As we turn the page on a new year, many of us have taken at least a few minutes to think about some things about ourselves that we’d like to improve upon this year. Whether it be a bulging waistline, bad habit or besetting sin; many of us, as well as many other Americans, have set some sort of goal to better ourselves in those particular areas.
These “New Year Resolutions” were the topic of a news report last week in which the reporter interviewed several “on the street” as to what their individual resolutions were. One particular young woman stood out as being the most “moral” of the group, saying she wanted to be “much nicer to people this year because there is so much hate in the world.” This is certainly a noble goal and one that we should all strive for in our individual lives.
However, our reading this morning reminds us of the type of people we really truly are. Though man in and of his own strength can occasionally conjure up some temporary form of goodness, Romans 3 reminds us of our true spiritual condition. In verses 10-14 we read, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:”
Here we are reminded of our true condition, sinners with a heart driven to rebel against God. Left to ourselves we would never seek after God or His righteousness. Our only hope for true goodness and righteousness is found in having a relationship with the Righteous One, Jesus Christ. Paul summarizes this wonderful truth in verse 26, “To declare, I say, as this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
So while we take a few minutes to think about ways to improve ourselves in 2018, may we be reminded of the inadequacy of ourselves and our need to depend upon God for both salvation and genuine change in our lives.