Romans 3:23 reminds us to never forget who we were before we were saved. It says for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We were hopelessly lost but God provided a means for us to be forgiven.
Sin is a crime against God, against mankind, and against our own soul. We’re guilty and that’s proven by our own sins that condemn us. But they can be forgiven. This brings on a new word for us—justification. What has it done? What does it offer? We shouldn’t sin now but we do. We need to remember that we’re saved by his death and his resurrection. When we remember Jesus is still alive and well and working as our advocate with the Father, we do well.
So I ask. How anchored are you in the Lord? How much faith is on the shelf of your life? We are not perfect but we are saved. We are justified. God has provided.
Romans 4: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
The book of Romans uses the example of Abraham. While he and Sara were young God called him from the Ur of the Chaldees. He promised him his children would be as the sands of the sea. He chose to trust the invisible God. The book of Hebrews says he went following the voice of God. They were promised a son but as time went on they didn’t conceive. Aging kept on coming. Back in verse 19 it says and being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He at 100 years old didn’t even consider the deadness of his body. Would they keep faith in God or what they saw in the mirror? At their age it would be a miracle to have a baby. They trusted God to perform his promises.
The trouble they got in was when they didn’t wait on the Lord. That mistake has affected all nations of the world even today. Some seek to justify themselves by Ishmael, Abraham’s other son. Even though he was born first, he was not the promised son. Abraham’s promise of God didn’t go through this child. Abraham realized his mistake and had to be forgiven. He looked back to the Lord. Sara conceived and had Isaac. The Jews still hold their ground today claiming what is their promise. Abraham was forgiven and justified by his faith. He chose to turn to God wholeheartedly. When he did God justified him by that faith.
Verses 23-24 tell us this was not just for Abraham. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. This is for us also. It is through Abraham that all nations of the earth were to be blessed. We know what God meant when he told Abraham that because it was through Abraham’s descendants that the Messiah was born—through Abraham, then Isaac and then Jacob on down to David and so on. Everyone who trusts in God is justified just like Abraham was. When we fail we have someone to look up to. Abraham’s faith got him through and ours will us. Faith in the God who justifies works!
Verse 25 tells us that he was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Jesus came from the grave on Easter being raised for our justification. Keep your faith in Jesus. Don’t let the devil tell you that you cannot be forgiven and justified. You can. Live by faith and be justified by it.
I want to close with the first few verses of chapter 5. They sum this up.
1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.