21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3.21-26).
Memory Verse: Romans 3.23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Now that we have a sense of why we need to memorize scripture, let us begin to breakdown this passage so, we can have a better understanding of what our memory verse means and how it applies to our lives.
Paul has spent much of the first three chapters illustrating how man is utterly wicked and hopeless apart from God. In the first chapter he gave us a brief look at the power of the gospel when he said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 1.16, ESV). As we read through these first three chapters we see we need a Savior, that without Christ we have no hope, no chance for eternal life. “For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law (Romans 2.12).
Jesus said, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God” (John 3.17-21, CSB).
Here is what Jesus was saying, He came into the world to shine His light into man’s heart, so man could see just how bad he is. Man can then make a choice; follow Jesus or continue to hide in the darkness. See, judgement is coming, as Paul said, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1.18, ESV). Man does not want what Jesus Christ is offering, his wickedness has blinded him to the glory of God (Romans 1.18-32).
However, God’s love is powerful, and far more vast then anything we could ever imagine. Because when we might think all is lost, God does what man would consider is the impossible, as well as the improbable. He sent His Only Begotten Son into this wicked world to redeem it to Himself, to reconcile us to Himself, so we could have a choice to be with Him. Because of His Son, we now have a free gift in Jesus Christ; eternal life, if we will but say yes and ask Jesus Christ into our life. How amazing a gift, how wonderful, an all-powerful God would consider us, would love us so much to do something like this. Why would He do such a thing? Why would He care so much?
This is where Paul has brought us to in Romans with the word ‘But’ he is connecting all his previous statements to this next section. ‘But now the righteousness of God’ God’s righteousness, Who God is, a characteristic of God something about God, ‘has been manifested apart from the law,’ Wow, without the law, Moses’ law, the Word of God, outside the rules, and commands, God has shown His righteousness to us, how?
First of all, the entire Old Testament bore witness that God would show His righteousness to us. It also showed us how He would show His righteousness. We should not at all be surprised by this, but most are and will continue to be. There is nothing wrong with being in awe of what God did for us, but if we are in His Word, we should never be surprised at what God is doing or has done.
Second, we see God’s righteousness thru Jesus Christ’s faithfulness as He served His Father. At every turn in Jesus’ earthly ministry He said, “My Father is still working, and I am working also” (John 5.17, HCSB, also read Matthew 11.27; John 8.42, Luke 2.49). Jesus was always glorifying His Father, showing His righteousness through His actions from teachings, to miracles, to the cross, death, the grave, the glorious resurrection, and His assertion to the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
This righteousness, God’s righteousness is given to anyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, no matter what you might have done, Jesus Christ has paid the price, satisfied our debt with God. ‘For there is no distinction’ God does not look at anyone any differently, He does not care about our money, our status, our homes, our cars, our job, the color of our skin, how smart we are or are not. What He cares about is if we have said yes to Jesus Christ, to His free gift, to His sacrifice on the cross, to His resurrection, to His authority, to His Lordship in our lives. ‘For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’
There it is; no matter where we might think we are, good or bad, we all miss the mark. There is no one good, no not one. We all need a Savior; we all need someone to help us cross over the great divide which separates us from God. It is Jesus Christ and the Cross which gets us to the other side to God’s righteousness.
My God, My Savior, My Lord, I am thankful for Your wonderful righteousness which is covering my life. Thank You for Your Son and His amazing sacrifice. Lord, I know I do not do many things right and I am still hanging on to some sinful things. Lord, I want to give You all of my heart today, cleanse me and make me fully Yours today. I want all of Your righteousness in my life. Your Son paid for it, and I want it so I can serve You to my fullest. Lord sorry for not doing my best before, help me to be better in the future. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 3:21–26). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 1:16). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 2:12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Jn 3:17–21). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 1:18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Jn 5:17). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
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