Pastor Louie was preaching on the pervasiveness of sin. “It’s everywhere!” he stated emphatically. He told about waiting for a traffic light when he saw the man in the car in front of him finish his Coke, open the door, set the glass bottle on the street, and drive away.

“That was wrong!” Louie said. “It was a selfish sin! He could have caused someone to have a flat tire or even an accident.” We don’t typically think of littering as sin, but it is clear evidence of our inherent selfishness.

Later, as Louie was greeting people by the door, a Bible professor at a local Christian university said quietly as he walked by, “Sin puts the bottle on the street, but grace picks it up.”

Now, many years later, Louie has not forgotten the lesson of that scriptural principle. It comes right out of Romans 5, one of the most uplifting texts in the Bible describing the grace of God. Adam’s transgression brought sin into the world (v.12), and its consequences spread to all people. But God responded with grace, offering forgiveness through His Son to all who choose to believe. The human race sinned, and God answered with abounding grace (v.20).

God does much more than just “pick up the bottle,” He cleanses the heart of the transgressor!