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  • Allison Wilcox

There is no distinction

But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.


Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. ~ Romans 3:21-28


Here we get into the nitty gritty of Paul and Luther's theology of grace.


But in the midst of the theology, are four little words that sum up the difference between God and between us.


There is no distinction. (and, a few more: since all have sinned...)


But we love distinctions, don't we? It is our very deep, often painful, human way.


We have distinctions between ages, races, genders, sexual identities, political affiliations, religious affiliations, economic statuses, power, geographical locations, languages, interests, education levels, and I'm sure you can think of even more.


Even those of us who like to think we don't make distinctions do. Most of us like to think we aren't, for example, racist or classist, or sexist, or agist, And we sure don't like to be told that we are.


But most of us, on some level or another, are, at least to some degree.


All fall short of the Glory of God.


But for God there are no distinctions. I'm not righteous (justified) because I fall into the correct classification. I am righteous through God's own righteousness. I am righteous because of faith.


What are the distinctions you make? How is God calling you to let go of those distinctions?


Lord, help me to see the ways in which I separate myself from others. Help me not to lean into what I believe is my own righteousness, but instead to trust in yours. Amen

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