Intro: If ever there was a time in my life to be acutely aware of my need for the mercy and life-giving power of God, this is that time. My human strength can easily fall short, but God is merciful. I am so grateful for the gift of righteousness I have received in Christ; I can enjoy God’s extravagant favor and liberty. I breathe differently because of Jesus. I process information differently, because of Jesus. I treat people differently, because of Jesus. Because of the blood of Jesus spilled over the mercy seat, my life is free from guilt, punishment/judgment, AND the power of sin.
If you know Jesus, your life is free, as well. Hold that freedom as a treasure, because it is a priceless gift from God. With the freedom Christ provides comes commitment and responsibility. So, please recognize the mercy of God to: 1) Hold back his judgment from your blood-bought life, 2) To shield you from guilt and shame by covering you with his righteous love and grace, and 3) To liberate you from the power of sin through the work of the Holy Spirit. Believers and unbelievers look very different from God’s perspective. “So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God” (1 Jo 3:10). Brothers and sisters, we must live in the righteousness of Christ and reveal the gospel. There is only one way to have the life-giving power of God…his name is Jesus!
Romans 3:21-26 The Gospel Reveals God’s Righteousness
21–22 But now, independently of the law, the righteousness of God is tangible and brought to light through Jesus, the Anointed One. This is the righteousness that the Scriptures prophesied would come. It is God’s righteousness made visible through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And now all who believe in him receive that gift. For there is really no difference between us, 23 for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. 24 Yet through his powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away his righteousness. His gift of love and favor now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!
25 Jesus’ God-given destiny was to be the sacrifice to take away sins, and now he is our mercy seat because of his death on the cross. We come to him for mercy, for God has made a provision for us to be forgiven by faith in the sacred blood of Jesus. This is the perfect demonstration of God’s justice, because until now, he had been so patient—holding back his justice out of his tolerance for us. So he covered over the sins of those who lived prior to Jesus’ sacrifice. 26 And when the season of tolerance came to an end, there was only one possible way for God to give away his righteousness and still be true to both his justice and his mercy—to offer up his own Son. So now, because we stand on the faithfulness of Jesus, God declares us righteous in his eyes!
Prayer: Lord, thank you that I do not have to live in guilt, shame, and condemnation. Thank you that I do not have to yield to the power of sin and the works of wickedness. Instead, I can rest on the mercy seat of Christ and his righteousness and learn your ways in life-giving power. I love you so! In Jesus’ name. Amen.