Gracefully Truthful

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Psalm 32:5, Psalm 130:1-4

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Out of the depths I call to you, Lord! Lord, listen to my voice; let your ears be attentive to my cry for help. Lord, if you kept an account of iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that you may be revered.

The Original Intent

1) What do we know about sin from these passages?

Sometimes we may hear the word, “sin,” and think we understand it, but taking a deeper look at Scripture reminds us of truth and stirs our hearts towards the things of God.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary says sin is “the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission.” Sin doesn’t merely include the breaking of law but is a personal offense against the Law-Giver. Sin carries two results, guilt and pollution.

Guilt is the weight of sin within us and the evidence of our rebellion against God. It is a natural byproduct of sin, designed by God to draw us back to Him. Pollution is the spread of the effects of sin outside the sinner.

We do not live alone or in a vacuum. Our choices and actions impact others. The verses we consider today remind us that ALL have sinned. (Romans 3:23) Every human who ever lived, with the exception of the sinless Jesus, has sinned. The cost (wages) of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Sin leads to death and destruction, these are the spiritual price tag for choosing sin. Spiritual death comes first, and ultimately decay, which leads to physical death follows.

This is what we see in Genesis where God tells Adam and Eve they would surely die if they sinned, but they rebelled anyway. (Genesis 3:3) It may seem, at first, God was wrong as they didn’t physically die right away. What they did instantly experience was spiritual death, separation from their previously unhindered relationship with God, and ultimately physical death for themselves and humanity. (Romans 5:19)

The Everyday Application

1) What do we know about sin from these passages?

We each were born into a sinful world with a flesh bent toward self-reliance and away from God and His ways. This is our born-with-nature, not simply a learned behavior from our culture.

Our sin is sometimes bold and apparent, or it can be hidden and subtle. It’s critically important we understand that all sin is against God. When we choose to sin, internal and external chain reactions are set in motion as a result. The consequences of sin affect us and others.

If we accept Jesus as our personal Savior from sin and its consequences, we are saved from the penalty of sin (death), the power of sin (we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, so we no longer have to sin), and ultimately, we are promised freedom from the presence of sin (in Heaven). (Revelation 21:4) 

We will continue to sin while in our earthly bodies (1 John 1:9), but we will also grow in our capacity to walk in righteousness as we mature in our faith (2 Timothy 2:22Hebrews 5:14).

We are to resist sin (Romans 6:11-12), because we are dead to it and alive in Christ, and we have the power to do this because of the Holy Spirit living within us!

The Original Intent

2) What is God’s response to sin according to the Bible?

The verses surrounding Romans 3:23 discuss a believer’s eternal state of being declared righteous by faith and justified by grace once they have trusted in Christ for salvation and forgiveness of their sin.

God’s response to sin is, shockingly, to forgive us and give us eternal life, which is not only a measure of time, but of quality. The life God gives us in Christ is abundant and rich (Romans 6:23). The response He gives is to extend His own righteousness to us, forgiving us completely on account of Jesus’ righteousness, not our own.

We come to him sinful. He exchanges our sin for His righteousness. We come to Him guilty, and He justifies us (Romans 3:22-24), allowing us “right standing” before a holy God. Justification is the opposite of condemnation. We are pardoned instead of penalized. In place of our punishment and rejection, we receive undeserved grace and full acceptance.

As we cry out to God, asking for His mercy, He hears and responds to our cries.
(Psalm 130:1-2)

The Everyday Application

2) What is God’s response to sin according to the Bible?

God lavishes grace and love on us when we least deserve it. In my own life I recently experienced this deeply when I was struggling with adjusting to being confined at home during quarantine from Covid-19. I didn’t feel like completing responsibilities, so I put them off. Some of them weren’t pressing, but others were ultimately things I needed to do as obligations to others. Still, I procrastinated.

After a few days of this, I found myself avoiding God and resisting spending time with Him, so I came to Him about my avoidance. I confessed my procrastination and struggle with being responsible. I felt God’s gentle answer, not audibly, but with words, “I still love you – even in this.”

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1). I had righteous guilt from the Holy Spirit, designed to bring me back to God, but God didn’t condemn me, He convicted me. Instead of shaming me and punishing me, His kindness led to my repentance (Romans 2:4). I felt overwhelmed by His lavish love and grace as He demonstrated love towards me just as I was, yet not leaving me stuck there in my sin. When I turned to Him, I found forgiveness along with an invitation to walk differently than I had been.

The Original Intent

3) What is our response to God in light of His response to our sin?

As we become aware of our sinfulness against a holy God, our response is designed to be one of acknowledgment of our sin to God, refusing to cover up our iniquity and walk away from our realization. (Psalm 32:5)

We are to confess our transgressions to the LORD. This means we agree with God that we have gone against Him and His ways. Confession doesn’t need to be formal to be effective; the genuineness of our heart attitude is what matters most, as it’s here wherein we acknowledge our sin and desperate need for God.

As soon as we acknowledge sin, we cry for mercy (Psalm 130:1-4). We know we cannot free ourselves from sin, so we cry to God, the only One who can save. Then, in loving response to our confession and cry, God forgives us, and we can, with reverence, serve Him with gladness. (Psalm 130:4)

Our actions don’t earn us forgiveness. God freely gives forgiveness as a gift. We respond to His gift by living to serve Him from a new heart of grateful love. Forgiveness of sins – all sins, for all time – was achieved by Jesus Christ on the cross. (Hebrews 7:27) We cannot lose salvation or our standing with God when we sin after we have accepted Him as our Savior and chosen to dwell with Him forever, because God is faithful.

That said, we do need to confess (acknowledge) our sins when we continue to sin. God extends grace and cleansing in response to our request. (1 John 1:9) While these are the responses God has intended for our hearts, every human being has the choice to accept Christ’s offer of complete forgiveness or to reject Him. God will not force His love and forgiveness on anyone, and He will honor our decision should we tragically choose to reject Him.

The Everyday Application

3) What is our response to God in light of His response to our sin?

Accepting God’s generous and compassionate forgiveness requires our personal acknowledgment of our own sin. We can be tempted, like Adam and Eve, to hide from the consequence of our sin, or blame others for our actions. This is unhealthy and unproductive. Nothing is hidden from God. Instead, we can confess and agree with God that we have sinned.

We then realize we cannot free ourselves. Sin is called a snare. When we are trapped in it, we need God’s help to get out. (Psalm 25:15) As we call out to God, He willingly hears and responds. (Psalm 34:17Hebrews 4:16) Our rescue results in glad-hearted thanksgiving towards God. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

The Greek word for thanksgiving is “eucharisteo” and contains the words for “grace” and “joy.” God gives us grace, and as we receive it, we extend grace to others. We receive His forgiving love, and we extend that same forgiving love. We receive His joy, and we live in joy in our everyday lives.

Our hearts can be restored to the joy of our salvation (Psalm 51:12) and the response is to live our lives as thankful sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1-2), worshiping Him for His goodness toward us while we were undeserving and earned not a drop of all He has given and continues to give. (Romans 5:8) Of course, we can choose to miss out on all these rich benefits of surrendering to Jesus and the way He loves us. We can continue to shun Him and hold tightly to how we want to rule our lives. In the end, however, we will have forfeited our very souls and lost everything. (Matthew 16:24-27)


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