“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:21-26)
Here Paul declares that Christ died to pay our sin debt so that God could “justify”sinners and at the same time remain “just” Himself. Throughout the Old Testament, sins were merely “passed over,” the payment of their guilt being rolled forward year after year until the Lamb should come whose death could truly take them away (Hebr. 9:15). All during this time, it appeared that God was being unrighteous, since He justified men (like Abraham and David) without justice being truly satisfied. Therefore it was necessary that Christ should die “publicly,” openly demonstrating God's righteousness for all to see, by making full satisfaction for sin on the cross. In this sense, Christ died, not only to justify men, but to justify God! His death on the cross vindicated and demonstrated the absolute justice of God in justifying His people. As a “propitiation” (i.e. a wrath-removing sacrifice) for our sins, Christ turns away God's judicial wrath from us. We are “justified as a gift” (Justification is absolutely free to us.), “through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Justification was very costly to God). We are justified by receiving the “gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17) “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” (Rom. 3:22).
Are you still under the wrath of God? “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). There is a “fountain for sin and impurity” (Zech. 13:1). “The blood of Jesus, God's Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). No matter how great your sins may be, they are nothing compared to the infinite worth of Christ's blood! (1 Pet. 1:18-19; Acts 20:28). “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20). Come to Him! He invites and commands you to come; you need not fear that you are being presumptuous by coming: “And let the one who is thirsty some; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Rev. 22:17; Matt. 11:28). Come to Him! Take the water of life! Cast your sins upon Him and trust Him as your sin-bearer. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31).
[This articles is an exerpt from the book "Justification and Regeneration", by Charles Leiter, available HERE]
HT : Frozen Chosen 4JC.
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