Romans 3:21-23 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Paul just finishes telling us how sorry everyone’s spiritual condition is. Paul lets us know we are all sinners. “But now” he tells us how we can become right with God. The “but now” part is through one act and one act only. I remember someone telling me we should insert “after the cross” to the sentence. It would read “but now, after the cross, …”
God promises to save us. He also promises to judge us. God is justified in our condemnation. He declares us not as innocent but as guilty. ALL of us are guilty. However, when we trust Jesus as our savior, we are free because Jesus paid the price for our sins. Although we are totally unworthy, we are redeemed through Christ on the cross. A gift given to us if we accept it.
I must accept His gift. This is humbling because I am not worthy to accept it. And this is a gift I can never repay. Ever had a friend who bought you a Christmas gift but you didn’t buy them one? Totally awkward and embarrassing. Even if you go buy them something, it doesn’t feel right. The gift Jesus gave us, however, is different. It is called grace. There is nothing we can do to repay it. Nothing we can do to match it. We must humble ourselves and accept it.
I must follow the playbook. Team sports have playbooks and coaches call plays to run during a game. When a coach watches game film, he judges his players on how they performed on the plays that were called. Players must know the playbook, know the routes, assignments, etc. to perform well. Players also must run the play that is called. Similarly, God has given us a playbook to follow. He has given us laws and rules to follow. I can’t worry about how others will perform if I am not following the plays and doing what I am supposed to be doing. I must live my life accordingly. All of us will fail. I will fail even though I don’t want to. Even though I have studied the “playbook”. When a player fails on one play, they shake it off and try again the next time. When I fail in life due to my sin, I must keep going and keep referring to God’s plan and his rules.
I realize God that you seek me. You seek me even though I am not worthy. It is humbling. In my daily life that I fill with all kinds of really, really important stuff that is important only to me, I must take the time to reflect on your gift. I must reflect on the parts of my life that should change in order to follow the path and laws you have provided for my life.