“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” —Romans 3:10-12
If we are to ask someone if they think they are good, most people would say “yes.” Yet, their response is probably because they are measuring their goodness by another’s standards; in this case, they are using a broken standard, which is almost like the blind leading the blind. What if the standard of goodness is not a list of rules but God Himself? In other words, what if it is not a list of dos or don’ts but the goodness of God Himself that is the standard?
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the only One who can determine what is truly good because He is the only One who is righteous. He is the holiness of God, perfect and without sin. Humanity, however, is sinful. Paul tells us, “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practise deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:13-18). If we take an honest look around our world, our city and even our own household and set it against these verses, we would agree. It does not matter what command is put in front of us. There is a nature in us to rebel against God’s commands. All of humanity is bound to sin and incapable of being good before a holy and righteous God.
This is why Jesus came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves and offered us something we desperately needed. Romans 3:22-24, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe….for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
The righteousness of God is given to us when we place our faith in what Jesus did for us—it is available to all who believe. The gospel says no matter who we are or what we have done, Christ came to set us free from sin and death. While we were broken and immersed in sin, the righteousness of God restored us and immersed us in His love. We were destined for destruction, but the righteousness of God has destined us for glory. We were lost and in darkness, but Christ, who is our light, came and set us free.
No matter how sinful our life is, the good news is that God did not abandon us in our sinfulness. He came and liberated us from it.
Gracious God, I am a sinner destined for destruction but Jesus came and set me free. Thank You for the gift of salvation through Christ alone. Amen!