Today, I woke up with a few of verses on my mind:

“For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think.” Romans 12:3

“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

While the first verse is not specifically and directly in context with the second two, this warning is consistent throughout Scripture. I must not think highly of myself because I, in my flesh – my own will and strength, am not righteous. I have sinned (and will continue to sin) and fall short of the glory of God.

Sin…to miss the mark. The truth is I have missed and will continue to miss the mark, and so will you. The reason is that the mark we should be aiming for is perfect holiness. Don’t tune out…there’s a good chance holiness is not what you think.

This is NOT holiness:

 

Thankfully, there is more to our story.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

The wages, the penalty, the unavoidable result of sin IS death, but God has offered a gift through Jesus.

There’s an old worship chorus that says, “God has made a way where there seems to be no way.” God HAS made a way. His way. The only way. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This gift of God, a relationship with Him, is not a buffet at which we can pick and choose which parts we want to hold on to and which parts we leave behind. But if we receive His gift, the Bible says that, through Jesus’ death on the cross and the willing shedding of His own blood, our sin, both past, present, and future, is washed away.

“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

While the penalty has been paid, this gift from God is not universally applied to every human being. Why? I don’t know. The Bible only leads us to understand that there are 2 realities that exist in God’s plan.

1. “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:10

2. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:9, 10, 13

EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Are you putting all of your hope in your own ability to hit the mark? Are you hoping that, in the end on the great cosmic scale, your good works will simply outweigh your bad deeds? The problem with this thinking is that, if there were a great cosmic scale, YOUR good would not be weighed against YOUR bad. Instead, your good (righteousness) would be weighed against God’s standards of Jesus’ righteousness, which is perfection. Certainly, you can see how unbalanced that scale would be.

If you haven’t already, confess trust in Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Accept His gift to cleanse you from your sins.

If you have made this confession, continue to trust Jesus. His ability to “keep you cleansed” is as certain as His ability to cleanse you when you first believed.