21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…Romans 3:21-23
After nearly three full chapters and a long procession of the state of the human race, its sin, and depravity being spelled out showing just how far away from God men and women were and how lost in sin we had become Paul pivots and says, “BUT NOW.” He had pointed out everything from our heads to our feet had been steeped in sin, so this “but now” are two of the best words we can ever hear. Can you feel the relief? Once we were lost … but now… the righteousness of God has manifested apart from the law. New righteousness has come. It’s what the law couldn’t do and prophets pointed to. It’s a righteousness that can actually save. It’s not made up. It’s apart from the law. It’s not earned. It’s not deserved or based on merit. It’s given through faith.
This is the ultimate one size fits all kind of faith. Since all had sinned and fallen short. This has been provided for all. Spurgeon said, “The blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ will save every man who trusts him, for ‘there is no difference.” We don’t have to try and work a fixer-upper system to get better. This is not a self-help plan. We don’t have to jump hoops, rise to the occasion, work better than the rest of humanity, hustle, or flex. The righteousness of God is given freely through faith. This is something we can only receive.
Does anyone have a problem with receiving? Does getting something for nothing feel wrong? Especially when what is given is so costly! Nonetheless, this is a free gift given by grace. Jesus paid it all.
Ok, now we are about to get into some nitty-gritty stuff in this book – and the reason I love Romans so much. It explains to us exactly what Jesus came to give us!!
Thanks for Listening,