TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Romans 3:21-26
In the last few years, the TV show “Shark Tank” has become a major hit. It allows budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their products in front of potential investors. Each show opens with the same description of those investors: “self-made millionaires.” That description sounds appealing, doesn’t it? We like the idea of people who “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” and “make their own way.”
In Romans 3, Paul provides an important reminder. When it comes to salvation, no one is “self-made.” Paul is writing to Jewish Christians who often look down on Gentiles as well as Gentile Christians who are often hostile in return. Paul makes it clear that all have sinned. Neither group could achieve the right standing before God on its own.
The same is true for us. Christians are called to live for the Lord, but no amount of our own hard work and determination can earn eternal life. Just like the Jews and Gentiles, there is no distinction between us and anyone else; no one can achieve righteousness individually. As Handley Moule puts it: “The harlot, the liar, the murderer are short of it, but so are you. Perhaps they stand at the bottom of a mine, and you on an Alp, but you are as little able to touch the sky as are they.”¹
The good news is that the story doesn’t end with Romans 3:23 (all have sinned), but it continues to the gift of grace described in verse 24. We do not make ourselves, but the grace made by God provides salvation.
Today, I will…pause for a prayer to thank God that He has done for me what I could never do for myself.