For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” vss. 22b-24Romans 3:19-25
For years Martin Luther struggled with his own sinfulness, believing that there had to be some way by which he could, by his own effort, be free from the horrible burden of guilt. But nothing worked, and his anguish continued until the Spirit spoke to him through the words of Paul. It was then he realized that while all people were sinners, they were made righteous not by their works, but by the grace of God through Christ Jesus as an undeserved gift. That insight was the spark that ignited the Reformation, and it wasn’t long before the people of God began to celebrate grace both in their worship and in their daily lives. Grace remains the foundational teaching of Christianity and is closely linked with the teaching and the mission of Jesus. Sometimes misunderstood and occasionally abused, God’s gift of grace lifts us in times of sadness and gives hope when we get caught up in sin. Some would like it if there were something that we could do to receive salvation, and they don’t particularly like it that there are no distinctions among us. But Paul is right. All are sinners and there are no exceptions. And because we are all created in God’s image, all have access to forgiveness as a gift–the most wonderful gift of all.
Thought for the Day: What can I do in response to God’s gift of grace?