“Indeed, there is not a man who is righteous on the earth who does good and does not sin.”
Boy, this sounds an awful lot like the Apostle Paul when he writes:
“What then? Are we in a more prominent position? By all means, no! For both Jews and Greeks are already found guilty under sin, just as it is written: ‘No one is righteous, not even one; no one is understanding, no one searches diligently for God.’
Gee, it seems as if Solomon has a pretty good handle of the basics of the Gospel…Paul will go on and write:
For all have sinned and failed to reach the glory of God, but are justified freely in his grace through the redemption of Christ Jesus whom God sent as propitiation through faith in his blood, which is a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of sins that were done beforehand, in the clemency of God to demonstrate his righteousness in this time — to be just and justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.
Truly, Paul takes this further than does Solomon and leads us to Jesus Christ the Messiah, but Solomon understands the problem that is at the heart of the existence of man (see also 1 Kings 8:46 at the dedication of the Temple). We sin. We cannot, no matter how good we try and be, merit heaven. It just is not possible.
And so Solomon makes it very clear to us that we will all fall short — we will sin and miss the mark of God’s perfection. This, of course, is not an excuse for failure to live with integrity nor is it a justification for our sin. It is a reminder of the reality that we need one to redeem us from our sins.
All too often, people think of the Gospel as only a New Testament thing, yet, it is impossible to understand the Gospel apart from the Old Testament. Contrary to those who suggest that we “unhitch” from the Old Testament, we must be assured that if we cast off the Old Testament as irrelevant or inapplicable, we enter into heresy and we render the work of Christ in the New Testament worthless. They are dangerous grounds on which folk such as that stand.
People sometimes ask me how a book that is several thousand years old can still be relevant to life. The answer is simple and is found here. No one does good without sin. No one. We all fall short of the glory of God. And because we all sin, no matter our culture, our upbringing, or our pedigree, we all share the same problem: “How are we reconciled to God?” The only answer is Jesus Christ. And the Bible is the only place that answer can be found. That makes the Bible the most relevant book that mankind has ever seen and a gift of God’s grace to fallen man. Too bad so many people despise and ignore this book (even some who profess to be Christians!).