“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
If you’re actually visiting Paris, and you are standing right where the little girl in this picture is standing, the Eiffel Tower still looks huge. It still towers above you with all its shiny metal strength, looking like it would take a month to climb the stairs to the top. But in this picture, it looks as if it’s so small that this child’s parents could pop it in their car and drive home with it. What makes the difference?
It’s all about perspective. Where you stand changes how you see things. It changes your understanding of truth and your world.
As we read these verses from Romans, our understanding of them is all about perspective, too. Depending on how you approach them, they can either be some of the most depressing or the most encouraging verses in all of the Bible.
From the first perspective, we can read the verses and see this truth: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Pretty discouraging, right? From this angle, everything looks dark, our sin looks huge, and the human race looks doomed. Just like the Eiffel Tower looks when you stand next to it, our own sin nature looms over us and seems to be threatening to fall and crush us.
Some people choose to stay focused on this angle. They can’t get past the sin, can’t get past the guilt, can’t get past their own lack of perfection.
But looking from the second perspective, this is what we see: “all who believe…are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” This new perspective offers hope that all is not lost. We are not doomed. There is something to save us.
What’s the difference? This time, we are looking at these verses through the perspective of God’s perfectly accomplished plan. Looking at it this way, what catches our eye is freedom. What we focus on is grace, not judgement. Love, not fear.
In the photo above, the camera has allowed our eyes to see the Eiffel Tower as something that is small. Something that we could climb easily. Something that no longer threatens us. When we look at ourselves through God’s eyes, His perspective allows us to see that we are not hopeless. That with Him on our side, our sin will not crush us. That because of His grace and Jesus’ sacrifice, our sin is conquerable.
If you find yourself always focusing on verses like these from that first angle, stop and ask God to change your perspective. It can make all the difference.