Righteousness through Faith -Romans 3:21-31
21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
What does the Passage Say?
V. 21-26 Although none of us are righteous, the righteousness of God extend God’s grace to us. We become righteous when we believe in God’s righteous act. The Message says, “God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public – to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now – this is current history! God sets thrings right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness” (v. 25-26 The Message).
V. 27-31 Therefore, Paul says, there should be no boasting of being a Jew (v. 27). Because it is not the law that makes them righteous, but the faith. It applies the same for Christians. It is not the way we live that makes us righteous, but the faith we have in Christ. Therefore, God is asking us to be open to all people, even though they do not live in the so called, ‘Christian lifestyle.’
What does this mean to us?
“God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does” (v. 27 The Message).
Sometimes we can be caught up with what and how we live as Christians. Yes, we are called to live in a way, striving for holiness. We call this process of holiness, as ‘Sanctifying Grace.’ However, this lifestyle is a response to what God has done in our lives. God calls us God’s children, and that is the identity, which should be the foundation of what we do. That is the grace we receive, not from what we do, but only by believing in God’s love.
The church is sometimes perceived to be judgemental to the outsiders, as we forget that all that we do is a response to God’s grace. Paul is pointing out that our work and ‘law’ should not precede God’s grace. God’s grace of reaching out to us, even when we were sinners should always be the foundation of our life.
‘Lord, have mercy on my, a sinner.’ Let us live in knowing we are sinners, in need of your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.
What is your thought?
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