WHAT WE DON'T DESERVE (Romans 3:22-25)

March 21st, 2024

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. - Romans 3:22-25

It is quite fascinating to reflect on the culture of the world around us. We are constantly surrounded by the chants of various people and groups crying out for something they feel they deserve. It might be for some political right in the society, or some sort of right to express themselves in whichever way they believe to be true and good. If we are not careful, we too can be swept up into the thought process that we are somehow a people who deserve something.

The Bible teaches us something different in terms of what we deserve and don't deserve. While much of humanity is being absorbed into their personal sense of entitlement, the people of God are called to think otherwise. We see all throughout human history different groups of people fighting to be the most powerful and the most influential. There seems to be a fierce competition within the human race to prove that we are somehow better than the other. Paul writes in our passage today that no one should ever think this way. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glorious and perfect standard. Therefore, none of us hold any platform of our own to stand and demand anything from the world let alone God Himself. We are all the same and no one is more deserving of something than the other.

The problem with the human heart is that it is corrupted with the spiritual disease of sin. This presence of sin has blinded each one of us with a pride that causes us to exalt our preferred needs and wants constantly. No wonder the world around us is willing to fight each other in order to obtain their own selfish desires! If this is what we really are in our natural human state; ungodly, unrighteous and pridefully sinful, then we most certainly do not deserve our own glory and goodness. What do we deserve then? According to Ephesians 2:3, "all of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the desires of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath". This is the rightful verdict for all people for all of time. Because we have all sinned and fallen short, we are all equally deserving of God's righteous judgment.

However, despite all of this, God presents to each one of us the gift of mercy in the redemption of Jesus Christ. We have in Jesus the most remarkable reality to have ever been revealed. Instead of receiving a judgment we surely deserved, we become recipients of a glorious grace we never deserved. Instead of God shedding the blood of sinful humans, He sheds the blood of His innocent son. Instead of God pouring His wrath upon corrupted humanity, He unleashes His fury upon His only son. Through this amazing grace of God, we have a sacrifice of atonement that satisfies the wrath of God forever! To put it plainly, Jesus received what we all deserved so that we could receive what we could never deserve: the gift of God's love and salvation.

The world around us may be obsessed in fighting for whatever they believe they deserve to have in this life. However, we are called to behave differently. We are called to remember the price that was paid and dwell as undeserving children of God. Charles Spurgeon famously stated "While others are congratulating themselves, I have to sit humbly at the foot of the cross and marvel that I'm saved at all". Where will others find you today? Where will the Lord find you today? Will we be shouting the entitled anthems of the deserving or will we be found kneeling humbly at the foot of our Savior's cross. I pray you dwell there today with thanksgiving and praise for the amazing gift God has given us in Jesus.

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