Bad News, Good News

 from Lynda Lindsey

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. Romans 3:20-25(a)

Bad news scenarios:

A policeman stops our car on the expressway. We know we weren’t speeding; the cruise control was set under the posted limit. We virtuously wait for the officer. Yet we’re summarily issued a ticket and declared guilty. We sputter and protest. How can this be? The policeman’s answer: even If we didn’t break the law today, we have in the past, or we will in the future.

We’re caught speeding. We were breaking the law deliberately and really aren’t surprised to be declared guilty. Yet we sputter indignantly anyway. We cast blame on a faulty speedometer. We try to think of plausible reasons to avoid paying. We are further surprised to learn that our money, should we have it, is rejected. Not accepted. It doesn’t count toward paying the penalty in either scenario. We are stuck. Condemned.

None of is declared to be at peace with God merely by observing the law. The law is a reminder of what God expects. We get no extra-credit projects with God; we cannot live up to God’s expectations by our own self-effort. Nothing we do can make ourselves acceptable and pleasing to God. Nothing. For we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. Condemned. No way to pay the penalty for our sin, we are stuck, condemned.

But there is Good News! Jesus is the Good News; Jesus is the way! Jesus paid the price for us. Jesus’ shed blood on the cross is the only way to be at peace with God. Being at-one-with-God is possible only through faith in Jesus. New life. Pardon. Freedom. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Declared not guilty! Why wait?