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Justified Freely

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:24-26

Romans 3:24 is the verse from which this blog takes its name.  When I started writing these posts several years ago, I thought for a while about what to call this blog and finally settled on “justified freely” because of the glorious truth it represents.  To me, it is one of the most amazing thoughts and doctrines in the entire Bible.  We will look at it today.

The definition of “justify” is this : “to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation.”  Let that definition sink in for a minute.  That is what God has done for us.  He has judged or regarded us as righteous and worthy of salvation.  How is that even possible?  

The previous verse (23) tells us “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  The entire passage before that, starting in verse 10, tells us just how unrighteous mankind is.  But here the Bible tells us that we can be “justified freely,” despite all of that sin and unrighteousness.  How can that be?

Simple: “…by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”  It’s that simple.  We are justified, not by our own works, but by the grace of God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  Only through God’s grace and only through Jesus Christ can we find this free justification.  We don’t deserve it, but He offers it to us freely!  What a powerful doctrine and a powerful thought!

 

No Difference

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Romans 3:20-23

In this passage we find a small phrase that I think we need to notice.  It is found at the end of verse 22: “…for there is no difference.”  That is an important phrase for Christians and for those who would be Christians.  There are two areas mentioned in this text in which “there is no difference.”

The first thing that we all have in common is the fact that we have no righteousness on our own.  Verses 10-20 make that abundantly clear.  None of us are righteous and none of us have our own righteousness.  Verse 23 repeats this for us: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  We are all sinners.

The second thing that we all have in common (as Christians) is the fact that we have the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ: “…the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.”  We all have the same Saviour and the same faith in Him.  There is no difference between Christians.

This is a glorious truth.  We all come to Jesus Christ in the way.  The circumstances surrounding it may be different, but we come in faith and receive the same righteousness – “upon all them that believe.”  What a wonderful Saviour!

 

The Righteousness of God

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all them that believe: for there is no difference

Romans 3:21-22

This is a pivotal passage in the Scripture.  After spending several verses detailing just how far man is from God and how that there are no righteous men at all, we come to these verses.  If we stopped at verse 20, what a sad a demoralizing ending we would have.  But the passage does not stop there.  It goes on to tell us of the wonderful story of God’s redemptive plan for mankind.  “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God…”  Man has no righteousness of his own.  Man is hopelessly lost in his own sin.  But God has perfect righteousness.  And God made a way for man, through Jesus Christ, to have that perfect righteousness of God Himself!  It is almost too wonderful to believe.  If it were not written in the pages of the Bible, we probably wouldn’t believe that God would make His own righteousness available to us.

What must we do to claim this perfect righteousness?  Surely it would cost us a great deal and we would surely be willing to pay whatever it cost.  But here it gets even better – “…the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…”

The perfect righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ.  And who can have this righteousness?  “All them that believe.”  I think that it is important for us to dwell on these verses and meditate on them from time to time, just to remind ourselves what a wonderful Saviour we have!

But Now…

Now we know that what soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets

Romans 3:19-21

We looked a while ago at this passage and what it has to say about the law.  The law cannot and does not justify anyone.  It does not take anyone’s sin away.  It only shows us our sin and makes our guilt crystal clear both in our eyes and in God’s eyes.  The law stops our arguments and “makes all the world… guilty before God.”

If we stopped our reading there, it would be a most depressing passage.  But, thankfully, it does not end there.

Verse 21 goes on to say “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…”  The law was manifested to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament.  “But now…”  Here, after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is something new that is being manifested.  “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.”

We have seen what our “righteousness” looks like.  We can find the best man can do in verses 10-18, and it is not pretty.  None of us are righteous.  The law condemns every last one of us.  “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.”  Seeing that we completely lack righteousness, we can now have “God’s righteousness.”  We don’t have to live in verses 19-20, fearing the law and being condemned by it.  We can live in verse 21, finding salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving His own righteousness.  I am very thankful for that “But now…”  that was put in the Scripture.  What a wonderful Saviour!

Only Trust Him (Hymn)

Only Trust Him
John Stockton (1869)

Come, every soul by sin oppressed;
There’s mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His Word.

Refrain
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.

For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
That washes white as snow.

Refrain

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way,
That leads you into rest;
Believe in Him without delay
And you are fully blessed.

Refrain

Come, then, and join this holy band,
And on to glory go
To dwell in that celestial land
Where joys immortal flow.

Refrain

O Jesus, blessed Jesus, dear,
I’m coming now to Thee;
Since Thou hast made the way so clear
And full salvation free.

Refrain

This great old hymn starts off with the grand invitation of the gospel: “Come, every soul by sin oppressed, There’s mercy with the Lord…”  Those are the words of the gospel and the invitation of Jesus to every sinner.  This hymn was first published in a hymnal called “Salvation Melodies No. 1″ and that is a perfect hymnal in which to find it.  What must we do to be saved?  Only trust Him.  Only trust Him now.  What a great hymn and what a great truth for Easter Sunday!  We can trust Him.  He said that He would rise again, and, on the third day after his crucifixion, He did just that.  Have a wonderful Easter celebrating our Saviour’s love and triumph over the grave!

Saturday Psalm (4a)

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?  how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing?  Selah.  But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.  Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.  Selah.

Psalm 4:1-4

Last Saturday, we looked at the first two verses in this Psalm.  Today, we will look at the next two.

Verse 3 tells us that “the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself” and that “the Lord will hear when I call unto him.”  We definitely want to be in that category.  We definitely want to be considered “godly” by God Himself.

It is the godly person that the Lord will hear.  We want the Lord to hear us when we call to Him.  And, to do that, we need to be close to Him.  We need to be following Him.  We need to be godly.

Verse 4 tells us to “Stand in awe, and sin not…”  Just thinking about the nature of God will help to keep us from sin.  Thinking about God’s omnipresence will remind us that God is watching us at all times and sees all that we do (or don’t do).  Meditating on his omniscience will remind us that God knows even the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

It will help us to think about and meditate on these things.  A good place to do that is “upon our beds.”  When all is quiet and still, it is then that we can really meditate on the Lord and the things of the Lord.  Let us use that time to draw nearer to the Lord.

The Romans Road, Pt. 5

I am going to be away from the computer this week, so I am posting a series on what is commonly called “the Romans Road” to salvation.  It is a series of verses from the book of Romans dealing with sin, guilt, and, most importantly, salvation through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  As always, thank you for reading and feel free to comment.

Some Promises from Romans

We will end this series with some verses from the book of Romans that give some wonderful promises to Christians.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-2

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?  It is God that justifieth.

Romans 8:28, 31-33

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8;38-39

These verses are by no means all of the promises in the book of Romans, but they are all good ones.  What a wonderful Saviour!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Romans Road, Pt. 4

I am going to be away from the computer this week, so I am posting a series on what is commonly called “the Romans Road” to salvation.  It is a series of verses from the book of Romans dealing with sin, guilt, and, most importantly, salvation through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  As always, thank you for reading and feel free to comment.

How Do We Get This Salvation?

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:9-13

We saw yesterday how Jesus Christ became the perfect sacrifice for our sin.  We have no righteousness and must pay for our sin.  He has perfect righteousness and has already paid for our sin.  But how do we accept what He has done for us?  These verses give us a clear answer.

“…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  (vs. 9)  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (vs. 13)  It doesn’t get much clearer than those verses.

All we need to do to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation from our sin is to accept it.  We must believe in our hearts that what He has told us is true and we must “call upon the name of the Lord.”  There is no elaborate ritual that we must go through.  There is no amount of money that we must give.  There is nothing to do but believe on Him and call upon Him and He has promised to save any and all who will do so.

The book of Romans calls this wonderful offer of salvation a “free gift” three different times.  If you have never accepted this gift, won’t you do it today?

 

 

The Romans Road, Pt. 3

I am going to be away from the computer this week, so I am posting a series on what is commonly called “the Romans Road” to salvation.  It is a series of verses from the book of Romans dealing with sin, guilt, and, most importantly, salvation through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  As always, thank you for reading and feel free to comment.

What Can Be Done About Our Sin

For when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

Romans 5:6-8

In the last two days, we have looked at verses in the book of Romans that show us that we are all sinners and that the wages of that sin is death.  If we were to stop there, mankind would truly be in a sad condition.  If we were all sinners and were all doomed to continue in and pay for that sin, we would be miserable and without hope.  Fortunately, that is not where things end.

We come to Romans 5:8, “But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  God loves us.  But God is also holy.  Something must be done about our sin if we are to have fellowship with Him.  God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin.

One of the most famous verses in the Bible is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

We are not perfect, but Jesus is.  And He became the perfect sacrifice for us and for our sin.  We can do nothing about our sin, but Jesus has done everything to take them away.  The wages of sin is death, and Jesus paid those wages on the cross.  What a wonderful Saviour!

The Romans Road, Pt. 2

I am going to be away from the computer this week, so I am posting a series on what is commonly called “the Romans Road” to salvation.  It is a series of verses from the book of Romans dealing with sin, guilt, and, most importantly, salvation through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  As always, thank you for reading and feel free to comment.

The Consequence of Sin

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

We saw yesterday the fact that we are all sinners.  We saw that none of us are righteous and that we have all sinned.  Because we have all fallen “short of the glory of God,” we need salvation and we need a Saviour.  But that brings up the question: “what do we need to be saved from?” and “what is so bad about sin and/or being a sinner?”  These are the questions that are answered by this verse.

“For the wages of sin is death…”

That is a very simple and powerful statement.  Wages are things that we receive for work that we have done.  Just as we go to our jobs to collect our wages at the end of the week, so at the end of our lives will we collect our “wages” for what we have done while we lived on this earth.  Sadly, since we are all sinners, those wages are “death.”  “Death” in this case does not mean simply a physical death.  It refers to the “second death,” or spiritual death and hell itself.

That is a terrible fate for any man or woman, but that is the fate of all those who refuse the Saviour.  “For the wages of sin is death…”  We need to always be mindful of that truth.

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