I really enjoy neighborly conversations as the topic can end up anywhere. Quite often we speak about football (soccer that is) because he loves Juventus – an Italian football team. But in a recent conversation we spoke about sin. Or at least how bad (sinful) some people are. Conversations about sin usually go like this. ‘I’m a good person because I haven’t done anything really bad. A murderer though, they’re sinful and deserve what they get.’
It’s at this point that I like to speak of my own sinfulness. I’ve lied, stolen and certainly had hateful, angry thoughts against another, which Jesus describes as murder in Matthew 5. As I describe my sinfulness, people try to defend me and tell me it’s not that bad, certainly not sinful. But the thing is when it comes to sin, we might compare our goodness to someone’s badness, but that’s not how God sees sin.
10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away. (Romans 3:10-12)
God sees all of humanity as rebels, sinners. We might try and puff our goodness meter up by comparing ourselves to another, but that’s just not good enough. The problem with being a rebel is that they are worthy of being judged and condemned.
But this is where the beauty of the gospel comes in. A few verses later we read.
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. (Romans 3:23-24)
While we all sin and deserve condemnation, we are saved through faith in Jesus.
So next time when you’re speaking with someone about how much of a good person they are, let me encourage you to be bold in speaking the truth about sin and the only solution, which is only found in our risen Lord Jesus.