6th September 2013

Drop The Ball 

“There is no-one righteous, not even one”
Romans 3:10 (NIV UK)

It sounds a bit depressing, does it not? There is not one righteous person anywhere!

In August my wife and I had the privilege of attending our church festival in Italy. It took place about an hour’s drive from Verona, a place rich in history and culture. In the city square there is an archway, on top of which stands a marble statue of one of its famous scientists, Girolamo Fracastoro, who lived during the sixteenth century. In his right hand he holds a large globe, which symbolizes the world. Across the square stood the courts of justice, and tradition has it that, if a righteous person passed under Fracastoro’s archway, then the globe would drop on his or her head. Suffice it to say that, since its construction in 1559, many have passed under the archway and the ball has not fallen down on anyone!

Paul told the Roman Christians that no one is righteous. No one has a clean record. All are guilty of wrong doing in one way or another. “Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin” (3:9). No matter how hard they tried, they could not produce righteousness. They thought they could achieve a righteous spiritual state through physical deeds or by attaining a purity of mind. The truth was, and still is, that righteousness could not come from within: it comes from outside us – “a righteousness from God” (9:21).

The biblical truth is that Jesus alone is the “the Righteous one” (1 John 2:1). Believers are righteous only because, by turning to God in repentant acceptance of grace, we participate in his righteousness. Who we are and what we have done does not make us righteous; who Jesus is and what he has done makes us righteous. His righteousness from God is imputed to us.

There is a café to the right of Fracastoro’s archway, and I sat there drinking delicious Italian coffee and eating a richly decadent tiramisu, and did not go under the arch. I wonder, if I had gone under it, would the ball have dropped?

Father, thank you that Jesus is the Righteous one, and that we participate in his righteousness. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


bible1About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  This weekend James is speaking at our Irish festival in Galway.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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