Excluders vs. Expanders
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:20-26
Key Verse: Romans 3:21
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
Our printed key verse for today speaks of “a righteousness.” There has always been some righteousness on the earth, in varying degrees and definitions. Most of the existing righteousness is defined by a man’s good deeds. This righteousness is a visible element that people can see with their physical eyes. The Pharisees had this type of righteousness, but Jesus came proclaiming that that righteousness is not good enough. To be found worthy of our Father in heaven, our righteousness must exceed that kind of righteousness!
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul writes: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the Law, has been made known…” (Romans 3:21). We must accept God’s definition of righteousness…the kind that will be acceptable to Him. It is not a righteousness that you or I can create by working really hard for God. There is no amount of money that can purchase this righteousness. This right-standing type of righteousness comes through our faith in Jesus Christ. As Romans 3:23 reminds us: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Don’t ever forget: You are not a sinner because you sin; you sin because you were born a sinner! By great effort and discipline, you might stop outward sinful behavior but that won’t change your inner desires to sin! We must put our faith, not in our personal discipline, but in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. At that point, God changes us—giving us His righteousness in our inner beings!
Father, I receive your gift of righteousness by placing my faith in your Son Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.