Missing the Mark (Romans 3:23)
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
During the 2004 Olympics, archer Matt Emmons was one shot away from a gold medal. He was competing in the 50-meter three position rifle event and he was in perfect position to claim victory. He didn’t even need a bulls-eye; all he needed to do to win was to hit the target to win the gold. Standing in lane two, Emmons took a shot and nailed it, however, he hit the target in the third lane. He hit the wrong target. He missed his mark. As a result, he received zero points and landed in eighth place. You see, like Emmons, we all have “fallen short of the glory of God”. We have all missed the mark from time to time.
We were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Yet, from the entrance of sin and its darkness (Genesis 3), we have fallen far short of our Creator’s glory. Doing good works is honorable but not good enough when God expects and demands perfection. The righteousness of God is demonstrated throughout the Scripture. Yet, because of the corrupting presence of sin, we have fallen far short of His righteousness and His glory.
Every person born into the human race since the fall has been under a death sentence. No matter how good or moral a person may be, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We needed deliverance from death, but our righteousness could never be equal to the task. The best person, no matter how hard they try, will still come short of the glory of God. Someone may say, "I'm as good as any person who goes to your church." That may be true, but God doesn't grade "on the curve". He demands 100% righteousness. True, some come closer than others, but all will come short.
But in the midst of our imperfections, weaknesses, and fatal mistakes, stands a Saviour who reminds us of His righteousness. We do not have to be perfect because He is perfect. Our standing is in Christ; therefore, we must stand in Him. Through Him we become the righteousness of God. I do not have to always be “on target” because through Him I have already won the gold.
Jesus, being perfect and sinless, had nothing for which to atone, so His perfect righteousness was available to be our deliverance. He did not just cover our sins but He removed them and replaced them with His righteousness so that we could be delivered from death. What a wonderful truth! That Jesus would actually bare your sins upon His own body and suffer the crucifixion for you. You will stand before God as though you have never sinned, not because your sinless, but because of your account.
We had a debt that we owed to God that we could not pay (Romans 5:12). He who knew no sin became as sin that we who knew no righteousness could be made the righteousness of God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:21). He would place all of His righteousness upon my record so that I might be viewed upon by God as having the righteousness of Christ. Now that’s a loving God! Do you realize all that you will miss if you reject Christ as your Saviour?
PRAYER, Father I thank You for Jesus who paid the sin debt that I owed and could never repay. Although I strive to live righteously, I still fall short of perfection; I thank You that my standing is “in Christ” and His shed blood has washed my sins away. In Jesus name, Amen!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.