! A Scandal of Grace
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (ESV). Romans 3:23 here tells us
clearly that no man, aside from the Son of God Himself, has ever led a sinless life. No human
being can perfectly align themselves with God's glory. Since the fall of man in the Garden of
Eden, humans have been unable to avoid the worldly tendencies of our flesh. And so, we sin.
We defile the beautiful world that God created for us to inhabit and glorify him in inhabiting. So
what hope is there for us then? Paul tells us in Romans 6:23 that "the wages of sin is death". Is
the destiny of mankind to live out there short lives as sinners, die, and spend eternity apart from
God? The answer is a resounding no. That is what mankind deserves, but this does not have to
be our end. We have been offered a gift, and that gift is called salvation.
Early on in my life, around the age of eight, I was introduced to this idea of salvation by a
verse that I remember very well to this day. Revelation 21:8 says, "But as for the cowardly, the
faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars,
their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." It was
my twin older sister that introduced me to this verse, and my mother later explained to me that
we are all sinners, and until we accept Jesus into our hearts, that the lake of fire would be our
final destination. Of course, I had been raised in church, so I knew who Jesus was. I knew that
he had come as a...