Two mistakesBy BRO. TERRY IVY,
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) This verse is the centerpiece of the Gospel. Everything else swirls around these words penned by the Apostle Paul to the Romans. If Romans gives us the temple of understanding the message fo the Gospel, chapter three gives us the Holy Place, and verse 23 gives us the Holy of Holies.
President Dwight Eisenhower once remarked that he made two mistakes during his presidency and they both sat on the Supreme Court. With few exceptions, that seems to be a common mistake many presidents have made. However, because Supreme Court Judges are appointed for life, the presidents are stuck with them.
Likewise, you and I have two mistakes! First, we “have sinned.” This part of the verse deals with our fallen nature. Apart from our choosing, sin was passed down to us through our parents. Every person is born a ‘sinner.’ Every one of us stands guilty before God because our nature is one that is rebellious to the ways of God. We all stand guilty. We see the innocence of newborn babies with their cooing and laughter. However, deep within the nature of these little darlings lies the law of sin that longs to spring forth into disobedience and self-centeredness. We do not have to teach children how to rebel, but we do have to instruct them how to walk in righteousness. Rebellion is innate to humanity, righteousness can only be imparted.
Second, we “fall short of the glory of God.” This speaks of our continual failure to live up to God’s perfect moral standard. As believers, we seek to follow Christ and obey him. However, because we still carry the ‘law of sin’ in our members, we fall short. We are, sinners saved by grace. In our best state, we still fall short of God’s Holy standard.
These are the two undeniable issues we face. Or, if you will, they are our two mistakes. The first one comes by birth apart from our decision. The second one is rooted in our choices. We are not excused from our sin just because we are inevitably sinners. It merely means that we continually need God’s grace and mercy. If we have experienced the redeeming work of Christ in our life, our desires have changed, and we no longer revel and glory in our sin. Instead, we seek the Lord’s continual work of forgiveness and maturity through faith and repentance.
Here we are, like President Eisenhower, having to live with two unchangeable events. We can ignore or deny them, but the fact remains—we need Jesus! We need Him as much after we get saved as we did when we were saved.
The Supreme Court is not free from the President’s mistakes until death. Likewise, you and I are not free from our errors until death. At salvation, Jesus set us free from the penalty of sin. During our earthly life, He is freeing us from the power of sin as we learn to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Then one day, when we lay down these old bodies, we will be free from the presence of sin. Hallelujah, what a Savior.
Until then, we live with our… Two Mistakes!