To the Greeks ‘all’ means everyone

Gene Holman

Gene Holman
Special to The R-C

Reflections on the Word today is taken from a verse in the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, chapter three, verses 22 & 23. “For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”

In this passage, Paul is discussing the fundamental doctrine of Christian faith that all men have sinned and broken the moral and just laws of God. First, we should know that there is a much greater narrowness and intensity in the original (Greek) language of the New Testament word for “all”, than conveyed by the English word “all.” We often use the word with a more casual way to mean, “many, most, or a majority” but this is not the case in the Greek language. The Greek word for all is “Pas” and means very precisely” every single one, without exception.”

Sin and its moral meaning have almost disappeared from public use because of the current “cancel” or “woke” culture. However, it has never been cancelled by God unless one has trusted in the gospel message that sin is precisely why Jesus became incarnate in a human body and died as the substitute for the sins of all humanity. (John 3:16) The doctrine that every human being has sinned is taught everywhere in Scripture but, a single verse in Psalms 14:2-3 is sufficient to make the point crystal clear. “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

We know there are a great many unique differences in people but as insofar as the moral character of hu-man beings are concerned, there is, “no difference”. We’ve all fallen short. When we consider what the upshot of this truth means the very first thing that comes to mind is that it eliminates any self-righteousness and any other grounds on which we fancy ourselves morally superior to others.

Furthermore, we can apply the “no difference”, phrase to other Christian doctrines as well. For example, there is ONE and only ONE, God. There is no difference in God for other peoples, races, nations, or religions. “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Isa 44:6)’” And, a Passage in Acts 4:12 leaves no doubt that there is only one Savior. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Then to, there is only one acceptable atonement that covers and remove sin and it’s inevitable consequences of guilt, condemnation, and death. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,” - but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter 1:18).

Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association


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