Romans 3:23-26 (NLT)
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God�s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
The apostle gives a reminder there is NO ONE without sin. Everyone has fallen short of God�s standards, short of His righteousness, short of His glory, short of His compassion, short of His fairness, short of His justice and short of His mercy and love. Yet God declares those who believe in Jesus Christ justified and made right in His sight. It is not through keeping rules and laws that we are justified, but instead we are made right by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.
The apostle has some additional words that are helpful in Romans 9:30-33, �Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God�s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, �I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.�� If we could take an inventory of those in heaven we might be surprised because of our own arrogance. The list would include those who had been thieves, liars, prostitutes, drunkards, adulterers and murderers. Their lives may have been met with disapproval and we would have condemned them. Some would be believe it was impossible for them to be in heaven. However, when they placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they become justified in God�s sight. They may have been imprisoned for their deeds, but even in prison they were able to receive God�s mercy and grace. They may have been put to death, but they received eternal life in heaven because of their faith. You see Jesus Christ came for sinners, not just some, but for ALL sinners. So no matter what your past, no matter what you have done you can come just as you are to Jesus and be forgiven for all your sin.