Bad News . . . Good News

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Romans 3:23-24

We have already seen in Romans that the good news of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ comes in response to the bad news of our sin. Romans 3:23-24 puts this in a nutshell. Though everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, God’s “undeserved kindness” (literally, his grace) leads to our being right with him through Christ.

Our translation says that God “declares that we are righteous” (v. 24, NLT). Other translations read, more literally, we are “justified” (ESV, NRSV, NIV). This difference in translation reflects a major theological debate about the nature of justification. Are we declared righteous? Made righteous? Or . . . ? Theologians will probably never agree on the details, but the main point is clear . . . and wonderful. Because of what God has done through Christ, our sin no longer keeps us from living in right relationship with God. The fundamental human problem–sin and its sorry results–has been solved by God’s grace in Christ. Thus we can live with the assurance that we are forgiven by God and set free to live as he intended us to live. No matter how you spell out the theological nuances, this is fantastic news.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are you living in the truth of God’s justification? Are you enjoying the right relationship you can have with God through Christ?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, there is no question about it. I have sinned. I have fallen short of your glory. I admit it. It isn’t pretty, but it’s true.

Thus I am once again filled with gratitude for your grace, your undeserved kindness. Lord, my Savior, you have done for me what I could never have done for myself. You have given me the gift you alone can give. How I thank and praise you for your justification! I may not have the exact words to express this truth correctly, but I am overwhelmed by the fact that you dealt with my sin, and have brought me into right relationship with yourself. Thus I can stand before you without fear, knowing that my righteousness is in Christ through your grace. Hallelujah!