Day 51: Vertical And Horizontal

Read Romans 3:10-22

Are all sins equal? You tell me: would you rather I lie to you about the fish I caught or crossface you with a hockey stick? You may have heard that “a sin is a sin is a sin” (meaning that all sins—big or small—are equally wrong), but as far as I’m concerned, I prefer your fabrications to lacerations. But today’s reading made it clear that liars and murderers are equally guilty before God. As the Law teaches (remember Day 8’s S.O.S.?), God doesn’t grade on a curve. Our righteousness before God and our righteousness before people are measured differently.

Our Horizontal Relationships
Our righteousness before people depends upon our performance—like it or not. I once heard a Christian complain about getting fired by his “so‐called Christian boss.” His boss, he complained, didn’t seem to understand grace. Working for a Christian doesn’t equate with job security. Although we rightly expect Christians to forgive one another, whether you get paid or not depends upon how your performance matches your position description. If your work-reviews falter, you will still have God’s grace, but you may still need to look for another job.

Our Vertical Relationship
God gives us righteousness simply through our faith in Jesus (Romans 3:22). Keep in mind the nature of faith. Faith isn’t a choice we make. We don’t “do something” to trust. Faith is generated by the object, not the subject. The integrity of the ground we stand upon is what leads us to believe we will not fall to our death. Likewise, we see Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and know that what He has done to make us right before God—even in spite of our doubts and poor performance as Christ-followers— is more than enough to save us.