Romans 3:24- “[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,” AMP
The Bible has been compared to a love letter. Some say it is a love letter from God to His followers. I must admit that there are parts of the Bible that feel very much like words of love that strengthen my heart and causes me to long for my Savior. (And so then I have to stop what I am doing and spend time in worship or prayer, or both!) As such, then it is equally okay to compare the cross of Calvary to the price of that love. So great was the love of God for me and for you, the whole world over, that He placed Jesus on that cross and turned His back on Him.
In the twenty first verse, of chapter three, Paul brings home a point that he has been trying to make with many of his previous statements. Righteousness cannot be earned, inherited, purchased, or worked at; it is given to us by He Who is Righteous. This righteousness, he continues to point out, is apart from the law, but is testified about in the Law and the Prophets. As a matter of truth, the only requirement, and it is non-negotiable, is found in the next verse of this chapter:
“Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction”Romans 3:22 AMP
God loves the whole world! Paul says, God’s righteousness is available to all who believe on Jesus the Christ, or Jesus, the Anointed One. That’s the only distinction! We can lay hold to whatever biases we want to, and cling to every tradition, but God has chosen to release His righteousness to those who believe in His Son!
For all did sin, and are come short of the glory of God —Romans 3:23 YLT
In the Young’s Literal translation, it refers to the fact that all of us did sin. None of us, can make any claims to righteousness outside of Jesus, because we all sinned, and were sinners before coming to Him! As a result of being sinners, we all come short of the glory of God. I like the way the Passion Bible states it:
“For we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God!Romans 3:23 TPT
I can understand what is being said, when it reads that we are in need of the glory! However you choose to understand this verse, the bottom line is that as sinners, we can’t experience the glory of God! Every effort falls short! Every righteous act of our own, falls short! Every resolution, just keep falling short! And it doesn’t matter who you are, there is no distinction! Sinners just keep falling short!
But God, in His great love for us, made a way for us to tap into His glory and become righteous as He is, and that is through faith in Jesus!
This is the part of the chapter that is most important about salvation:
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed”Romans 3:24-25 NKJV
Paul has introduced several key aspects of salvation in these two verses: freely, justification, redemption, and propitiation.
Let’s look first at freely. Freely comes from the Greek word, “dorean” and is translated “as a gift, or without a cause”. Paul was letting us know that God freely justifies us! We didn’t do anything to give Him a “cause” or a reason to justify us, it is His own gift to us! Just as grace is freely given to us! (Check out some of my blogs on grace!)
Justification! Declared not guilty! God is a just God, and as such, He has to address the problem of sin. The righteous requirement of sin is death. Remember that God told Adam and Eve that when they ate from the forbidden tree, they would die! Death is still the payment for sin. Yet, His love caused Him to defer judgment of sin until His Son Jesus would come and die for us all! That’s deep! Once Jesus died, God declared all those who believe in Jesus, not guilty of the charges against them! Alvin Slaughter sang a song many years ago, “Mercy Refused”! Today, it is still a song I love to hear that reminds me of how powerful God’s love really is towards us!
Redemption! This word denotes that the release is effected by the payment of a required price. Think of a slave auction! I don’t know a lot about sex trafficking, but there are times it is interwoven into a book I am reading. Sometimes, the hero just snatches the woman out of the hands of the trafficker, and other times, someone has to pay the ransom being asked, to have her returned. God, redeemed us off of the slave auction block of sin, and paid the ransom required to get us back, with the Blood of Jesus!
Propitiation! A substitute sacrifice. That was Jesus on the cross! He didn’t sin, and therefore had no price of His own to pay! This plan was initiated by the Father, in heaven, before the foundation of the world. Jesus didn’t appease God, He pleased God, when He agreed to be the One who would die for our sins! No one else could do it, for God required the sacrifice to be holy, and none of us could fit that requirement.
Each of these components, according to Paul, was absolutely necessary for us to be declared righteous before God. He could not overlook our sin, so He declared us free of sin, because of the Blood! The price for our freedom, for our redemption, was death! So He paid for it in the most precious way that He could, the Blood of Jesus! It was absolutely necessary for Jesus to die on that cross for our sins, in our place. He willing became our substitute. Without such, we could not experience the righteousness of God!
I started out by mentioning that the word is a love letter from God to us! But it is so much more than a love letter! It is a covenant of love, written in the Blood of our Savior, and backed by the God of the Universe, our Father! If this isn’t a picture of the greatest love ever, I can’t imagine what is! Freely we have been justified, made completely free, by the Righteous Judge! Freely we have been redeemed! Freely He died in our place, a substitute, for us! Such amazing love! Wonderful Jesus!