LOVE



            Well then, are we superior and better off than they? No, not at all. We have already charged that all men, both Jews and Gentiles, are under sin [held down by and subject to its power and control].

    As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one.

    No one understands [no one intelligently discerns or comprehends]; no one seeks out God.

    All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one!

    Their throat is a yawning grave; they use their tongues to deceive (to mislead and to deal treacherously).

    Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

    Their feet are swift to shed blood.

    Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways.

    And they have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize].

    There is no [reverential] fear of God before their eyes.

    Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God.

    For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].  Romans 3:9-20 Amplified Bible



            What is Paul trying to say through this passage?
            None is righteous.
            We are filth, dirt, messes, we fall short, we are scum.
            Sin is so much worse than we think. ALL HAVE FALLEN SHORT. Romans 3:23

            Sin is…Sin does…

Ugly. Separates. Painful. Divides. Defeats. Condemns. Constant misery. Destructive. Death. Heartbreak. Consuming. Desperate. Isolates. Shackles. Deceives. Shames. Discourages. Entangles. Progresses. Downward spiral. Lawlessness. Foolishness. Self-centeredness. Relative. Outward actions. Seeks us. Pursues us.

Every single one of our sins are rooted in the fall: in unbelief. “God is not good enough. I can’t trust him. He won’t hold up his part. He won’t fulfill his promises over me. So I will take control, I will go and make my own way.”
            This is what we do, this is the depravity of our hearts, that are deceitfully wicked above all things. Who can understand the heart? (Jeremiah 17:9)

            So what do we do, where does this lead us?

            We need Jesus. We need Christ` blood.

What is the point of thinking deeply about the sinful state of our souls?

            God isn’t standing far away, pointing, saying, “You are depraved, wicked, lost. You need to fix this. Make yourself better, do better.”

            He is standing right next to us...in the midst of the pain and suffering, holding out his arm and crying, “Come to me, you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. Come to me and ask for help, and I will help you through this.”

            He’s trying to remind us that by coming to Jesus, we have come to him. We have been granted access to the throne of grace and mercy.

            “[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24


AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead by your sins
    In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].
    Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh, obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God's] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.
    BUT GOD--so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
    Even when we were dead by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation).
    And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus.
    He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
    For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
    Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
    For we are God's [own] handiwork, recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God (planned beforehand) for, that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
    [Remember] that you were at one time (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God's agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.
    But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.
    For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,
    By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace.  Ephesians 2

Those words say everything. Meditate on them today. This is what love is. God is love.


I Repent Lyrics
Steve Green

I regret the hours I have wasted and the pleasures I have tasted that you were never in.
And I confess that though your love is in me,
it doesn't always win me when competing with my sin.

And I repent,
making no excuses.
I repent no one else to blame.
And I return to fall in love with Jesus.
I bow down on my knees and I repent.

I lament the idols I've accepted,
the commandments I've rejected to pursue my selfish end.
And I confess I need you to revive me,
put selfishness behind me and take up my cross again.

And I return to fall in love with Jesus.
I bow down on my knees and I repent.

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