Day 309 Romans 3 - 5 Glogger Debie Beach, Christ Church, Duanesburg
November 5, 2021, 9:16 AM

According to the Scriptures, sin must be paid for. In the Old Testament animals were sacrificed in our stead. They paid the price for humanity’s sins. The animal’s death was a reminder of sin’s tragic consequences, and its life offered a symbolic substitute.

When Jesus Christ died, he suffered as a substitute in the place of and on behalf of fallen humanity. On behalf of doomed humanity, Christ appeases the anger of God by dying on the cross. Christ's death was more than an attempt to reverse the human course started by Adam; it served as a substitute payment for the trespasses of all mankind.

Christ's death made it possible for men and women to be declared righteous. The word “righteousness” is related to “justification.” Both can be translated from the same Greek word. Justification means “restoration of a right relationship with God.” Our sins are forgiven because of Jesus’ redemptive act. Like amnesty, it releases the offender from guilt. But unlike amnesty, our sins are not only forgiven but as we hear in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

This redemption cannot be earned through works but faith in Jesus Christ. The word “redemption” is taken from the slave markets, by obtaining release by paying a ransom. Paul uses the word to refer to a release from guilt, with its liability for judgement and to deliver us from the slavery of sin. All of this is possible due to the ransom Christ paid for us on the cross.

All of this is a gift of God’s grace which means “unmerited favor.”  The grace of God is something we do not deserve, and we cannot earn it. If God’s grace was based on “good behavior” or being good hearted, Jesus’ dying on the cross would not have been needed.

Paul explains justification before God is a gift which demonstrates the extent of God’s love for all of humanity. Justification ends the separation between us and God. The heavy curtain of the temple, that only the priests could pass, was torn in two when Jesus died, ending our separation from God.

So, do we accept this gift? I think it is safe to say most of us are messed up, broken people in some way, shape, or form. Christmas is coming. Open the gift. The price for it has already been paid.

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