Sunday, March 6, 2011

Romans 3, part 2 - Are We Without Hope?!

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
I love this quote from Matthew Henry's commentary,
"For all have sinned (Ro 3:23); all are sinners by nature, by practice, and have come short of the glory of God--have failed of that which is the chief end of man. Come short, as the archer comes short of the mark, as the runner comes short of the prize; so come short, as not only not to win, but to be great losers. Come short of the glory of God."
So where does this leave us? Paul has clearly argued that we are deserving of God's wrath, God will judge us, He knows the secret state of our hearts and we are all sinners. Are we without hope?

24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Matthew Henry alludes to a wound in his commentary to illustrate what is going on. I think it is very helpful and I want to take it a little further than he does.
Our sin has created this wound between God and us, which has been made very clear in the first three chapters. To remedy this, by His grace, He sent His son "The Great Physician" to come and heal this wound. It is our choice whether or not we want to choose the treatment. But in order to heal this wound there is only one way and that is the offering of perfect, sinless, holy blood to cover the wound. It is the only way; because there is nothing Jew or Gentile can do to make things right. We created the wound, we are guilty and we are sinful. The law shows us what is right and wrong but when we try on our own efforts we only make it worse it displays our sin all the more. The penalty for sin is death, the shedding of blood. Our blood is no good it is vile and sinful; the blood shed of rams, lambs and bulls is temporary fix....
We need something greater than ourselves...we need God the creator to intervene. We need Christ, the fulfillment of the law, our redeemer to rescue us. When we accept the free treatment through faith Christ, His perfect and holy blood covers the wound. Then and only then are we justified.
He toke on the sins of the world by dying on the cross. His work on the cross provides the healing ointment through his perfect sinless blood. His blood heals the separation between us and God. He becomes our mediator. He becomes our propitiation; he has appeased the wrath of God. Jesus Christ has healed us. He has conquered death and the grave. He is the perfect sacrifice for our sin.
All of this is ...because He knew us in our mother's womb. He created us. We are His children.....All of this, because He loves us.

We choose to stray...Yet, He choose to make away.
Death is what we have earned...Yet, Life is what He has offered.
We rejected God....Yet, He shed His blood.
Our efforts are unavailing....Yet, His death was restoring.
We needed a Savior...And He became or Redeemer!


Don't forget to check out Jenilee's blog post on Romans 3!
The painting is one of Ron Dicianni's work that was commissioned by the Assemblies of God depicting one of our major tenants of the faith.

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