In times of battle, assuming that all other things are equal, the side with the high ground has a huge advantage. All through history we see this scenario played out over and over again. Yes, the high ground is good for some and not very good for others!
An army with the high ground usually wins! It sure does.
And certainly playing a football or soccer or lacrosse or field hockey game on a field that has high ground would be very unfair!
Today the phrase describing a person who has a big advantage over their opponents. Conversely, the “level playing field” gives everyone an equal and fair chance.
Today let’s look at the level playing field that is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Did you know that Christianity, true Christianity, is the only “religion” that has a level playing field? No high ground! No favorites! No special things one needs to do to attain heaven? No one has an unfair advantage!
There’s bad new and good news as we look at the level playing field of true belief in Jesus.
Let’s tackle the bad new first!
ALL HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. Roman 3:23
This is a pretty straightforward statement!
ALL means ALL.
Every single person that has ever lived before, is living now and will ever live.
And to fall short is the idea of a marksman missing the bullseye on a target. As a matter of fact, it is the idea of a marksman missing the target altogether and not even reaching it.
The target we all fall short of is God’s perfect glory.
His holiness! Not even the best person that has ever lived or will ever live has come close. None but One! Jesus!
So no matter who you are and how good you think you are or what family you have or have not been born into or anything else gets you close to God’s holiness or favor with God.
If anything like that mattered some of us would certainly be on unfair high ground and some would be severely disadvantaged!
All mankind is on the same troubled playing field! We all have fallen short of what God desires. We missed the net or the endzone!
And because of that, we are ALL under God’s wrath (Romans 1:18). His anger. Not a vengeful anger but one that is just and right.
Because we have ALL chosen to turn our back on our perfect God and go our own way and rebel against Him.
And that is sin! And God and sin do not mix!
God’s wrath is a serious and terrifying thing! It is nothing anyone would want to be under. But we all start out that way! And because of our disobedience or “falling short” we are all doomed to an eternity without God and therefore without goodness, light, mercy, grace, benevolence, love, might, long suffering, joy, peace and more.
God is the giver of all that is good. And without Him, our lot is… well, unthinkable.
Now that we know that ALL have fallen short of God’s glory and are ALL under His wrath and ALL doomed, now that we know the bad new, let’s get to the amazing, wonderful, redemptive good news!
BUT NOW APART FROM THE LAW THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD HAS BEEN MANIFESTED, BEING WITNESSED BY THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS, EVEN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST FOR ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE; FOR THERE IS NO DISTINCTION Romans 3: 21-22.
These are wordy and hard to understand verses, especially when they are pulled away from the rest of Chapter 3 and the book of Romans.
God’s audience, in writing this scripture through Paul, was first century Jews who came to believing faith in Jesus unto salvation but who were still clinging on to the letter of the Jewish law and customs.
They were adding works, like circumcision and dietary restrictions, and other “laws” written in the first 5 books of the bible on top of belief in Jesus to get to heaven.
God was telling them and us that His righteousness has been seen and manifested (brought forth) by the life and work of Jesus. Jesus was the real, living breathing, example of the very nature, glory, and righteousness of God.
Jesus was God in the flesh manifested to the world!
We, on earth have had first hand witnesses who have seen and actually “handled” and experienced and heard Jesus in the living flesh.
Yes, God’s righteousness can be read about and experienced through the Torah (first 5 books of the bible) and all the Bible for that matter.
Even the words of the Prophets talk about God and who He is!
But we have an even better or more complete knowledge of who God really is through Jesus!
And here’s the good news that I told you about…
ALL who believe in Jesus go from being under the wrath of God to being at peace with God. And this is a big, big deal!
THEREFORE HAVING BEEN JUSTIFIED (judged as not guilty of sin) by FAITH (believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior) WE HAVE PEACE (Shalom- total wholeness, nothing missing, perfect well-being) WITH GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (JESUS has made peace between God and men). Romans 5:1
First of all EVERYONE has the same chance to believe in Jesus Christ who paid the price for our sin by spilling his perfect holy blood and dying on the cross. He took our place so we would not experience eternal death… eternal life without God! He died in our place.
BEING JUSTIFIED AS A GIFT BY HIS (GOD) GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION WHICH IS IN JESUS CHRIST WHO GOD DISPLAYED PUBLICLY AS A PROPITIATION IN HIS (JESUS) BLOOD THROUGH FAITH. Romans 3 23-24A
Big words and deep doctrinal thoughts! But simplified …
God has given us the free gift of salvation… something that we don’t deserve because we ALL have rebelled against Him (GRACE).. God has declared All of us sinners (All, every one of us) who believe in Jesus Christ and His saving act on the cross that bought us back from the slave market of sin and eternity without God (REDEMPTION) as N O T G U I L T Y (JUSTIFIED ) of rebelling against him.
Yes, we really are guilty, but Jesus has paid our debt with His blood and God has declared our sin debt paid in full and has literally put righteousness (right standing with God) on our account (JUSTIFIED)!
God allowed Jesus to die a public and brutal death on the cross for all the world to see. In doing this God was satisfied with Jesus’ blood payment (Propitiation) for ALL who believe.
Now this is the best news EVER!!!! We, ALL, anyone can have a restored and intimate relationship with God. This relationship does not rely on how good we are or who we are or our lifestyle or anything else.
EVERYONE can have an everlasting and restored relationship of perfect peace and wholeness by believing in Jesus Christ!
Once we see our rebellion and sin against God we can see our need to get our relationship right with Him.
And when we see Jesus and how God gave us the perfect sacrifice of His Son we can bow our knee in submission and love to Him and accept God’s greatest gift to all mankind!
The playing field is level. ALL, everyone, past-prestent-and-future ALL have the same opportunity to be right with God through Jesus.
How about you will you accept God’s precious gift and win the greatest battle of all time? It is the battle for your very soul!
You might also be interested in WHAT DOES TRUE FAITH REALLY MEAN if you want to know what “belief” in Jesus really is.
A verse to ponder…
The Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us, and we beheld His (God’s) glory, glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14