Romans 3:22-28 “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his 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.”
Being right with God depends only on our faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is active – meaning it is lived out. Matthew Henry describes a faithful lifestyle in this way; “trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ.” It is practice not Pharisaical perfection that characterizes a believer’s life. We owe our righteousness to Jesus not our own efforts. If we look for differences or make comparisons between each other we’re looking at ourselves and not God. Self-righteousness is a form of idolatry.
Everyone on earth needs the righteousness of God because no one is born good and everyone sins. Most of the world doesn’t believe this. Yet the Bible makes no ‘bones’ about it; “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) Sin is a disease, we are born into it and constantly exposed to it. The only antidote is Jesus; “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
The world doesn’t want the cure because it doesn’t think it’s sick; “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:18,19) No matter how much good behaviour is legislated bad things will continue to happen because laws don’t change people. Man-made laws can only condemn people who break them.
Only one law makes a person change – the law of faith. Jesus took our sin and bore the penalty; “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The law of faith is a law that no one can break and everyone can accept. There is no condemnation in it; “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
Only one law takes away this world’s lawlessness. Only one law does what millions of man made laws over thousands of years have failed to do. Only one law does what the Laws given to Israel through Moses couldn’t do because we couldn’t live up to it. Only one law saves. The law of faith makes us right not because of what we do but because of what Jesus did. Jesus said; “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)
The world hates the law of faith because people love to boast. People love to look good. People will do good to look good, feel good and think good about themselves and others. But if people slowly became good by doing this after centuries of it you would think the world would be kinder and more peaceful. It isn’t. Appearances and affectations don’t really change anything; “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
The law of faith leaves no room for boasting, good deeds or looking good. The law of faith empties out everything that we have to justify ourselves with. The law of faith embodies just one Person. His name is Jesus.
“I am the light of the world; he who fallows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Praise the Lord!