Romans 3:19-28 - Now we know that whatever the Law says it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the Law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the Law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the Law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Have you ever been let off the hook for something? Maybe you received an officer's warning and not a ticket for that broken rear tail light—the one you meant to get fixed. Perhaps the business meeting you were nervously preparing a speech for was cancelled. And then there's everybody's favorite: the medical test results you dreaded to hear about all came back negative.
It's a major relief when the bad thing you thought was going to happen—doesn't.
In reality, Paul's words above are God's way of saying, "You've been let off the hook" to sinners. But this freedom from the Law's judgment came at a price—the one Jesus paid on Calvary. Imagine Paul's joy when he learned the truth of how God in His grace and mercy had forgiven every vile sin he was ever guilty of—and there were many. You may recall Paul's persecution of the earliest Christians—rounding them up and herding them off to the religious authorities in Jerusalem for some nasty interrogations and prison time (see Acts 8-9).
By anybody's standard, Paul was a first-rate sinner—but in the end, none worse than all the rest. "For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith."
Now we too have been let off the hook, absolved of our blame. The same grace and mercy that Paul experienced is generously offered to us today. As Paul writes later in Romans, "For the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For 'everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved'" (Romans 10:11-13).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, cleanse us of our sins and lead us in the way everlasting. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. What's the biggest thing you've been let off the hook for? Care to share?
2. Why did God the Father have to have His Son die for us to be free from the Law?
3. Do you know anyone who feels he or she is firmly on the hook for something they've done? How could Romans 3:19-28 be of comfort to them?
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