Don't Miss the Mark

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   in. It is not our favorite subject to talk about, but it is an important topic that explains the world in which we live. The consequences of sin are devastating, determining whether a person’s eternal destination resides in eternal torment or everlasting bliss.  

   God created a world without sin, but with Adam’s disobedience sin and death entered God’s Creation perverting what was innocent and good. Since that day long ago, we are all born spiritually dead sinners separated from God while living in a sin-cursed world (Romans 5:12). Sin is not a subject that can be ignored. 

   There are many words used for sin, each of them highlighting a different aspect. For example, we are told “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Sin” is missing a mark, which in this case would be God’s glory and holiness. Other terms used are “transgression” (violation —Romans 5:14) and “iniquity” (illegality — Romans 6:19; or wrongness - I Corinthians 13:6). Yet sin isn’t simply a list of things not to do. The Bible also tells us “whatever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23) and “they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).  Sin is not a problem we can fix by trying harder or keeping a list of rules. The problem has tainted our entire being. A complete overhaul is needed, something new. 

   Now, using sin as it pertains to missing the mark, the world tells you that YOU get to decide the mark or that popular opinion gets to decide. However, the very act of attempting to create our own mark, pointing our attention to ourselves rather than God, causes us to completely miss the only mark that counts toward eternity — God’s. What matters is that we fall short of God’s glory.  There cannot be personal marks that everyone chooses; common sense tells us we need an absolute standard. This absolute isn’t you. It isn’t the Supreme Court. It isn’t your favorite celebrity or musician. It isn’t your teacher or college professor. It isn’t a pastor, reverend or priest.  The absolute is God, who alone has set a standard He can accept, which is perfection.  He has set the standard inspired and recorded in His Word.

   Unfortunately, religion has also caused people to dismiss the seriousness of sin. Churches have come up with all kinds of religious ways that humanity can atone for the problem of sin, but the results will end up the same: your attempts will still fall short of the glory of God. Forgiveness will not come by works of righteousness that we have done (Titus 3:5). We do not get into Heaven by comparing our goodness to other human beings. We do not get into God’s presence with self-righteousness; it has to be God’s absolute righteousness.
   Romans 3 states that there is not one of us who is righteous, no, not one (vv. 10) and that not one of us is good enough to be in God’s presence (v. 12). Yes, this applies to each and every one of us, for each and every one of us “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (v. 23). Left to ourselves, our situation is bleak. 

   Thankfully, Romans 3:24-25 declares, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Almost two-thousand years ago, on a cross, the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, voluntarily took every sin of mankind upon Himself (II Corinthians  5:21). With the blood that He shed on that cross, He satisfied God’s just wrath toward sin and provided forgiveness to anyone who will trust in Him.

   He is the only person in history who hit the mark of God’s glory, and He did it so that whoever believes in His death, burial, and resurrection can be forgiven of all sin and declared righteous in God’s sight. 

   Our Savior is not a dead Savior for, if He were, our faith would be meaningless and we would have no deliverance from our sins available (I Corinthians 15:17). Three days and three nights after He died on the cross, He was raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25). It is only through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be declared righteous (justified) before God (Titus 3:5, 7). We will never earn a righteous position before God through our own efforts; all of our best labors will only store up death (Romans 6:23). In contrast, justification comes freely to those who trust in the already fully finished work of redemption provided by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Upon our moment of faith, God’s righteousness is imputed to us, or placed upon our account, as a gift paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ. 

   What are you trusting in to gain the righteousness of God? Your personal efforts will continually fall short of what is required to hit God’s mark of holiness. Thankfully, God already made the way for you through the sending of His Son. Have you trusted in Christ alone to save you? He is the only way you, or me, or anyone else can be forgiven of our sins and gain eternal life. Won’t you trust in Him alone today?

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