His Perfection On My Account
“Am I good enough?” It’s a question that haunts a lot of us. At the end of the day, we want to know if we quality. Am I cool enough, smart enough, good looking enough, athletic enough, moral enough… whenever we start feeling good in one area, we realize we’re loosing ground in another. This feeling usually comes after comparing ourselves to others, but what about when we compare ourselves to God? I think Romans 3 can help us answer this “good enough” question this morning. We’ll look at it in two parts.
The Field is Level (Romans 3:9-20)
Verses 1-8 talk about how the Jews being the keepers of God’s Law is a good thing. We are glad we have it! Knowing God’s Law helps us in a few ways, but the first thing it does is level the playing field. Paul says it like this in verses 19-20:
“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.  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:19-20 ESV)
Every mouth is stopped. In other words, no excuses, not talking your way out of it. Without Jesus, every one of us in trouble because of our sin. I’ve heard the law described as a chain where every link is one law. One end of the chain is fixed above us and the other has the weight of God’s judgment hanging over our heads. How many links have to be broken for his judgement to fall on us? Just one. This means when we look around, we shouldn’t think about who is a little better than us or who we’re a little better than. We should remember that we have all broken God’s law and deserve punishment.
We Are Accepted in Jesus
We started by asking, “Am I good enough.” We know the answer. According to God’s Law, no. But here’s the really great news. Jesus is good enough, and he freely gives us his goodness.
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21-24 ESV)
This is the crazy beautiful truth of the gospel. We have “fallen short” of God’s standard. We are not good enough. But Jesus gave his life so that we could not just be “good enough” but perfect in God’s sight. We have the righteousness of God. This is called “imputed” righteousness. That just means that it isn’t righteousness or perfection that came from us, it is a perfection that is given to us when we trust Jesus.
These truths should both humble us and lift us up. We can’t look at anyone and think we are better or more accepted by God. All of us fall short. But we also know that every moment of every day, even when we fail, God totally accepts and loves us because we are so much more than “good enough” in Jesus.
Questions for reflection:
How does Romans 3 help you think about others? How does it help you when you are tempted to look down on people? How does it help you when you are tempted to feel inadequate around others?
What does this idea of “imputed” or “given to us” righteousness do to your worship, prayer and relationship with God? Is there ever a time when you should just hide from God because you messed up too much?
I pray you can remember how much God loves you as his child today. He sent is Son to save you and in his Son you have perfect acceptance by him as your Father. Live in that joy today!
Grace & Peace.