John Hubbard | Children’s Ministry Director
Overcoming objections to the need. Romans 3:9-18 says,
“What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, just as it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away,
together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.’ ‘Their throats are open graves,
they deceive with their tongues, the poison of asps is under their lips.’ ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.’ ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood, ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’”
In these verses in Romans, Paul does not hint at the righteousness of humanity. Is anybody righteous? No. Are Jews more righteous than Greeks? No. Does anyone qualify for less of a punishment for his or her sin? No. We like to think that because we go to church, we sing, we smile, and we go to lunch with people afterward that we have developed some kind of worthiness from God. Some of us even fall into thinking that since we go to a weekly Bible Study, or we read daily devotions from our church (much like this one) that we’ve shed our unrighteousness. Paul goes on in verse 23 to say that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So then are those things bad? No, of course they are not. However, do they bring us to some level of righteousness? No. Then can we claim to attain righteousness that way? No.
I know what you are thinking, ‘man this guy likes to say no.’ Although that may or may not be true, I am trying to emphasize the same thing as Paul does when he makes it very clear the absolute only way we can be saved. Through Jesus we are righteous; we are only justified to God by His grace through the redemption that is found in Jesus Christ. We can only boast righteousness from one thing, and that is our faith in Jesus Christ.
It is not about whether or not we are good people, how moral or good we can be. It is about our faith in God first. This is what the world needs, a savior for its sins. Not to be reminded of how to be a good person.
What can you do to point people to Jesus today, rather than to morality for morality’s sake?