Thursday, June 7, 2018
“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one;’” Romans 3:10 (NIV).
People recognize that they are without perfection due to their sins. However, some have the idea that their sin isn’t as bad as yours! Theirs are small, yours are enormous. Yours will keep you out of heaven, theirs will allow them to squeak by. It is true that some sins have more consequences than others. But notice our passage at the beginning. Who is righteous? Answer: “Not even one.” All sins have consequences and the so-called acceptable ones also keep you from being righteous! Yes, God has the answer to that dilemma, but His answer gets lost when we condemn others for the same thing that plagues us (Matthew 7:3-5)!
Paul seems to have this condition in mind when he penned,
“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.” Galatians 6:1-3 (MSG).
If we’re not careful, we will take on the attitude of the Corinthians,
“It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 (RSV).
Paul did not get in Peter’s face because Paul thought his sins were smaller. He did so to help Peter understand the difference between living under Law and living by faith (Galatians 2:11-21). When Paul wrote to the saved among the Romans, he stated,
“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
Sometimes human beings think they’ve got it all together while others don’t. We like to think that our judgments are fairer, our common sense is more sensible, and our interpretations are correct. What it often boils down to is, “My sin isn’t as bad as your sin. I can squeak by, you can’t!” Sadly, such displays aren’t classified as humility.
So, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” That being the case, what is the answer to our sin problem (Matthew 10:28-30; Hebrews 12:1-3; Revelation 3:20; Romans 7:24-25; 8:1-4; Acts 2:41, 47)?