Finally we get some good news! And it is Jesus.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
After reading the first two and a half chapters of Romans, despair was setting in.
Then we get this great verse of hope in Romans 3:21. The first two words “BUT NOW” tell us that we’re now on the right side of the Cross. Apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known. It is NOT part of the law. The law condemns and proves us guilty.
Jesus enters the picture and takes away all of the guilt and all of the condemnation found in the law. And all we have to do is so simple. Just Believe! One of my favorite verses is John 6:29 where Jesus answers a question from the crowd. They asked him what they must do to do the works required by God.
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Our God is so gracious and good. He took away all of our guilt and the penalty for our sin because of His great love for each of us. And all He asks us in return for eternal salvation in His Kingdom is to JUST BELIEVE. When we believe in Jesus Christ, He makes us righteous and we are justified freely by His grace. His grace alone. Do you see this in verse 22 above? The righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
Nothing about our redemption is about us. It is now and always has been about Jesus. It is not about our love for Him. It is about His love for us.
Paul tells us again that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God but we are justified by His grace.
In verse 25, Paul shows us that Jesus had to die as a sacrifice and the price for all of our guilt had to be paid by blood. This lines up with the Old Testament system of sacrifices to cover sin. Nothing else would have been enough. Compare to this verse in Hebrews. In order for Jesus to satisfy the full requirement of the Law, it had to be with blood.
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Let’s look at a verse in the Old Testament to compare. In Genesis when Adam and Eve fell into sin, they were instantly aware of their nakedness. And our Father was a good and gracious Father then as He is now. He covered them. He saw their inability to cover themselves because of their unrighteousness so He did it for them. And I just love how He did it – through sacrifice.
He showed them (and us) His redemption plan right there in the Garden of Eden.
We are not capable of covering our “nakedness” or “guilt from sin.” God made “garments of skin” for Adam and Eve to wear. Where did He get the garments of skin? He sacrificed an animal. From the very beginning, sacrifice was necessary to cover our iniquity. And Jesus was our ultimate Sacrifice to not only cover our sin but to wipe it away entirely.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
What a loving story of a Father covering His children in righteousness! Let’s look at a verse in Isaiah that states this perfectly.
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10 (emphasis mine)
The Lord clothes us in garments of salvation and a robe of HIS righteousness.
In the final verses of Romans 3 above, there is no boasting in Christ about what we’ve done to earn salvation. Our salvation is based on FAITH + NOTHING. We cannot add anything further into this equation or we are not true to the Word. We are justified by faith and faith alone. Another thing is that we are all the same – Jew and Gentile – circumcised and uncircumcised – through the same faith. We uphold the law when we love one another, not when we draw lines of separation.
Stay in the Love and the Light Always,