"for all have sinned and fall
short of the glory of God"
Some sins seem bigger than others because their obvious consequences are much more serious. Murder, for example, seems to us to be worse than hatred, and adultery seems worse than lust. But this does not mean that because we do lesser sins we deserve eternal life. All sin makes us sinners, and all sin cuts us off from our holy God. All sin, therefore, leads to death (because it disqualifies us from living with God), regardless of how great or small it seems. Don't minimize "little" sins or over rate "big" sins. They all separate us from God, but they all can be forgiven.
"For the wages
of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
You are free to
choose between two masters, but you are not free to manipulate the
consequences of your choice. Each of the two masters pays with his own
kind of currency. The currency of sin is death. That is all you can expect
or hope for in life without God. Christ's currency is eternal life - new
life with God that begins on earth and continues forever with God.
Eternal life is a free gift from God. If it is a gift, then it is not something that we earn, nor something that must be paid back. Consider the foolishness of someone who receives a gift given out of love and then offers to pay for it. A gift cannot be purchased by the recipient. A more appropriate response to a loved one who offers a gift is graceful acceptance with gratitude. Our salvation is a gift of God, not something of our own doing (Ephesians 2:8, 9). He saved us because of his mercy, not because of any righteous things that we have done (Titus 3:5). How much more we should accept with thanksgiving the gift that God has freely given to us.
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demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us."
While we were still sinners - these are amazing words. God sent Jesus Christ to die for us, not because we were good enough, but because he loved us. Whenever you feel uncertain about God's love for you, remember that he loved you even before you turned to him. If God loved you when you were a rebel, he can surely strengthen you, now that you love him in return.
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"But what does
it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,"
that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with
your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him
from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you
believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and
Christ has provided our salvation through his incarnation (coming to earth) and resurrection (coming back from the dead). God's salvation is right in front of us. He will come to us wherever we are. All we need to do is to respond and accept his gift of salvation. Have you ever been asked, "How do I become a Christian?" These verses give you the beautiful answer - salvation is as close as your own mouth and heart. People think it must be a complicated process, but it is not. If we believe in our hearts and say with our mouths that Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved.
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