Daily Devotional – Romans 3:9-20

Today there’s really only one big thing that jumps out at me from this passage.

Righteousness.

No one is righteous enough to enter Heaven by their own merit. Those that follow and obey the Mosaic Law are no better off than those who ignore that law and go about doing things as they please. I like the way my Contemporary English Version says it in Romans 3:20:

“God doesn’t accept people simply because they obey the Law. No, indeed! All the Law does is point out our sin”.

When I put that together with Romans 3:9 from the New King James Version:

“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.”

I know it seems like Paul is saying here that we don’t need to obey any laws, but that is not at all the point he is trying to make. The point he is making is that it is impossible for a person to uphold every single tenet of Mosaic Law perfectly without making even a single mistake in their whole lives. Even Moses couldn’t do it and he practically wrote the thing with God’s guidance of course. The only person that ever succeeded in doing that was Jesus, which is why He was able to sacrifice Himself on the Cross for our sins as a fulfillment of the Mosaic Law.

Because no one can uphold every single law and code without ever breaking or even bending at least one in their lifetime there is no way to earn a trip to Heaven. We’re all sinners and rightly deserve God’s wrath and condemnation for our sinful ways. Sure, we may not run out and play the part of the serial killer or the terrorist, but just because we do not behave as such people do that does not mean we are any better than they are in God’s sight. All people are sinners, whether Jew or Gentile and because we’re all sinners we all reap the just reward of sin.

The thing of it is, as Paul points out, the reason we even have law in the first place is because of the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. Laws serve to show us when we sin because the law is the knowledge of sin and we would not have that knowledge if we hadn’t collectively fallen from the Garden of Eden in the first place. There is something strangely comforting in knowing that even though I am a sinner that no one is any better than I am in God’s sight because we all sin. Because we all sin we are all equal regardless of any social status we may have. Unlike the Communistic form of government, which has no way of enforcing equality across the board, God can and does make us all equal as sinners in His sight no matter what we do and because we’re all equal in His sight that means that none of us has to worry about having to go through any special steps that other people don’t have to go through in order to be saved.

So, as long as we believe we will be saved because Jesus, in living a perfect life under Mosaic Law fulfilled that law which allowed Him to be a sacrifice for all sin and, thus paved the way to our salvation through His grace and our faith.

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