Lesson 3: All have sinned
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
That’s right. All. That includes your pastor, your neighbor, Mother Theresa, Barack Obama, you and most definitely me. We have all sinned. It’s a tough pill to swallow and as we get closer to Christ our understanding of this will go through different stages. Here are a few:
We all have heard the denial of this fact in one form or another. It comes in the shape of the “humanity is inherently good” theories. The lesson points out however, that when we understand what true goodness is, and when we measure ourselves against God, the only good one, we find that we all are flawed.
The lesson talks about a number of misconceptions the world may have about sin and evil. One is that humanity has and will continue to improve and that morality is increasing. But is this really true? There are arguments on how many days of peace the world has had since World War 2, and although no one has settled on a number, most people’s estimates are alarmingly low. Our turn away from God and into sin has meant increasingly violent times across the world.
On a much smaller scale however is the self-deception that leads us to think ourselves better than others because we see our sin as less extreme than that of others. Another self-deception is to think that we can fix our own sin problem through our own effort. But we would be wrong on both counts.
It can be depressing to realize our true state. But what a relief to know that through Jesus we can find redemption and salvation. When we accept our sinfulness and turn to Him, we can find righteousness through faith in Him. It means we can be truly without sin before the father, because we become covered in Jesus’ righteousness.
There is no other way to Salvation. Once we realize our sin, we’ve got to admit it, and give it up. And no one can do this for us – we must do this voluntarily on our own. When we do, however, we receive the power from God to overcome the temptations that come our way in the future.
We all come before God sinful, but we do not need to stay this way. God’s love created for us the opportunity to be cleansed and to have new life in Him. We are no longer the sinful beings we were, but we are recreated into sons of daughters of Christ.
In Romans, Paul tells us that all of have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. But later in 2 Corinthians 5:7 he reminds us that “… if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
That’s a final stage worth striving for.