Yesterday we read of the problem of sin that confronts every person who has ever lived, and the fact that the Law of Moses shows us more clearly how sinful we are. Today our reading tells us of the answer to that problem.
Verse 21 tells us that the righteousness of God has been made known to us through the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament; but verse 22 goes on to tell us that this righteousness is given freely to us, if we have faith in Jesus Christ. Paul says we are all in the same position, Jew or Gentile, “for we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Verse 23 – 24 tell us that we are all justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came through Christ Jesus in the shedding of His blood. Paul then tells us in verse 25 that our sin has been taken care of, Jesus dealt with it all. He continues that it is faith in Jesus that makes the difference. We need to have faith in God that our sin has been taken care of.
Faith is taking God at His Word. If we trust in the death of our Lord Jesus to take away our sin, then we have faith, and we please God.
Chapter 4 begins with an introduction to Abraham, and we are reminded that because he had faith in God, it was credited to him as righteousness.
Paul says that if you work for something you earn wages; if we work for our salvation then we are really just earning wages, but the one who trusts God to justify him, will be credited with righteousness. Then we are told of David who was also credited with righteousness because of his faith in God to remove his sins.
Verses 13 and 14 tell us that we enjoy the same blessing of righteousness as Abraham because we have faith. If the Jews could become heirs by following the Law then the promise has no effect, God hates our trust in good works because that means we think we can obtain righteousness ourselves, and the truth is we cannot – it is a free gift from God if we have faith in Him. Abraham believed he could father a child at the age of 99, and because he believed, God blessed him, not just with a son, but as the father of many nations.
Prayer: Lord help me to remember today that I can do nothing to earn my righteousness, it is a free gift from You. Amen.