Romans 3:22-24 – No Distinction

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Have you ever watched the show American Idol? During the ramp up to the main competition the judges listen to various singers who hope they can make an impression and be chosen to move on to the next level. On the occasions that I had the opportunity to watch this portion of the show one of the things I noted about those who made it is the fact that there was something distinctive about their voice. This distinctiveness seems to be one of the hallmarks for having a successful career in the music industry (of course that’s my opinion and having no musical talent myself I wouldn’t take my opinion with any real credibility).

In the world it seems to that everyone is attempting to show how they are different than the next musician, the next tech company, the next car or the next service provider. But when it comes to sin there is not real distinction between any of us. It may seem from our perspective, humanly speaking, that there is a huge distinction from a child who lies to their parents and a mass murder and to some extent that would be true. However, from God’s vantage point all sin is against him and all sin is equally committed against his holy nature. Therefore, Paul can say to us all that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. When we all stand before God we all do it on the equal playing field of coming to him as a sinner (that’s the only way we can come to him).

So there is no distinction between you and me as sinners, but equally there is no distinction as to those who receive God’s gift of grace that justifies (makes us right) before him. There is no distinction for those who have been redeemed by Christ. What I mean by that is that there is nothing that would indicate why one person repented and turned to Christ and the other didn’t, that is there is nothing within each of them that would make a distinction for us to point to that we could say that’s why that one is saved. The only difference is God’s freedom to save whom he will.

There is no distinction – we are all sinners equally before God.

There is no distinction – we are all saved by his grace, and his grace only.

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