We’ve spent a lot of time digging deep into Romans one and two, and we’re richer for it. We understand clearer the Gospel, living by faith, the depravity of humankind, and God’s righteous judgment.
Last week, our primary focus was on the Jewish violation of the law and the truth about the circumcision of the heart. So, now let’s focus our attention on chapter three.
The Entire World is Guilty Before God (Romans 3:9-20)
As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one… and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Romans 3:10 Christian Standard Bible.
We can’t escape it. These words have that sobering effect shaking us out of our self-righteous fog. It’s an honest diagnosis of our human condition.
We are like a man dying from cancer who refuses to go to the doctor for treatment because we’re saying in our hearts, “If there’s no diagnosis, then there’s no sickness”.
We deceive ourselves.
Nothing can be done, on our own, to earn God’s forgiveness. We are all under the power of sin: not knowing God nor caring to know Him.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God!
The gilded cage is unchanged unless someone from the outside frees us. The diagnosis is not a blanket condemnation, but a check on our souls that we are not fine and need a Savior.
How hopeless is the soul that cries, “Is this all that there is?”
Human history is littered with murder, misery, and self-deception. Sin leaves in its wake destruction! We’re devastated and in heartache instead of peace. Sin sows disorder and confusion in the world. Truth is what you make it, and integrity is for the ignorant.
The root of sin is failure—failure to fear God.
We forget God holds us accountable because He is just and righteous. The gilded cage grows stronger and stronger, as we have no fear of God in us.
We must stop, close our mouths, and accept the diagnosis. No exception. The diagnosis shuts our mouths, for there is no exception or excuse. We are sinners. Period!
… so, every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
Romans 3:19b, English Standard Version
Help! Can anyone please find the solution, the cure, the antidote? Sin sickness is real!
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
The solution is God Himself—by His grace. By faith in our God, we are presented to Him justified (just as if we’ve never sinned) because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice!
The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as an atoning sacrifice in His blood, received through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.
Romans 3:22-25, Christian Standard Bible.
When a person is put on trial and brought before the judge. One of two things will happen: acquitted or condemned. We all stand before God, the Judge.
What’s the verdict when the gavel comes down?
We are guilty!
But the Judge, in His mercy, has done something for us we don’t deserve. We cannot be acquitted, so someone has to pay the price. The Lord has provided a way where He can be righteous and yet declare the guilty righteous.
Our sins were taken off us and placed on Christ Jesus—the innocent substitution.
The term redemption means a price is to be paid—someone redeemed. The sacrifice offered at the cross vindicates the injured honor of God and makes amends for human offenses before a Holy God.
God showed His great kindness and mercy by opening the doors to redemption and reconciliation. The power of His breath destroys the gilded cage on the cross: “It is finished!”
History split wide open in the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Right Standing With God!
Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can have right standing with God!
Rise up all you sons and daughters of men, and enter a new and blessed life as sons and daughters of the Most High! The way to God always draws us to the Gospel.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jews and also the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
Romans 1:16-17, Christian Standard Bible.
Sinful people do not let the truth work in their hearts. They do not allow it to operate in their minds.
But in believing and receiving, we move into a right standing with God by faith; we enter the sweet story of God’s great love.
God presented Christ to show His righteousness, to present the faithful as righteous—in right standing with God.
Righteous God Revealed His Heart
Death has “passed over” us through the blood of the Lamb! We deserved wrath and found mercy. We deserved death and found eternal life. God, in His great love, sent His Son, who offered Himself willingly, to satisfy God’s holy anger against sin.
God and God Himself makes us holy and just in His sight.
Look closely and meditate on this truth, and you will find the heart of God. It is where faithful love and truth meet!
Faithful love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace. Truth will spring up from the earth, land righteousness will look down from heaven. Righteousness will go before Him to prepare the way for His steps.
Proverbs 85:10-11 & 12 Christian Standard Bible.
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understand and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:23-24, New International Version.
The Lord our God showed the delight of His heart by sending Christ. Christ revealed God’s kindness, His justice, and His righteousness on earth.
We, who are in right standing with God, know Him intimately, and we’re richer for knowing Him.
Nothing can be done to earn God’s forgiveness. Our frenzied, desperate attempts for acquittal are in vain. Only the humble acceptance of God’s love and mercy in Jesus Christ will bring true, honest, reconcilable forgiveness.
Every human being enters into a right relationship by faith. God is the only one that can bring us into right standing with Him. He took the first step, and now it’s our turn to move, by faith, toward Him.
We cultivate our relationship with Him in treasure time and worship. We are trained, counseled, and encouraged by immersion in Sacred Scripture. The move of the Holy Spirit is always to usher us into His presence.
It’s a dance where He leads, a journey where He guides, and a school where He teaches. It is a “with God” life.
Praise the Lord!
Christine Malkemes, https://christinemalkemes.com/. Founder of Words Whispered. Used with permission.