Friday, August 16, 2013
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV).
Behold, God’s standard of righteousness, of which we all fall short!
I recently spoke with a religious family member about her soul salvation. My question to her was simple and direct, “Do you have the assurance of going to heaven, and on what basis do you have that assurance?” After a long pause, she uttered softly, “Heaven, because I have never done anything wrong in my life.” I then politely explained to her that that was a lie—calling God a “liar” is “doing wrong” in and of itself! Additionally, I reminded her of today’s Scripture, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Oddly, she actually agreed that all have sinned (despite her earlier comments, “I have never done anything wrong”).
The above conversation demonstrates the spiritual blindness of works-religion people. Religion distinguishes between “good people” and “bad people.” As long as you attend church and submit to the denomination’s demands (rites, rituals, ceremonies, et cetera), “doing the best you can,” you are considered “good” and “heaven-bound.” “Bad” people—those going to hell—are the people outside the church membership—gang members, fornicators, thieves, drunkards, murderers, and atheists.
As the Berean Bible student knows, this system of relative morality is flawed: no human, whether religious or secular (worldly), is the standard of righteousness. There are absolute right and absolute wrong, and they do not vary from person to person. Today’s Scripture plainly shows us that we have “come short of the glory of God.” One person may appear to be better than another, but both persons are sinners when compared to the absolute righteousness of God (Jesus Christ)! The standard of righteousness is the same for everyone; every person is not an independent standard. As Paul reminded, “they…comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).
Works-religionists fail to understand that they too are sinners, but not because they commit “more heinous” deeds than others. They are sinners because their character, their nature inherited from Adam, is anti-God. That nature (sin) then produces wicked actions (sins)….