Day 3: We are All Sinners
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
Romans 3:22-23 ESV
Before Jesus I was dead in my sin. After Jesus, I’m alive. We just can’t come to him without understanding and believing we’re broken. In fact, I’m pretty certain recognizing our brokenness is the moment Jesus ignites a desire in us for something more… something unbroken… something whole. There’s a Christian saying that sort of puts this into perspective for me.
“There but for the grace of God go I.”
I believe that on my own I am capable of pretty much any sin. Without the work of the cross I could go anywhere any other human has gone.
The concept of being a born sinner, even conceived as a sinner, was a hard one for me at first, until I learned more about sin.
I used to fall in line with believing the innocence of babies, until it was pointed out to me just how self-centered they are. They demand to be fed when they’re hungry. They want to be the center of attention. They cry without any regard for the hour or venue. They take, take, take and never give anything. Yes, I know they are completely dependent on their parents for survival, yet, stay with me here… What if they continued this behavior into adulthood?
And did you know you don’t have to teach children how to lie, cheat, or steal? They just do it. I remember the guilt (and joy) of stealing candy from the candy-by-the-pound display in the grocery store as a child. Yes. I was a sinner from the moment of conception!
We must believe we are sinners — all fall short of God’s glorious perfection — and because God is holy, we cannot enter His presence without first being cleansed. According to Webster’s Dictionary holy is characterized by perfection, transcendence (being beyond comprehension), and spiritual purity (free from moral fault or guilt).
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart… — Psalm 24:3-4 NASB95
God created each of us for good — His good purpose. However, because of the Fall, Adam and Eve’s original sin in the Garden of Eden, we enter into a broken world with sin as our family heritage. Their desire to be like God led them to fall for the serpent’s temptation and sin entered the world through one man (Romans 5:12). This one act of disobedience sent our world spinning toward hell and making it impossible for us to have the close personal relationship God intended for us to have with Him. Man’s sin erected a barrier between us and God: death. The ultimate separation of God from man.
After Moses led the Israelites (God’s chosen people) out of Egypt, God instructed Moses in the rituals, sacrifices, and offerings required for them to approach Him. Only one specific tribe of Israelites were allowed to serve as priests and perform these rites, and only one of those, the High Priest, could actually enter into the Holy of Holies where God’s presence rested in their midst. However, God did not intend to leave us dependent on imperfect sacrifices needing to be repeated over and over. He had a plan to rescue us.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah… I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” — Jeremiah 31:31, 33-34 ESV
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
Our society today says people are basically good at heart. From a Christian perspective would you say this is true or false? Why?
Talk it over with God:
Ask God to show you the areas in your life where sin has a stronghold, where things need to change. Record them in your journal as He reveals them to you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. —Psalm 139:23-24 NIV84
Exercise Your Faith
Name two areas of freedom in your life Christ gave you and give thanks for them. Record them in your journal.
_____ __________ is the ____________________ of _________________ _________________ for, the ___________________ of ________________ _______ ____________. _________________ _____:____