Chapter 3 of the book of Romans is a shorter Chapter, but an important one nonetheless.
Having concluded that no one in the world may be declared righteous in God’s sight by virtual of observing the law or following his conscience, the book of Romans once again brings us face to face with the gospel:
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on allwho believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” Romans 3-21-24.
Those who are not familiar with the Bible often ask what kind of law the book of Romans refers to. A simple answer is that the law referred to in Romans is the law given by God, not the man-made law.
But what is the difference?
You may read theses on a subject like this, but an essential difference is this: the man-made law is mainly to protect the society (often at a cost of restricting individual freedom), but the God’s law is given to manifest the unjust and unholy nature of man in contrast to the holy God.
In other words, man’s law is to assure that man behaves well, but God’s law is to show that man cannot behave well due to his fallen nature, and that man is utterly under sin.
Put yet another way, man-made law is like a policeman trying to maintain order, while God’s law is like a teacher to demonstrate something most fundamental about man.
Now, this does not mean that God’s law is not supposed to be obeyed, nor it is just a “pretense” not for real. Quite the opposite, but the book of Romans demonstrates that the giving of God’s law is to teach, while coming of God’s Son Jesus Christ is to fulfill the law.
Notice that the word sin as used in Romans is in the singular. It is primarily not about what people do, which would be plural “sins”, but about what people are.
Sin is man’s nature after Adam and Eve’s fall. The Law makes man aware of the defects of his nature, character, and his very being. By virtue of what he is, man acts as he does. Man doesn’t become sinful because he does wrong things; but rather he does wrong things because he is sinful. The Law makes man aware that he is not what he ought to be.
In the book of Romans, it is also made clear that even if you don’t know what God’s law is, the law effectuates in your life through your conscience. The fact that one’s conscience may be week doesn’t prove that God’s law has become ineffective. In fact it only proves that the person is not only sinful in nature but has already eaten the fruits of his sinful nature and has become insensitive and callous to what he is supposed to be sensitive toward. That, is utterly sinful.
Friend, what are you seeking today? Amazingly, the most frequent answer I hear for that question is simply that “I am just busy, and too busy to even consider that question.”
But busy for what? In the deep of your heart, you know that you are in this world for a reason higher than being just existing or surviving. Mere survival being the ultimate destination of a human being’s life would crush even the basest human spirit. God created you for a much higher purpose. But He also wants us to know that we have all fallen short of that purpose, and that if one has not known God’s Son Jesus as his Savior, his life today is in an entirely wrong status when measured according to that glorious purpose God has for him.
The enemy Satan does his best to deceive you, to dupe you, to numb and to blind you, trying to make sure that you do not see you are in a very wrong and dangerous situation. The success of Satan’s endeavor is manifested (even testified) by the very fact that you do not know your actual condition. A deceived man does not realize that he is in a terribly wrong standing before a holy God who had created him for a glorious purpose according to His holiness and also will judge him according to His holiness.
There is no escape according to the our means. Our only hope lies in and starting to see that we are hopeless. Then you will leap with joy to hear the true gospel: God has demonstrated His righteousness at the present time, so that He can justify those who have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Psalm 53.1-4 – “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good. God looks down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good. No, not one.”
But my friend, let me tell you something with humility but gladness: when God looks at me, He smiles because He sees His Perfect Son Jesus Christ, not myself, in me. And all I did is to humble myself to accept Jesus as the Lord into my life. I became righteous in the eyes of God simply because I accepted the righteousness of God on His terms, not on my own terms. It is that simple. By reading this chapter of Romans, you know this now: that righteousness is in Jesus Christ and is Jesus Christ.
Blessed is one’s heart who has Jesus in him! And if you haven’t already, this blessing should be yours as well, free of charge, by faith.