Saturday, 16 March 2013
…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,… Romans 3:24
This thought ties directly back to verse 22. “The righteousness of God” is bestowed upon all who believe – both Jew and Gentile who alike are under the penalty of sin. Now, because of the grace of Jesus Christ, we are “justified freely.” We, in other words, are treated as if we had kept the law and were perfectly righteous even though this isn’t the case at all. Such is the nature of grace – it is unmerited favor granted to those who demonstrate mere faith in the work of Jesus.
Because it is by grace, we merit no favor at all in the decision; it has come “freely.” The word here is the Greek dorean and it carries the intent of standing in opposition to anything which was purchased or earned through work or industry. No claim of personal effort can be made to that which was granted. Rather, all the honor and all of the gratitude is to be given to the One who bestows the grace – “To God be the glory.” He has done it all for those who could do none of it. As the psalmist says, so we must say –
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. (115:1)
We now stand justified and free from sin’s penalty “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The term “through the redemption” comes from a root word which indicates the price paid to redeem a prisoner of war. It signifies liberty from captivity, bondage, or imprisonment. We are born into sin and we are prisoners of sin, held in bondage by its power and are kept by the master of sin, the devil. This is confirmed by the devil’s words to Jesus in Luke 4 where he stated that “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” Sin is a firm bond and the devil is a cruel taskmaster. However, Jesus’ mission was to destroy this power. John notes this as the principle reason for His coming –
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
Jesus prevailed where Adam failed. What the devil gained through Adam’s disobedience, Jesus regained through His obedience. What God asks is that we simply believe this message, receive His gift, and place our trust in what Jesus has done for us. This is the “redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” This is the marvel of what God has done for us. In Him there is absolute victory and complete reconciliation with God the Father.
Life application: Do you often feel defeated by sin’s power? Jesus Christ has defeated the devil and broken the bonds which held us. We are now free from the power of sin, protected from the penalty of sin, and someday we shall be taken from the presence of sin – all because of Jesus. Take time to reflect on what He has done and then put your thoughts into action by standing on the freedom for which Christ has set you free!
Dear Lord, I look to what You have done through Jesus and I am humbled by it. Through Him, You have cancelled sin’s penalty; through Him, You have defeated sin’s power; and through Him, some day I shall be removed from sin’s presence. I have complete victory through the work of Jesus and the devil has no power or claim upon me. Hallelujah and Amen.