Monday, July 30, 2012
“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9 KJV).
By God’s grace, we troublemakers can partake of the results of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary.
From today’s Scripture to verse 20, God’s Word proved that we are all sinners, offensive to God’s righteous standards (particularly, the Ten Commandments). The Mosaic Law was given “that the offence might abound” (Romans 5:20a): the Law clearly identifies and condemns man’s sins. Israel mistakenly believed the Mosaic Law would prove their “righteousness” (Deuteronomy 6:24,25)—it proved their unrighteousness, as it does ours, and proved God’s righteousness!
Romans 3:21ff. teaches that today, in the Dispensation of Grace, God is not demanding we keep any laws to gain His acceptance or forgiveness: the Dispensation of Law demonstrated that we sinners cannot measure up to His righteousness. So, God nailed the Mosaic Law that condemned us, on Calvary’s cross (Colossians 2:14), and replaced Israel’s performance-based acceptance system (Law) with His Jesus-based acceptance system (Grace)! “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24).
Verses 26-28 conclude: “To declare, I say, at this time his [God’s] righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
We are justified by faith without works because Jesus Christ already worked for our salvation. We cannot boast that we worked for heaven; we can only brag that we could not work for heaven! Jesus Christ is well pleasing to God (Matthew 3:17), so when we trust His finished crosswork as the “propitiation,” the fully satisfying payment for our sins, God “accept[s] us in the beloved [in Christ]” (Ephesians 1:6). Our sins and our “righteousness” are not the issue: Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice for our sins and His righteousness are!
Indeed, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20b). 🙂