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Transformed Thinking — All have sinned, keep focus on self improvement

Stop criticizing people for living the lifestyles they are living when they are opposed to yours. This only builds walls instead of bridges into the lives of others.

Yes, I agree, the behavior you are criticizing may be sinful, but the critical comments are not going to correct the behavior. After all, all people have sinned and in some cases are continuing to sin and come short of the glory of God.

The way to correct the behavior of others is not to criticize their behaviors, but to correct the behavior of the person in the mirror. Once your behavior is corrected, your perception and understanding of other people’s behaviors will change.

In Romans 3:21 we find “but now.” The Apostle Paul introduced a sharp contrast with what preceded. He had just affirmed no one will be declared righteousness in God’s sight by observing the law in verse 20. This is now followed by the statement “Apart from the law,” a righteousness from God…has been made plain.

What Paul was introducing about God’s righteousness was not foreign to the Old Testament. The law refers to the first five books of the bible and the prophets.

As we observe Romans 3:22, The first part of this sentence in the Greek does not indicate this is a new sentence. It is what grammarians know as an appositional and could be rendered, “a righteousness from God through faith.”

These words reminded Paul again of the Jewish insistence on their special position before God. Any prior privilege the Jews had is gone in this age when God is offering a righteous standing before Him to all sinful people based on faith on Christ alone.

Since all are “under sin” Roman 3:9… Jews and Gentiles are under sin, Salvation is available “to all,” on an equal basis.

In verse 23 Paul explained that “no difference” existed among human beings because all have sinned. The Greek language is literally translated, “all sinned.”

Since the entire human race was plunged into sin with Adam, all people are sinners. It is impossible to say there is a “difference,” that the Jews privileges excluded them from God’s condemnation.

Not only did all sin, also all people fall short of the glory of God. The single Greek verb in this verse stresses a continued action. People keep on falling short.

So, who am I to criticize others when I am continuing to fall short of the glory of God? I need to stand in the mirror and ask God to help me instead of focusing on the behaviors of others.

The simple fact is that as a simple sinner, not a single human being by his or her own efforts is able to measure up to the glory of God. God’s glory is His splendor, the outward manifestation of His attributes.

God desires that humans share that splendor, that they become like Him, that is CHRIST LIKE, yet sin keeps people from sharing it, thus continuing to fall short of the glory of God.

 

The Rev. Harry Abrams Jr. writes about faith for The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at harrybramsjr@gmail.com.