A Walk With Romans (Read Chapter 3)
Romans 3:23-24 "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins."
We have all made mistakes in life. No matter who we are we have all failed to live up to God's standard. Think about the 10 Commandments. Ever made something or someone in life a higher priority than your relationship with God? (Idolatry) Ever used foul language? (Cussing - using the Lord's name in vain). Work-a-holic who never takes time off or honors God? (Keeping the Sabbath Holy) Disrespected your parents? (Honoring parents) , Had hatred in your heart? (Murder - 1 John 3:15) Look at pornography or had improper thoughts about someone? (Adultery & Coveting someone's wife) - Matthew 5:28) Taken something that did not belong to you, even a pencil or pen (Theft). Lied about something no matter how small? (False Witness) Become jealous of what someone else has (Coveting your neighbors things).
I am not sure of anyone else out there but I have missed the mark on most if not all of the 10 Commandments. The thing is, if we are honest, no matter how good we may think we are, we too have missed the mark along the way. The truth is the law is to show us we have no excuse, that we are guilty. (Romans 3:19-20)
Luckily God has given us a way to be made right with him without keeping the law. You see it is not by trying to keep the law that we are made right with God, it is through our faith in Christ who died for our sins. (Romans 3:21-22)
Think of it this way, we are standing before a judge (God) with all our faults being listed and shown by satan. He gets done pointing out every sin and smirks knowing the guilty verdict. Yet Christ steps forward not to show that we did not do those things but that for each crime, each sin. The sentence was paid in full with each lash of the cat of nine tails and each swing, hammering nails into Jesus' hands and feet on the cross. God looks at us and then at satan. All the offenses, all the sins, and wrongs they committed, the consequences of those actions have been paid, covered by the blood. Who they used to be is not who they are now under the blood. They cannot be found guilty of something that has already been pardoned. Verdict: NOT GUILTY!
You may have made mistakes in your past, even right now in the present but who you used to be is not who you are in Christ. You past is nothing more than a testimony to God's love and grace. So raise your head up, straighten your shoulders and understand that for those who have surrendered their life to Christ. The verdict is Not Guilty and if God says you are redeemed, restored and not Guilty of your past. Then maybe it is time to begin walking into the new future He has in store for you.