You may have read the phrase “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” many times in Romans 3:23. Scripture is very clear that no human has ever lived without sin except for Jesus Christ.
In Psalm 130, the Psalmist understands this truth that Paul would later write to the Roman church. All have sinned, including me, you and everyone else. And if God meticulously marked each one down and held us accountable for each individual sin, there is not one of us who could remain standing at the end of it. Yet this is what we deserve; this is the justice that is demanded.
How wonderful it is then, that God, instead of marking each and every one of our sinful thoughts, words and acts, offers us forgiveness instead. We only have to acknowledge even a fraction of our sin in order to realise what a wonderful gift God’s forgiveness is. As Paul says, “…all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came through Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your own sinfulness today, take heart! We are not to be condemned or dragged down into despair because of our sin. Every human in history except for Jesus has failed and sinned and got things desperately wrong. Yet the answer is the same for all of us: through Jesus Christ, forgiveness is available. We can walk in forgiveness, free from the burden of our sin.
Free to do what? The Psalmist has the answer: “But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.” Let us come before him in repentance and receive his forgiveness, and then let us reverently serve him with our whole beings.
Meditation verse: I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.