begin to see the whole picture. We see a loving God who did not want to leave his people in their sin. We see a merciful God who provided a savior in Jesus Christ. We see a gracious God who forgives sin. When we know how sinful we truly are, we come to know how truly good God is. Reflect on your sin, not so that you wallow in your sin, but so that you will reflect on God’s love, grace, and mercy, and worship him.
- How did you view yourself before Jesus?
- How has your sin helped you see God’s love, mercy, and grace more?
- Thank God for his love, grace, and mercy.