His Gift of Righteousness
King of the Kingdom that never ends, I celebrate You today. Thank You for Your love, power, and wisdom.
Read ROMANS 3:9-31
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Having described humankind’s disease (sin), Paul now describes God’s cure (deliverance). His righteousness, received by faith, gives us a new status, a new life, and an immortal hope” (A. M. Hunter). Thanks be to God!
I was driving a long distance in Australia, chatting with my companion, following the car in front down a hill, when a police car appeared behind and indicated I should stop. A quick glance confirmed my excessive speed. I was guilty. His radar proved it. My previous law-keeping changed nothing. I paid the costly penalty. Here, quoting Scripture after Scripture, Paul proves the undoubted guilt of Jews and Gentiles. There are no exceptions. Multiple sins of speech and violence stand alongside those of not understanding, seeking, fearing or glorifying God. We easily identify the sins of others, but it’s harder to acknowledge our own failure to reach God’s mark. We must all acknowledge we can do nothing to become righteous. Sin pervades all of humanity. The Jewish Law only served to show how far short of God’s righteousness people fall.
However, the situation is not hopeless. “But now … God …” (21). Verses 21-26 have been called “possibly the most important single paragraph ever written” (L. Morris, Romans, p.173). What we were powerless to do, God has achieved. He freely gives his righteousness to those who receive it by faith. The immensity of God’s amazing work for us through Jesus’ death is difficult to convey. Paul, who is continually aware of its effectiveness in his own life, heaps metaphor on metaphor–the law court, the slave market, the Jewish sacrificial system. Together they show God’s justice. His wrath is satisfied and the sinner is granted acquittal, freedom and restoration of relationship. God himself bears the punishment for our sin. There is no reason to boast. Sometimes we Christians are boastful, adopting superior attitudes towards fellow believers of other denominations, nationalities, age groups, gender or social class. Faith levels all differences at the foot of the cross (Gal. 3:28).
Have you maintained superior attitudes toward other Christians? Have you treated other believers as unequal? Examine your heart, repent of any wrong attitudes and seek forgiveness at the cross.
Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace. Truly, I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.
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