This post was written by Mel Lawrenz
Day 15 of Knowing Him: An Easter Devotional (view all days)
…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, 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–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. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. (Romans 3:23-27)
It is hard to overestimate the power of this one word: justified. Over the past twenty centuries Christians have periodically rediscovered this important truth. We keep forgetting it because we are so inclined to think that we can earn God’s favor if we just try hard enough. But, like the love of a good parent, God’s grace is something that we can never earn. God gladly gives it.
Justification is a word from the law courts, and what it means in the New Testament is that God, who is both Father and Judge, has said that we can be acquitted at court because of the sacrifice of Jesus.
Have you seen a defendant in a courtroom receive a verdict of “not guilty,” and then walk straight out of the courtroom, entirely free? It’s decisive because it’s a decision by an authority about a change of status.
This passage teaches that because of Jesus, we can be acquitted in the court of God’s law (even though we are guilty of breaking it), and walk out as free people. We are guilty (3:23). And Jesus voluntarily took the penalty of the world’s sin on his shoulders. There is justice in it all, and God offers justification to people who ought to be penalized (3:26).
Ponder This: What do you have to say to God, having walked out of the courtroom of his justice, a free person?
[This daily devotional will appear through Easter. You may receive via email.]
This entry was posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at 2:00 am and is filed under Easter Devotional.
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