Thursday, December 4, 2014

NTDS (29): Good News, Bad News and Reality

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, NIV
Rom 3:24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. NIV

Whenever someone tells you that they have some good news and some bad news, which one do you want hear first? Seems like most people prefer the bad news first. I know I do. Why is that? I think it is because we like to get the bad out of the way and that looking forward to the good helps us deal with the bad. I could be wrong.

Paul, in these two verses, delivered some news to the church at Rome, hence to all of us, in this way. He starts with the bad news. He says that all have sinned and that none of them, or us, measure up to the glory of God. Three words are important here. The word all means just what it says. It means every single person that has or will be born. The word for fall short in Greek is in the present tense, which means it is a continuing action. We not only have sinned, but continue to sin. The word for sin translates as “miss the mark.” It simply means this; though we may shoot an arrow, aiming for the very center of a target, we will not always hit it. In the same way, no matter how hard we try to be obedient to God’s commands, we will not always be obedient.

Today, it is not very popular to talk about sin. In point of fact, I don’t think it has ever been popular to talk about sin! But we must talk about it because it is a reality. No matter how much we want to deny that we sin, it is a fact. It is reality. Many people have spent hours and hours on a therapist’s couch, trying to make themselves feel better about their sin, by denying it exists, but that will not work. The truth remains, we sin. That’s the bad news.

Now, the good news! There is a second reality. It’s contained in the second of our verses. Just as all have sinned, all can be justified. What does it mean to be justified? It means to be regarded as innocent, just as if we had not sinned. How is this possible? The verse tells us that it is by God’s grace and through the redemptive price that Jesus Christ paid on the cross. This is just as much reality as the fact that we have sinned.

No philosophy or opinion that anyone might have can change that fact. Anyone can be justified by receiving God’s gift of grace. There is no one beyond His ability to save. John 1:12 says, “but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”  (NASU) That means anyone who will come to Christ, in repentance of their sin and acknowledging that He is the only one who can redeem them from their sin, will be justified. That is good news indeed!

This is the message that the world needs to know. You don’t have to deny the bad news. In fact, you need to embrace its’ reality, so that you can be led to the good news. You cannot change what is real, but you can accept the solution.

If you have never yet come to Christ, in repentance over your own sin, now is the time. Receive His gift of redemption, His forgiveness of your sin and be justified before God.

For those of you that have already done that, be reminded that even though you have been justified, you will continue to miss the mark at times. Don’t deny it but instead, confess it. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (NIV) Live in the reality, that Jesus Christ has justified you and that your relationship with Him is pure when you continue to confess your sin to Him.

That is Good News so let’s spread it!

God bless you


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