THE LAW OF FAITH
"Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law" (Romans 3:21-28, NASB)."
Devotion 13 of 30
IT IS FOR EVERYONE THAT BELIEVES
Those enamored of Law cannot even say these words, "for all those who believe" (Rom 3:22). Their view of Law has caused them to devalue faith. But they are wrong! Our text declares why it (the righteousness of God) is for everyone who believes. It is because that is really all we can do--believe! Even then, Divine enablement is required. There are people of whom it has been said, "Therefore they COULD NOT believe" (John 12:39). But for the grace of God, we would all be in that category.
The Spirit's explanation is arresting. Here is a verse universally used to convince people they are sinners. The Spirit uses it, however, to teach that all can be righteous through faith. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:22b-23). The NIV reads, "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." When it comes to distinguishing characteristics between mortals, there really are none--at least not distinctions that can be a basis for the conferment of righteousness. From that standpoint, "There is NO difference, for all have sinned and COME SHORT of the glory of God."
Note, it does not say CAME short, but "COME short." Outside of Christ, humanity is actually declining, or devolving, so to speak. Sin has set moral and spiritual deterioration in motion, and that decline cannot be aborted by man. That is, fallen humanity is incapable of putting itself in a position where the righteousness of God can be justly conferred upon it--either collectively or individually.
Therefore, faith is the basis for the bestowment of righteousness. Further, faith does not and cannot spring from works or mere human efforts, regardless of their supposed acceptability. Faith COMES through hearing, and hearing COMES by means of the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17). That is something made known by revelation, not reasoning.
Not Achievers, but Believers
God does not look for achievers, but for believers. The reason is clear; apart from faith, there are no achievers from God's perspective--and His view is the only valid one! If you have been distraught because you lack of attainment, be not faithless, but believing. Your lack of achievement does not disqualify you, even though it is convicting. God has provided you a Savior, and a means to appropriate His very own righteousness. This is a righteousness that will stand the test of Divine scrutiny. It will hold you up in the day of judgment, and cause you to have great joy as you stand before the Lord of glory!
And what is it that is believed? It is the Gospel--the announcement that God will give you His righteousness because of faith in His Son! He cannot give it unless you believe! He does not ask us to believe we can be great, or that we can do great exploits. He does not ask us to believe we are basically good, or that we can live flawless lives. He proclaims that He is righteous, and that He wants to share that righteousness with you! The Gospel also affirms God is righteous in doing this because of the satisfactory atonement for sin made by Jesus Christ. He will do it if you will believe! As Jesus would say, "Be not faithless, but believing" (John 20:27).
PRAYER POINT: Father, I praise Your name through Jesus Christ for the presence and power of faith.
-- Tomorrow: IT IS STATED MARVELOUSLY --