The BAD NEWS
…for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
The GOOD NEWS
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God has 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;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.
Looking in the mirror of scripture (James 1:22-24) what an ugly image we see reflected back. A miserable, mean, cruel, good hating creature that speaks evil, thinks evil and acts evilly in every way is before us, indeed is us. We are born in this state and without divine intervention in our lives this is the way we will be when we leave this life and face the good, righteous, just and holy God – a God who is angry with us for what we have done and who we have been all our lives (Psalm 7:11)
If you think you can make good with God by renovating your life, keeping the law to save yourself, then think again for you just read “ by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Indeed even if you could keep the law, which you can’t, you don’t and you won’t keep, you still owe God an eternal debt for all the times you broke His law in the past.
Your only hope, your only way to get right with God and avoid His judgment and punishment (Hell) is to have faith (v.22) in the sin offering, the sacrifice made by the one who is the revelation of God’s righteousness (perfect, holy and sinless) Jesus Christ. If you don’t enter the path to heaven by the door of complete faith in Jesus Christ’s person and atoning work and utter dependence on Him to make you righteous and good before God then you don’t enter the path to heaven at all. Jesus was emphatic “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. Not a monk, not a minister, not anyone, no matter how nice they are, can get to heaven on their own merit.
Repent and believe in the sin offering. See your sin and your sinful condition for what it is – horrible and hateful to God, yourself and others around you. Stop trying to save yourself by being a better person. Turn to Jesus Christ and believe that He is who you need to pay for your sins and present you faultless before the just God of the universe. And then live. Live a life of thankful obedience to God’s word – listening to the voice of the Saviour, being empowered by the Holy Spirit and loved by God the Father. And have peace, hope and joy. Be eternally at peace with God, look forward in certain hope to eternal life with Him and being made like Him (1 John 3:1-3), and experience the joy of knowing that you possess more than all the money in the world could ever buy (Romans 8:18) – forgiveness and life.