Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Passion Week Devotions, Day 3: Jesus' Death for Us Saves us from Having to Earn Grace

Romans 3.21-31

3.21And now, apart from the Law, God’s righteousness truly is being revealed, being attested to by the Law and the Prophets, 22And God’s righteousness is through faith in Jesus the Messiah for all believing people, because there’s no difference [between people], 23because all people have sinned and are lacking the Glory of God, 24who are being made righteous as a gift by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25Who God put forwards as a Mercy Seat through faith in His blood for the purpose of a proof of His righteousness because of the passing over of sins that already happened, 26by God’s self-control , for the purpose of a proof of His righteousness in the present time, in order that He would be righteous and the One Who makes righteous the person who is so by faith in Jesus.

“I’ve got to be utterly Perfect! I’ve got to pay Jesus back for all He did for me!” We think that sometimes. But it’s a total lie. Sometimes when we think about Jesus and all that He has done for us we think that we either have to earn Jesus’ love and salvation to accept it, or we think that we have to pay Him back for it after we’ve taken it. But from today’s passage we see that is a lie.

We don’t have to be perfect to be right with God. We don’t have to earn our salvation. Instead, we just need to trust that Jesus earned it for us, that God’s righteousness was given to us. It’s not our righteousness trying to add up to God’s righteousness that’s ridiculous! That’s why it says “And God’s righteousness is through faith in Jesus the Messiah for all believing people.” And why it says, “All people have sinned and are lacking the glory of God.”

So clearly, it is God’s righteousness that we get through faith, not our righteousness that makes us deserve to know God and have His righteousness, to have faith in Him even! This could only be possible if God gave us His righteousness.

Yet, that is exactly what happens, that’s what it says, “who are being made righteous as a gift by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” We are being given God’s righteousness by God as a gift. He didn’t have to give it to us; He wanted to, which also means that we didn’t earn it—it’s not called a gift if you earned it, it’s called a payment.

In fact, it is so much about God’s righteousness and not ours that, the only righteousness discussed is God’s. It is God Who feels the need to prove His righteousness. That’s why it talks about proving His righteousness over His lack of judgment in the past and the present, so that He really can be the Righteous God Who makes us righteous when we trust in Jesus.

So, why do we feel like we have to pay God back for His gift? Because God’s gift to us is too big for us to comprehend and we don’t like taking such a huge gift. But that is how much God loves us! So, let’s not cheapen His grace, His gift by trying to pay Him back for it. It is one thing to want and try hard to live for God out of love and gratitude, but it’s a completely different thing to try to make God love us and be grateful to us for how we live!

Whether we try to pay God for His grace before we’re saved or after doesn’t matter; we’re still trying to pay for Jesus’ death, but Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to pay, so let’s love Him and be grateful to Jesus for His death and not reject His as for us by trying to earn it for ourselves!

This Passion Week, so far we’ve seen that Jesus’ death for us was truly for us in two major ways: 1) Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross connected us to God; 2) Jesus’ death for us killed the sin’s domination of our lives, and His resurrection life gives us eternal life and the power to live for God, not for sin. Today, we’ve looked at a third, namely Jesus’ death for us keeps us from having to earn our relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Love you guys,


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