This passage I have chosen today is massive in its significance and therefore it is very difficult to adequately sum it up succinctly in just a few lines. So I will restrict myself to pointing out just two things and then allow you to read the scripture for your self and draw your own conclusions. Firstly, Paul says we are made right with God either by faith or belief in Jesus and his sacrifice, no less than seven times in the eleven verses below. Secondly he points out that this righteousness is available to anyone (not just the Jews) no less than five times. So he is quite keen for us to get the point that salvation is by faith, no matter who you are.
Romans 3:21-31 NLT
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 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. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Well then, if we emphasise faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfil the law.
Paul really made sure he had clearly stated that it was only through faith in Jesus that we could be made new in God’s eyes. No amount of energy put into observing and trying to keep the Law of Moses was enough on its own. My goal therefore is to focus all my energy on following the teachings of Jesus. And as I try and fail to keep the Law, each time I fail, I will confess it to Jesus and ask his forgiveness and pray for the strength to keep trying and to fail less in future. I will remember the last line of the today’s passage and hope that through my faith in the power of love and forgiveness I find in Jesus, I might also find the ability to fulfil God’s Holy law.
1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32, Romans 3:9-31, Psalms 3:9-31, Proverbs 19:13-14