The Righteous Shall Live By Faith - Your Daily Forward Devotional

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The Righteous Shall Live By Faith

 

June 22

 

Read Romans 3:21-25 (ESV)

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

 

Reflect

According to this passage, what is the only way we can receive justification and be made right with God?

 

There is a lot of confusion in the world about how we are saved and accepted as righteous in God’s eyes. First off, many people do not want to accept that they even need saving. After all, they are pretty decent people, especially compared to other people. Plus, if God is good and loving, He surely won’t hold mostly good people accountable for not being perfect, right? Besides, even though we aren’t perfect, we work really hard to do really good things. We go to church, most of the time. We try to be good neighbors, except when we don’t like our neighbors and they don’t deserve it. We try to be kind and treat people with respect, at least to their faces. Most of us have never committed any of “the big sins.” So, as long as our good deeds outweigh our bad, we’re good with God, right?

 

But when we go back to the Bible and read Paul’s letter to the Roman church, we should see pretty clearly that we do need a Savior because we are sinful, we can’t save ourselves, and we are only made right with God by the gift of His grace that we receive through faith. Many consider Romans to be Paul’s greatest work and one of the most influential books of the entire Bible. It is theologically rich and yet Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, masterfully balanced doctrine with practical application. Paul understood that what we believe about God should impact how we live.

 

In Romans 1:16-17, Paul presented the theme of his letter: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Paul wrote Romans to lay a doctrinal foundation for believers that explains the importance of Jesus’ sacrificial death and transformative effect on the lives of those who believe.

 

In chapters 1-8, Paul explained God’s plan for salvation. First, Paul demonstrated that all people, Jew and Gentile, stand condemned because we all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard of perfection (3:23). That was the bad news. But then Paul explained the good news. God Himself made a way for us to be justified, or declared righteous, when Jesus paid the ransom on our behalf. It was His blood that was spilled to satisfy God’s holy wrath and fulfill His justice. As a result of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, we can experience salvation by grace alone on the basis of His shed blood by putting our faith in Him and accepting His gift of grace.

 

In chapters 9-11, Paul emphasized that salvation is available to both Jews and Gentiles in God’s sovereign plan. God had made a covenant with Israel. They were His people and He was their God. But they rejected Him as Messiah. Because of this rejection, the Israelites have been cut off and the Gentiles grafted into God's plan of salvation. And yet, God is still incredibly gracious and faithful to His covenant with Israel. Paul pointed out in Romans 11:23-27 that God would preserve a spiritual remnant from the Jews and restore Israel.

 

Finally, in chapters 12-16, Paul encouraged his readers to apply what they believe to their daily lives by righteous living. Theologians Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa wrote: “the good news of Jesus Christ is more than facts to be believed; it is also a life to be lived—a life of righteousness befitting the person ‘justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.’”

 

It’s important to understand that we don’t try to live holy lives in order that we may be saved but because we already are saved! God’s gift of salvation transforms us! Paul wrote “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).

 

Friends, no matter what you’ve been taught or believed about salvation in the past, Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Romans—the righteous shall live by faith. We are made righteous because Jesus Christ has given us His righteousness. We are made right with God because Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf makes us right with God. In other words, salvation is a gift from God to be accepted. It is not something you can earn! If you haven’t already, accept God’s gracious gift of salvation and let Him transform your life. “The righteous shall live by faith….”

 

Pray

Lord, I know that I deserved condemnation because of my sin. But by Your great grace and mercy, You did not give me what I deserved but took my punishment upon Yourself in my stead. Because of Your sacrifice, I know that I have been made righteous in God’s eyes and I am saved. Now, transform my life, renew my mind, and make me more like You. Amen.

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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13 days ago
Lord Jesus, because of Your perfect life, I am inspired to try to live as You did. Because You are holy, I too desire to be holy. Help me, by Your Spirit, become better today than I was yesterday, and keep me focused on You so that I do not wander from the God of mercy and grace and compassion toward me. Amen.
13 days ago
Lord, I desire to more like you each and every day. I surrender and I ask that You do in me what is needed. I want my life to bring glory and honor to the kingdom. Amen
13 days ago
"Lord Jesus, make me more like You. Teach me every day and give me an understanding heart. Give me Your Wisdom, and knowledge to bring others to You, Lord. That we as the Body of Christ may make disciples of the nations. Amen."
13 days ago
Heavenly Father, please forgive me, thank You for Your mercy and grace, renew my mind, in the name of Jesus, Amen
14 days ago
Good morning family 👪 ❤️ thanking God for another day that He have given us thanking Him for His Mercy and Grace thanking Him for His unconditional love for us all AMEN 😇 🙏 ❤️
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