Romansby David Cook
In summarising Romans, we return to what is possibly the most important single paragraph ever written, in which Paul announced something of the grandeur of Christ’s saving work—God’s perfect plan in bringing us, the unrighteous ones, to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, the righteous one.
Think about it: this paragraph is more important than a paragraph of Shakespeare, or the economic theory of Karl Marx or Adam Smith, or one of Winston Churchill’s famous speeches.
Paul utilises three words in common use in his day to describe what God has done for us in Christ:
On the basis of the redeeming, atoning work of Jesus, God declares the guilty sinner to be justified. That is, not only is our sin forgiven, but righteousness is also credited to our account. So we stand perfect before God, clothed in righteousness divine. Jesus Christ is the foundation of our righteousness. Faith links us to the work of Jesus our substitute. It is God’s gift to us and we have nothing in which to boast (Romans 3:27).
This truth is the heart of Paul’s argument and the source of our assurance. All religion, the attempt to somehow win and keep God’s favour, is ultimately dehumanising, reducing people to nervous wrecks. Can we ever do enough? Religion places us on an impossible and unnecessary quest.
This paragraph in Romans tells us that righteousness is not only God’s requirement but also His provision. It announces that the Christian faith is non-religious. It is not about what we must do, but about what God has done.
As such, hymn writer Edward Mote pens: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” This is our anthem too!
Think about how good and how reassuring Romans 3:21-26 is for the uncertain adherents of any religion. Is it not worthy of a wider broadcast? How can you be involved in that?