February 21, 2018

All Have Sinned

Romans 3:21–23

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The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

All Have Sinned



Central Truth

Since the fall of man, every person born on this earth is sinful. With any attempts at fulfilling the law, a person will always fall short of God’s glory. Through Christ’s death on the cross, however, God’s justice and love have been satisfied, and sins have been forgiven!

Devotional | Romans 3:21–23

I grew up believing that my salvation could be found in works, which got me nowhere in my walk with God. I was constantly falling short of perfection and never felt adequate enough for God’s love. The...

I grew up believing that my salvation could be found in works, which got me nowhere in my walk with God. I was constantly falling short of perfection and never felt adequate enough for God’s love. The reality was that God didn’t want me to work for my salvation. He made it very clear in these three verses that I always would fall short of His righteousness.

The Law and Prophets discussed a time when the righteousness of God would be fulfilled in a promised Person who would satisfy God's righteous standard. This would be a time when individuals could become fully right with God through relationship with this Person. Paul described how this time of fulfillment had now come in verse 21! Man could become righteous, not of his own accord (Ephesians 2:8-9), but rather in the form of a gift of God. Righteousness simply means being right with God, which, as seen in verse 23, humans will never be able to do because of sin.

In verse 22, Paul expands on righteousness. He explains that righteousness is found “through faith in Jesus Christ.” Not by the Law, but by faith! Paul then explains that this faith in Christ is “for all who believe. For there is no distinction.” This means that anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, can have faith in Christ (Romans 1:16) and be given the gift of salvation.

Verse 23 is one of the central ideas of the gospel. Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in Genesis 3. God, in His perfection and holiness, cannot disregard sin. Therefore, every single person on this earth will “fall short of the glory of God.”

Paul explains in these three verses that man will always fall short of God because of our sinful nature. However, he declares that we can find redemption and righteousness through our faith in Jesus Christ. Christ's righteousness is available for all persons on this earth who put their trust in Him for salvation! I missed this point growing up, but this truth has radically changed my life and informs my walk with the Lord.

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Bio | Jay Snyder

Happy Wednesday, Journeyers!

My name is Jay Snyder. I am a part of the Residency program here at Watermark, where I serve in the Dash program at the Plano campus. I graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May 2017 (Boomer Sooner).

I grew up thinking I wanted to teach in the public-school setting, but the Lord impressed a career of ministry on my heart during my time at OU. I married my wife Catherine a few weeks ago on December 29 and consider myself the luckiest man in the world because of her!

Discussion Questions

1. God wants His people to trust Him fully (Proverbs 3:5-6), but individuals hold themselves to a works-based philosophy. What are the areas in your life in which you are not letting the Lord take full control? Why?

2. What does Paul mean by “no distinction” in verse 22?

3. How will you push away the lie that you can work your way toward righteousness?

15 Comments available

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago
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@Michael, thanks for offering a different title for the debate . . . but this one came from the Russian scientist. The fact that this public debate is happening at all is frankly so miraculous, I don’t know there’s much wiggle room for negotiation on things like titles.

Kurt Miller 3 months ago
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…well put Hope!

John Hill 3 months ago

Great job! I need to be reminded that I am saved only by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and my acceptance of the gift of salvation that comes only through him. I say,Boomer! You say ______?

Hope Harris 3 months ago

Accepting that we are ALL sinners looks different for different folks. I think what Paul is saying when he use the term “no distinction”= no exception. All means all. No exception. No loopholes. No easy passes.

We are ALL without excuse before God. We are ALL sinners. We apart from God’s intervention; We all deserve death and hell.

Thank you God for giving us the way out

Michael Scaman 3 months ago
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Sue, that is so exciting… having both a presuppositional view and a creationist view, I appreciate the design argument but say a design originally good but now broken. How about trying to negotiate a different title to sidestep the word creationism:

““One evolutionary tree or a creationary orchard?” " одно эволюционное дерево или созданный сад?" созданный сад has a ring to it or maybe a play on tree дерево, sounds like derive… What can you derive from the tree (or is it trees?) of life что вы можете ‘derive’ извлечь из дерева (или это деревья?) жизни

Presuppositionalists argue for consistency and intelligent design is consistent with that … so… fine by me… but when you come to pain and suffering you are back to a creationary view to explain a good but broken world in need of restoration

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

‘But now’ - something new ’The righteousness of God has been manifest’ - God’s holiness set side by side with our sin and his righteousness offered to us ’apart from law’ - there is no preposition ‘the’ in Greek and it doesn’t matter if it’s God’s law or your law ’ though the law bears witness’ - sometimes law is expansive and in Hebrews even psalms are referred to as law ’through trust in Christ Jesus’ - first time faith and Christ are combined in Romans ’for all who trust’ - whether Jews or Greeks (I like trust because the Greek stem is the same for the noun faith and verb believe)

All this because everyone is in dire need and fall short of God’s glorious righteousness. God is glorified in man’s dependence and in particular as man glorifies God leaning on the work of Christ on the cross.

Lisa Olsen 3 months ago

Thank you, Jay! Q2-I believe what Paul meant by “no distinction” is that the Gospel is for everyone. Everyone. No matter where we are, who we are or what we have done in this life (good or bad), anyone who comes to Christ for salvation will be received and accepted. This is possible because salvation is due to Christ’s work on the cross, not our work or personhood in this world. We are all in the same boat at the end of the day. We all fall so very short of perfection…no matter where we rank on the measuring stick.

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

Ps 71:16 If there is boasting in righteous acts it is in God’s

It calls for a song Based on Psalm 130 by Martin Luther and David Ward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEiCOlWrsVo

Jennifer Borgne 3 months ago
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Jay, great entry this morning! Lindsey, way to knock it out too. That those (read: me) who operate on the presumption that works-based living is REALLY me putting myself in His place. That anything I do would be good enough to earn it is NOT truth. Amen.

Christopher Hyland 3 months ago

Good morning Jay Thank God he radically transformed my life so that I could get off the roller coaster of working for my salvation - or at least working to maintain some “christian” image while the rest of my life was drowning in vileness and sin. I am a testament to the verse today that righteousness is apart from the law - because I was no where close on my own.

Ronnie Oldfield 3 months ago

You were so clear this morning Jay. V. 22 …manifested apart from the law… tattooed me as I read passage third time. Not in addition to, not after, not instead off - but apart from. Jesus distilled His message for us: Love God; Love others as He loves me. Just passed thru my 14th anniversary of committing to this. Struggle to gauge how much Jesus loves me. Thanks again Jay.

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago

JTJ Family—I asked you to pray about my husband Ray’s upcoming public debate March 10 with another scientist flying into Belarus from Moscow. After Ray suggested a number of Intelligent Design (which is about science) topics, his opponent decided on “Evolution and Creationism.” (Even using the word “Creationism” is a slam to unbelieving ears.) But Ray will bring truth-drenched science to the debate! Please pray with us for God to open eyes and hearts to Himself. Probe.org/belarus

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago

You spelled out important spiritual truth for us, Jay—thank you! An important skill for loving and leading youth well.

Today’s passage helps drive home the blessed truth that the gospel is supernatural good news, a rescue plan only God could think up. Because there is no way humans could figure out a way for us, 100% infected by the rottenness of sin, to receive and experience the righteousness of God as a gift!

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

Well done Jay. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my daily go-to verses. It reminds me that I can fully release control in every part of my life and that I have not fully done so.

“But now…” Another great phrase. This comes right after “without excuse”, total depravity & the full explanation of the futility of works. Its a tiny little glimpse of hope. It reminds me that there is a way out of the torment that is my broken life in a broken world.

Then, Paul blows the escape hatch wide open showing the way out that really is “apart from the law” but still linked to it and God’s righteousness.

Dr C edifies - “The purpose of “the Law” was not to provide people with a series of steps that would lead them to heaven. It was to expose their inability to merit heaven.” (Galatians 3:24).

Lindsey Driscoll 3 months ago

Jay, thanks for serving win kids and guiding us through this central scripture today. Q1- This passage is a good apologetic against works based faith. It makes you think for so many who believe they need to do good to get to God are really putting themselves in God’s place, stating that what they did will be enough. We have all sinned, we have all let someone down, or done something wrong due to our sin nature. When we look at the Glory of God, and who he is; it is clear we could never do enough good to become righteous like God. A way had to be made: Rightesnouss through faith in Christ. (3:22)

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