Focus Scripture: Romans 3:23 - 26, AMP
Bible Tip: Today’s anchor Scripture is taken from the book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul. It emphasizes a small portion of the third chapter of the book. In order to properly understand what he is seeking to communicate in our focus verses, read the entire third chapter. Answer these questions: What is his overall message? How do the focus verses help to reinforce his overall message?
Sin is the falling short of the righteous and holy standard of God. The standard of God is perfect and beyond reproach and so, when we fall short of it, we do wrong. The feeling accompanying wrongdoing is guilt: it signals that we have missed the mark. But, even in the absence of this feeling, the report about us is clear: all have fallen short of the glory of God. All have sinned. All have done what is wrong. All are guilty before God. (Romans 3:23). This is bad news. The penalty for sin is death and there are a thousand deaths to die (relationally to God, our true selves, others, things, the destinies we were lovingly crafted for) before the eternal one. (Romans 6:23).
But God, in the person of Jesus Christ, came into the world with a good report: God was not holding our sins against us. He was not counting them one by one. He was not condemning us. Instead, He had come so that through Him the world might be saved. (2 Corinthians 5: 18 - 19 and John 3:16 - 17).
He who came into the world to save us did it on a tree. From this tree He hung for crimes He did not and could not have committed. He died for our sins past, present and future - that's what happened on the cross! Those are the lashes that tore His flesh. Those were the nails that pierced His hands and feet; the sword that tore through His side. That's the weight that hung His head.
Jesus confronted our bad news. And here is where I invite you to lean in a little closer: He was not overcome by it. He died, but didn't stay dead. He went to Hell, but did not suffer decay. He got up. How? By the Spirit of God. Why? Because He is righteous. God approved the payment of the One who had no debt on behalf of we who had a debt we could never pay. (1 Corinthians 15: 1 - 8).
And by grace, through faith, we cling to the feet of Jesus, hanging on the cross and accept His payment for our sin. (Ephesians 2: 8 - 9). And by that same grace we shoot up from the grave in the Holy Spirit's power, not because of what we've done but, because of what He has done perfectly (fulfilled the requirements of the law). (Romans 8:11).
We are made a new creation by grace through faith (reliance on the perfection and sufficiency of Jesus Christ). The old is gone and now we are those born of Heaven. (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are those who have received what God eagerly desired we receive, i.e. mercy. We are those who are counted as judicially (eternally) right with God. (Romans 8:30).
Beloved, you do not need to live in fear. In Christ you are eternally safe. The wrath of God will never be assigned to you. Forgiven you are because He is faithful and just to forgive you of all your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness, if you confess. (1 John 1:9). Totally forgiven you are because Jesus paid the debt in full. He is the all sufficient sacrifice. Free from wrath you are because Jesus bore it all. The wrath we deserved was poured out on Jesus. There is no more wrath left in His cup for the believer.
Beloved, when you fall short, and you will, you have the assurance that the eternal life flow, i.e. the blood of Jesus, will never lose its power. It makes the perfect plea. (Hebrews 10:1 - 18). Draw near in Godly confidence and receive the help you need. The help you need to live out (in your day-to-day life) your righteous identity in Christ. (Hebrews 4: 15 - 16).
Sing this chorus to soothe your soul with the truth of the power of Jesus's blood. He did not shed it in vain. Every time you fall short or worry you have, remember that you have a perfect plea. Draw near to Him prayerfully as you lift up this old chorus, brought to us by Hillsong United via its iHeart Revolution project, 'With Hearts As One', released in 2008.
Pressing Question: Is there a sin the blood cannot atone for?
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Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God who believes that as we seek the truth of God's Word, and humble ourselves to live in agreement with it, that we will experience the transformation which allows us to enter wholistic wellness: spirit, soul and body. She is the Founder and President of EarthBasic and leads its Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together. She is thrilled at the call to extend the Be-Held Community to include Be-Held Peace of Mind: a monthly publication providing Christ-centered mental health resources that raise awareness about mental health issues, end stigma around mental illness and point persons to hope in Jesus Christ.