If you are a regular attender at Cross Community Church, you know we have been working through the marvelous truths contained in the book of Romans. We took a short break from Romans as we prepared to Resurrection Sunday, but we’ll be resuming our study of Romans this coming Sunday.
As we moved through the first three chapters of Romans, we saw that there is no one on earth who can stand unflinching before a perfectly holy God. It may be, from our human perspective, that the book of Job records the most important question that you and I must ask and have answered for us:
How then can a man be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his eyes,
how much less man, who is but a maggot —
a son of man, who is only a worm! (Job 25:4-6)
Paul’s epistle to the Romans answers this question with stark clarity:
There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
We CANNOT stand righteous before God. Whether we think of ourselves as a “good,” moral person or a “righteous” religious person, we are as maggots standing before God! As Isaiah, said, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). There is nothing we can do, in our own strength, to make ourselves stand before God as righteous men and women. There is no amount of clean living, no amount of religious service, no amount of money we can contribute that will wipe the slate clean for us. We have together become worthless in His sight.
We are dead in our sins; we should be doomed and damned . . . if not for Christ! Apart from Him, we don’t even have eyes to see that He has provided the solution for us! “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Our rescuing hero, our Redeemer, has done it all, or as the centuries’ old hymn says, “Jesus paid it all.”
- God graciously provides us with the only possible solution to our sin problem.
- God became a man to pay the purchase price for our redemption from sin and death.
- Jesus is our propitiation—it is He who fully and finally paid the price for all our sins, past, present, and future. Because of His atoning work, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). God’s righteous wrath against our sins was completely poured out on Christ at Calvary. Therefore, God propitiates God!
- God gives us the faith to see this offer of salvation. It is not something we work out or work up to; it comes as a gracious gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8).
- God takes away all the charges of sin that stood against us. He “cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).
Those stone tablets that Moses carried down from Mount Sinai almost 3,500 years ago had words that meant nothing but death for you and me; the perfect law of God painfully reveals our sinful state and carries a word of condemnation that no human hand can erase – only the nail-scarred hand of God can do that!
So . . . where do you stand today? Do you know that you can be righteous before holy God? You need only accept that truth that He has, in Christ, provided the perfect, eternal pardon for your sin. I plead with you, as an ambassador of Christ: if you have not placed your trust in that truth, will you do so today?
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!