Romans 3:21-31 (NRSV)
Righteousness through faith
But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
In today’s reading the Apostle Paul really gives us a very important Holy Ghost inspired reminder! His words remind us that we are not made right with God by keeping the Law, because all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. We are not made right with God through our good works, lest we should begin to boast about all the good things we do for others. We are not made right with God by any external action or factor such as circumcision, or wearing the flashiest cross, or carrying the biggest Bible. No, no my friends! The only way that we are made right with God is by putting all of our faith in Jesus!
Now, I don’t know about you, but I am really happy about this GOOD NEWS! It sets me free to live my life to God’s glory, but without fear or shame. I can do the best that I can, but trust that when I do fall down, God will pick me up. I can pour out my life in love and service to others; but also believe that when I need to rest, God does not frown upon me. I can give my best to Jesus in all that I do, but trust that if I don’t look or sound or act exactly like the pastor, deacon, or church council member, I’m still alright with God!
See, God has made salvation simple. The Bible promises that as long as we confess with our mouths that, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we are saved! (Romans 10:9) We are made righteous because we are covered in the blood of the lamb and we are now justified because of God’s grace. There is nothing—absolutely NO-THING—that we can do to earn God’s love and there is nothing—absolutely NO-THING—that we can do to make God ever stop loving us!
Wow! Isn’t that Amazing, GRACE…
In what ways have you been trying to earn your salvation? Are you willing to release that burden today?
Holy God, how great Thou art! Your loving kindness and tender mercies astound me! Thank you that you have made our relationship so simple. I don’t have to do anything to earn my salvation; JESUS already paid the price for me! Now, I get to serve you. I get to love you and I get to share your love with others! I am so excited…please help me to be faithful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Any of the songs that I have shared in the GOOD NEWS devotionals, can be found in the GOOD NEWS LIVING store by clicking on the link to the right!
The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. You can purchase the book by clicking the link to the right. Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am.
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from Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com