Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
Thoughts for Today:A few months ago I was with a team in Nepal on a mission trip. As we witnessed to the Nepali people I was surprised to find few had a problem with the concept that it is sin which separates man from God. I would explain, "It is impossible to reconcile the perfection of God to a sin-filled man." As they nodded in agreement I would then give details of how God (in the Christian faith) had become man in the person of Jesus Christ to die as payment for our sin. This act of love and sacrifice by the One man (Jesus Christ) paid the debt for all men who believe, have faith, and trust in Him. As a result of our testimony, many Nepali people came to know the Lord and were saved.
When I arrived back home I continued to witness to the people I met. However, I noticed one striking difference between Americans and the Nepali people: Americans struggle with the idea that sin separates us from God. It seems many people think God will let them into heaven (at least those who believe in an afterlife) because of the way they've lived their lives. They consider works -- being a good person, acts of generosity, morality, ethical behavior -- justify their entrance into eternal life. It is only "bad" people who deserve eternal punishment.
In our passage today Paul tells us, God gave us the Ten Commandments so we could identify sin ("become conscious of sin"), however, too many in our modern society have rejected the Law of God to replace it with their own set of values. The problem with this is twofold, first if we author the Law then we can change it to suit ourselves; and second, it has nothing to do with God. How could we be so egotistical to think living within some ill-devised and sloppily-defined guidelines would ever prepare us or provide the righteousness God requires for eternal life?
Questions to Ponder:Do you think you are a pretty good person? Think again. Use God's evaluation rather than your own. I guarantee you won't measure up to His standard. Are you now conscious of sin? It is why we need Jesus. Will you seek Him today?