Beyond the Gospels: Romans

For the scriptures for today’s devotional from Romans, click here: Romans 3:9-31
One of the most widely quoted verses of the Bible we find in today’s reading: “…since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23) While that is certainly true, it can be misleading if only that part of the scripture is read instead of including it in the larger narrative that Paul writes.
The quote should be something like this: “…since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.” (Romans 3:23-25)
The first part of the quote, the one most mentioned, tells us that everyone messes up. But the rest of the sentence gives us hope. It tells us that through our faith in Jesus Christ we are saved (justified). It also tells us that this justification comes not by anything that we do to earn it, but from God as an example of his grace. It is a gift, freely given, paid for by Jesus Christ.
It’s easy to get drug down by all the negative news in our world. The news programs and newspapers are filled with bad things that are happening all over the world and right here at home. It seems things are bad and getting worse.
As Christians, though, we have hope. Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can be a beacon of light in a darkened world. We can claim the words of Jeremiah 29:11, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

Precious Lord, we thank you for your sacrifice on the cross, for it is through our belief in you that we have hope. Each of us do sin and fall short of the glory of God, but through our faith and the gift of God’s grace we are reconciled to our Heavenly Father and made new every day. Let us be a bright and shining light in this earthy world, reflecting the love of Jesus Christ to others so that they too may come to know peace that passes understanding. Amen.
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