October 25, 2018
Romans 3:19-25 …“But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” vss. 21-22a
For most of us, these words from Paul are familiar. This is the core of the gospel: we’ve heard the message in a variety of ways for our entire lives and we know it well. For that reason, it’s hard to grasp how radical this thinking must have been to Paul’s Jewish audience! They had been conditioned to believe that their whole identity as God’s people revolved around obedience to the law. And now Paul is telling them that the law was limited. It only revealed their lack of righteousness and made them aware of their sin. He goes on to say that their scriptures actually disclosed a way of salvation apart from the law. He then paints a picture of a generous God who gives righteousness as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ. This was a totally new way of thinking–one that shifted the focus of faith from a book to a person. Today, it’s this truth that gives Christianity its unique position in the family of religions. We don’t link our faith to words written on the pages of a book. We are followers of a living person, Jesus of Nazareth, the one we call the Word of God, and his dynamic Spirit shapes our lives in amazing new ways. In him, we broken ones are made whole—and it’s all a gift!
Thought for the Day: What’s the difference between bible-centered and Christ-centered faith?