Many of us go through life without comprehending the seriousness of our sins nor do we comprehend that God hates sin. Sin is not subjective. It is breaking the absolute standard that God has declared in His Word. The Bible makes it crystal clear that all of us have sinned against God. In fact, in his letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul tells us that there are three categories of sinners.
First, there are the rebellious sinners (Romans 1:28-32). Although all sin is rebellion against God, there are those who “live” for it! They are perpetually defiant toward God and give full vent to to their evil desires and passions.
Then there are the moral sinners (Romans 2:1-3). These are the ones who seem to thrive on getting their ego stroked. They are highly ethical, are quick to point out the faults and failures of others, and they look down on people who don’t meet a particular standard of morality.
And thirdly, there are the religious sinners (Romans 2:17-23). Religious sinners are the hardest to uncover, the hardest to see from the outside. They strive to obey God’s laws, which seems to be a noble task. However, their obedience is based solely on self-effort for self-justification. Instead of obedience that flows from a justified heart – one that relies on Jesus’ perfect life, atoning death, and resurrection from the dead – religious sinners believe they have what it takes to earn God’s love and favor.
Are you overtly defiant to God and flippantly disregard his laws? Are you good at following your own brand of rules, and judgmental of others who lack your “willpower”? Are you counting on your morality to be good enough in God’s sight and to warrant His forgiveness? You may say, “I take care of my family, I work hard, I try to do the right thing” or “I go to church and do ‘God’s work’ that will warrant God’s forgiveness.”
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.”
All people sin because they are sinners. And as sinners, we all deserve the due penalty for our sin – eternal punishment in the flames of hell.
But the good news is that there is a way out of the destructive nature of sin and its consequence. No matter what you have done or the sinful attitude you’ve displayed, God’s grace is bigger than your sin. Paul goes on to say in Romans 10:9 that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This means that if you are willing to repent from your sin, repent of trying to be your own lord and savior, turn to God, and believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ, you will be saved. On the cross, Jesus the perfect Son of God paid the penalty of your sin. He suffered the punishment you deserved and rose from the dead to restore you to the joy of right relationship with God.
This good news, this truth, this gospel is a gift from God. And it can only be received by grace through faith. It is not a result of good deeds, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Have you repented and believed the gospel? Are you relying each day on Christ’s powerful, redeeming work on the cross for your peace, confidence, joy, and the motivation for your obedience to God? If not, then in the words of the Apostle Paul, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).