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Friday, March 25

Romans 3:19–31 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=166083633

  Making the Grade

 As members of an academic community, we like to know the standards. What is expected to make the grade? What is the amount of work that must be completed to do well? Who will be in and who will be out? We want to identify the standards and the boundaries. Knowing these will help us to know whether we are going to make the cut and get a good grade. If we are told what is expected, then we can meet the standards through our own efforts. If we work hard enough, we are sure we will make it.

 We like standards because they allow us to judge our own progress as well as that of other people. Knowing the standards allows us to say, “At least I’m farther along than so-and-so. At least I’ve done this and that, which is more than they have done. At least I’m not as bad as they are.” Being aware of the standards set up before us lets us create boundaries that keep other people out, in order to guarantee our own acceptance.

 This is the opposite of what Paul is saying. Paul reminds us that no one has made the grade except Christ. It is through Christ, the only one to have met the standard set by God, that we all are guaranteed acceptance. No longer do we set up our own boundaries and standards to judge who is in and who is out. There is only one God and all of us have fallen short. However, though we have no merit in ourselves, Jesus Christ is righteousness for all who believe. There is no standard to meet except belief in the one who is just and is our justifier. Remember in this Lenten season, that it is the God of grace who makes us righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. Though we have failed to make the grade through our own efforts, we are accepted because of Christ. Amen.

Sarah Huyck

 

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