given

Read Romans 3:21-26.

This short section is … the center and heart of the main division to which it belongs [1:18-4:25]. … it is the center and heart of the whole of Romans 1:16b-15:13. It stands out by reason of the distinctiveness of its style: it reads like a solemn proclamation. … It stands out much more, of course, by virtue of its content; for it proclaims the fact that the one decisive, once for all, redemptive act of God … has now taken place.” (Romans – Cranfield; p.68)

This is one of those mountain peak passages in Scripture that can’t be soaked up in just a moment; it requires reading, re-reading and reading again. You have to break it down if you ever hope to put it together. Let’s do that right now. Everything said in this paragraph falls under five headings, as if to answer to five specific questions about how God is going to deal with the fact of a totally sinful creation.

What is it God has given? Righteousness (vs.22), justification (vs.24), redemption (vs.24) and atonement (vs.25).

How did God give it? By his grace (vs.24). By Jesus Christ (vs.24). Through Christ as a sacrifice (vs.25). Through the shedding of his blood (vs.25).

How is God’s gift received? Through faith in Jesus Christ (vs.22). By faith (vs.25).

To whom did God give this gift? To all who believe (vs.22). To those who have faith in Jesus (vs.26).

Why did God give this gift? Because all have sinned (vs.23). Since all fall short of the glory of God (vs.23). To demonstrate his justice (vs.25). To be just (vs.26). To be the one who justifies (vs.26).

Heavenly Father, how I know that I deserve absolutely nothing from you. But how I revel in the fact you have given everything for me! When I consider what I have done has put you through – and yet, what you went through to have me – there is simply not words to express it all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you in the name of Jesus! Amen.

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