The New Testament Epistle of Romans teaches us that…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but alot of times people go on without reading the next few verses in context! Notice the language of verse 23! ALL HAVE SINNED! PAST TENSE! Something you did in your past life.
Rom 3:23…For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Let’s go on! Without reading on further that verse can be misleading to some. When taking the verse by itself and not reading further on some will conclude and say that Christian’s are a bunch of sinners. Not true! What does the next few verses teach?
Rom 3:24-26…Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Let’s break it down! When understanding Paul’s statement in verse 23 to be statement regarding the past life of a man without Christ, a different picture is painted about what man is after he’s redeemed by Christ.
Verse 24 speaks of the sinner being justified freely by God’s Grace. It goes on to say that Divine Grace is found through redemption that comes from the shed blood and crucifixion of Christ. This is where God given righteousness to the human soul comes to the beleiving heart. The Bible teaches this! Present tense righteousness is given to a believer when all past sins are remitted (forgiven) by God because of personal belief and trust in Christ’s redemptive work. The source of God’s declaration of righteousness comes through your personal faith (present tense) in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross at Calvary. The greek language of the Bible calls this finished work of Christ a, “propitiation”.
A justified man “use to be” (past tense)a sinner, before he was justified. After justification by Grace is experienced… man is forgiven, pardoned, and declared righteous based on the effects of Calvary. A righteous man is a man that’s made righteous by the Grace of God in the present tense. He is no longer unrighteous. He walks and lives righteous. Present tense righteousness in the heart of man, given by God’s Grace does not produce and unrighteous life or sinful conduct. The Bible teaches Christian’s are holy and righteous in the eyes of God. The Bible does not condone sin or sinful living. As a matter of fact the Bible condemns sin and sinful conduct in the life of a beleiver in Christ. Man made concepts have twisted the truth of God’s Word to a point where holiness and right living is not taught anymore. Sad but true!
Let’s examine the Grace of God that brings Salvation that is powerful enough to give man a clean heart and a desire live and do right. As mentioned above…All “have sinned” (past tense) before Grace came in…but Christian’s who have the power of God’s Divine Grace don’t have to sin anymore. They are no longer rebels against the authority of Christ. Christians are subject to Christ’s Holy presence, every minute, every hour, every day. Children of God can have a constant victory over sin by the power of God’s Grace that is maintained daily, by a life of obedience to Christ.
Study this passage in Romans to see if it be so…May the Spirit of Holiness give revelation to the truth of Christ’s power and presence in our lives. The Christ I speak of… changes people, “Morally” by the Grace of God. Glory! The Bible tells me so!