The Righteousness of God ThroughFaith
Romans 3:19-31

The Church in Rome was well established when Paul wrote his letter to the Romans. Perhaps he was outlining some of his own beliefs to prepare them for his visit: (1) People must understand their own sinfulness and how to receive God’s righteousness (v.23-24). (2) The Law which God gave to Moses shows them how to lead godly lives, but no one can succeed through his/her own efforts. On our own, we fail to praise God, we’re self-seeking and self-serving, rejecting scriptures’ truths, falling prey to the world and being cut off from God. (3) Reconciliation with God comes solely through faith in Jesus (v. 26); God declared us not guilty and set us free from our sins by sacrificing His Son. (4) Both Jews and Gentiles may share in God’s mercy and judgment (v.29). (5) Faith in Christ doesn’t diminish or nullify the importance of the law; one’s faith in Christ actually recognizes the validity of God’s Old Testament law. It’s our knowledge of that Law and its requirements that manifests our need for salvation, which only comes through Jesus. The Old Testament law was given to shape and bless God’s people, not as a means of justification; only Christ can meet the Law’s demands.

No matter how diligently I try to be a “good Christian”, none of my efforts can make me worthy of God’s love. Knowledge of His gifts of grace and righteous­ness fills me with a sense of both relief and responsibility; relief because of my faith in Jesus as my Savior, and responsibility because I must continually express thankfulness to God for sacrificing His Son to save sinners like me.

Stepping Out in Lent – Today’s challenge is to quiet the noise and busyness of the day by being still and bowing our heads to express gratitude to the triune God.

Author – Lucile Palmer, a mental health therapist, is a charter member of St. Peter’s, where she is a Stephen Ministry Leader and a Daughter of the Holy Cross. Lucile is married to Bill Brinson and is the mother of Dylan Rivers and grandmother of Andrew Rivers.