Focal Passage: Romans 1:16-17; 2:5-11; 3:9-12
Every day in America we are bombarded with the idea that government owes us something, regardless of our actions. It seems we no longer connect American citizenship with hard work and responsibility, but rather with a sense of entitlement.
Much of our younger generation – “Generation Me” – believes they deserve the best regardless of how they live. Tragically, this entitlement mindset has influenced the church as well. For example, many Christians believe God owes them blessings regardless of how they live. They may not admit it, but their actions demonstrate a sense of entitlement toward God. For instance, when things go bad they oftentimes will become frustrated with God, blaming Him.
They ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The truth is, according to Jesus, no one is good but God alone (Mark 10:18). Even one of our focal passages teach us that “… None is righteous, no, not one” (Roman 3:10). The Bible also states that our best righteousness is as filthy rags before the Lord (Isaiah 64:6).
Sure, when we compare ourselves to others we can appear to be good, but God’s standard for goodness is perfect righteousness – a standard we cannot meet. You see, we have a problem we cannot solve. As good as we may think we are it is not good enough to please God. Even our best efforts fall significantly short of His glory (Romans 3:23). The problem gets even worse for us. Because God is holy and just we must face His judgment. The reality is that God does owe us something, namely, His just condemnation and eternal wrath (Romans 2:8). However, the story does not end there. As we will see in the next lesson, God in His grace and mercy has provided a solution for our problem in the person of Jesus Christ. Through the finished work of Jesus we are freely pardoned for our sin and declared righteous before God – for anyone who would renounce his sin and trust in Christ. How will you respond to this Good News?