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!

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