Devotions on Emotions (and Scripture) by the First Pres Pastors
A reflection on Romans 3:21-26
21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ[d] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement[e] by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.[f]
The Greek word used in the New Testament for “sin” is actually an archery term which means “missing the mark.” And the Bible hints at the target for our lives being “loving God and loving others.”
So, when we don’t love the people around us the way we should, by feeling it in our hearts and showing it is how we act, how we speak, how we live, we have sinned. And when we don’t love God the way we should, by seeking God’s presence in our Bible reading and prayer, and truly reveling in our communion with our Creator, we are guilty of sin.
And guilt makes us hide (see Adam and Eve) and point fingers of blame (again, Adam and Eve) and fall into self-centeredness.
But the good news is that God won’t leave us in our sinful nature, and God calls us back from our guilt in the person of Jesus.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and we are justified by God’s grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Am I guilty? Yes, but I am forgiven by God’s grace.
Am I guilty of sin? Yes, but that shouldn’t keep me away from God, because grace defines the relationship. And I am grateful for grace.
Thank you, Wonderful God, for your grace, mercy, and love which is shown so beautifully in the person of Jesus Christ. Help me to walk today in the glory of your grace, as I share your love with others, living as a forgiven disciple of Jesus Christ my Savior. Amen.