Summary: This salvation sermon is a modern adaptation of D.L. Moody's sermon by the same title.
For There Is No Difference
This is a modern adaptation to a sermon by DL Moody by the same title.
October 28, 2012
TEXT: Romans 3:22-23 – “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Please keep your Bible open here.)
Illus. – One of my wife’s favorite (and one of my least favorite) places in England was Stoke-on-Trent—where all the china factory outlets are. On one of our trips there, I ventured into the Royal Albert china factory outlet with my wife, just to see what she got so excited about.
When I went in, I noticed that everything on one table cost £3, though I noticed a wide divergence in the quality of the different pieces of china. Some only had minute nicks or cracks in them that almost required a magnifying glass to find, while others were quite obviously disfigured somehow.
Holding two plates, I asked the sales lady, “Why are both of these the same price? This one is grossly marred, while I can’t even see what’s wrong with this one?” She looked over the second one and pointed to a tiny, almost imperceptible flake in the pattern and then she said, “Every piece must be absolutely perfect to sell retail.”
I said, “But why does this one with many imperfections cost £3 and this one—which you almost have to be a china expert to see—also cost just £3?”
She said: “As I said, every piece of china must be absolutely perfect to sell at retail price. From our point of view, there is no difference between the two pieces of china in your hands. Both fall short of our exact specifications of perfection.”
That’s the truth of our text this morning. You see, before God, there is no difference: we ALL fall short of God’s standard of perfection—some more than others—but all nevertheless. To understand Romans 3, you must grasp the import of that little phrase at the end of verse 22—“there is no difference.”
I’d like you to consider with me four truths from Romans 3 as we think about that little phrase—“there is no difference.”
I. NOTE FIRST: THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE—WE’RE ALL SINNERS
Look again at the last part of verse 22 through verse 23 – “…for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Most people think they’re pretty good people. They compare themselves with other people, and compared to murderers and rapists and bank robbers, they feel pretty good…so they think that must surely impress God.
But this passage teaches that when it comes to your condition before a perfect, holy God, there is no difference between you and a murderer or a rapist or a bank robber—it’s just a matter of degree. Like the china, the imperfections and flaws are just a matter of degree.
Illus. – If you go to a penitentiary, you’ll find hundreds of prisoners. Some are there for forgery, some for sexual crimes, some for theft, some for manslaughter, some for premeditated murder. There are perhaps scores of different kinds of crimes people are in prison for.
But in the eyes of the law there is no difference: They’ve ALL done crimes and come short of the requirements of the law. They’ve all broken the law. They’ve all transgressed. They’re all alike criminals.
One man may have stolen $10,000, while a man in a different cell may be serving life for raping and torturing an innocent little girl to death. One man’s crime is minor compared to the other man’s crime. One’s is not so bad in terms of consequences, while another’s is truly heinous. But they’re both equally criminals nevertheless. They’ve both transgressed the law of the land. They both were sent to prison. They both are locked up every night.
You see, in the eyes of the law there is no difference.
Now that’s what God is saying in our text—THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE! You may just tell little white lies while the man down the street is a drunk who beats his wife and kids. His sin seems a lot worse in our eyes, and indeed the consequences are worse, but in God’s eyes, it makes no difference—you both fall short of God’s glory; you both are sinners before a holy God; you both have transgressed God’s Law.
You say, “Chuck, I’m a good, moral person. How can you call me a sinner?” Like most people, you probably think you’re a good, moral person. But I venture to say that if your sins and my sins—all our secret thoughts and all that’s been in our hearts—were printed on this screen with each of our names under the sins we’d committed, I guarantee you we would stampede out of here! You know very well that if ALL your sins were brought to the light of day, you wouldn’t talk about being so good and moral.