Note from Jesus
No one can rightfully boast about being more righteous than others. No one can rightfully claim to be righteous because of the superiority of his or her race, religious heritage, religious law, or even religious behavior. Each person has failed to be what the Father called people to be. No one measures up to the Father’s righteousness. All people need My sacrifice as the sin-offering that paid for their sins and opened the door for a new way to be righteous based on their trust in Me and in what I did to save them. Paul wanted both Jewish and Gentile believers in Rome to know, and I want people in your day to know, that all “people are justified, that is, made right with God through faith, which has nothing to do with the deeds the law prescribes.”
Law-keeping cannot make anyone righteous. The Jews needed to admit this. Law can convict of sin. Law can make clear what the Father’s standards are for people. The law can make clear how they have fallen short. However, law cannot pay the price for sins. Trying to live without the law isn’t better. Non-Jews have to acknowledge this. No one has lived up to the Father’s standards with or without the law.
The only way to be righteous before the Father is the same for both Jew and Gentile alike:
So since God is one, there is one way for Jews and outsiders, circumcised and uncircumcised, to be right with Him. That is the way of faith.
My death satisfied the Father’s justice. I paid the atoning price for sin and provided grace for all who receive the Father’s gift of mercy and grace by faith. For the next several days, you will join Paul as he explains this amazing grace — how it is provided for you out of the Father’s love and how you receive this grace. For today, it is enough for you to know and believe these words of Paul:
[T]hat He [God] is just and righteous and that He makes right those who trust and commit themselves to Jesus.
That’s the bottom line. That’s the standard of all standards. That’s the ultimate gift of grace purchased through My cross, celebrated at and validated by My resurrection, and received by faith.
Verses to Live
The words below that Paul wrote to the Romans come after he has strongly emphasized that all have sinned. No one has measured up to the righteousness of the Father. Jews had failed to live up to the Mosaic law. Gentiles had failed to live up to the righteous demands of the Father that they knew in their hearts as true goodness. Every person who has lived has fallen short of being holy and righteous. With the words that follow, Paul began to shift the focus of his letter toward salvation that is found in giving My life as a sin-offering for all people. Salvation is the gift of God’s grace and is accepted by faith. Paul acknowledged that the penalty of Adam’s sin has been passed on to everyone: everyone sins and everyone will die — or meet Me in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Everyone needs mercy and grace, so the Father provided mercy and grace through Me.
Now for the good news: God’s restorative justice has entered the world, independent of the law. Both the law and the prophets told us this day would come. This redeeming justice comes through the faithfulness of Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King, Who makes salvation a reality for all who believe — without the slightest partiality. You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail. Yet they are now saved and set right by His free gift of grace through the redemption available only in Jesus the Anointed. When God set Him up to be the sacrifice — the seat of mercy where sins are atoned through faith — His blood became the demonstration of God’s own restorative justice. All of this confirms His faithfulness to the promise, for over the course of human history God patiently held back as He dealt with the sins being committed. This expression of God’s restorative justice displays in the present that He is just and righteous and that He makes right those who trust and commit themselves to Jesus.
So is there any place left for boasting? No. It’s been shut out completely. And how? By what sort of law? The law of works perhaps? No! By the law of faith. We hold that people are justified, that is, made right with God through faith, which has nothing to do with the deeds the law prescribes.
Is God the God of the Jews only? If He created all things, then doesn’t that make Him the God of all people? Jews and non-Jews, insiders and outsiders alike? Yes, He is also the God of all the outsiders. So since God is one, there is one way for Jews and outsiders, circumcised and uncircumcised, to be right with Him. That is the way of faith. So are we trying to use faith to abolish the law? Absolutely not! In fact, we now are free to uphold the law as God intended.
When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always more grace. In the same way that sin reigned in the sphere of death, now grace reigns through God’s restorative justice, eclipsing death and leading to eternal life through the Anointed One, Jesus our Lord, the Liberating King.
Response in Prayer
O Father, I believe that You sent Jesus as the sacrifice for my sin. I believe that Jesus is my atoning sacrifice providing what no one else and nothing else but His sacrifice could provide. I believe Jesus was crucified, was buried, and rose from the dead three days later, defeating sin and death. I believe that He has invited me to participate in His death, burial, and resurrection through baptism. I believe I receive these mercies and Your grace through faith. So I gladly offer myself to Jesus to be used in Your work of building Your kingdom on earth, just as it is in heaven. Thank You, dear Father, for Your amazing grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.