Please read part 1 and 2 of this message before reading this one, so that you may better understand. The links are at the end of this message.
3. Righteousness that justifies (v. 24)
“and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:24, ESV)
This verse refers back to all who believe in verse 22. It is those who believe, who are also justified by His grace. It is those who actually put their faith only in Jesus Christ, who are also justified. Those who do not put their faith only in Jesus, will not be justified. To be justified means to be declared not guilty before God. There is a difference between to condemn and to justify. To condemn is not merely to punish, but to declare the accused guilty or worthy of punishment; and justification is not merely to remit or to cancel that punishment, but to declare that punishment cannot be justly inflicted. Pardon and Justification therefore are also essentially distinct. Pardon is the remission or the cancellation of punishment, while justification is a declaration that no ground for the infliction of punishment exists.’ This means that for those who believe and are justified, there are no longer any grounds for them to be punished by God. Through justification, God no longer has the grounds to send those who believe to the lake of fire to be tortured day and night, forever and ever. Only those who put their faith in Jesus, can be justified. Notice that this justification is by grace as a gift. If it is a gift, that means no one has earned it. No one can boast by saying I did that to be justified. Every single human being who believe and are justified, they are justified purely by grace. Grace means an unmerited favor. Something that one receives without earning it or deserving it. Justification is a gift. One may want to argue that even if justification is a gift, but I must still repent and put faith in Jesus, so, I can still boast in that. Sorry to disappoint you, even faith and repentance is a gift.
“correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,” (2 Timothy 2:25, ESV)
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” (Philippians 1:29, ESV)
Salvation is all from God and by God and through God such that all glory goes to God and no one can boast in themselves. This might be difficult for a lot of people because our flesh and the world tells us that we must work for everything we have. Brothers and Sisters, when it comes to salvation, it is all from God by God and for God
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9, ESV)
Therefore, Paul says that those who believe, are justified, and this justification, is a gift from God.
In summary, the righteousness of God has been revealed, and it is revealed such that no one can claim to not know about it. It is obtained by means of putting our faith in Jesus Christ, and those who do put their faith in Jesus, are declared not guilty before God by His grace as a gift.
Now, I want to ask you today to rethink your relationship with God in light of what Paul has revealed to us. If you are currently not right with God according to God, it is time to repent and place your trust in Jesus. Jesus died on the cross and rose again for sinners like you and me, so that we don’t have to face the wrath of God, so that we don’t have to spend eternity in the lake of fire. But, the only way to avoid that is to be right with God according to God, and the only way is only through faith in only Jesus. I urge you to pray and ask God for mercy. Ask God for the gift of repentance and faith. Turn away from your sins and from your way, and follow God’s way. Will you do that today? Will you do that now? Amen.