Jesus Christ: Redemption, Propitiation, Righteousness

I was recently encouraged to focus more on Scripture meditation, so last week, I renewed my efforts to memorize and meditate on God’s Word. A couple of months ago, I read Jerry Bridge’s Transforming Grace and began memorizing the key passages which appeared at the beginning of each chapter and which were the focus of the chapter’s study.

This week I am meditating on Romans 3:21-26. I copied the verses down on a 3×5 card and have been reading them in the morning during my devotional time and carrying them around with me to meditate on during down time or when performing repetitive, brainless tasks at work. Today I worked on memorizing and meditating on the first four verses

Romans 3:21-26

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 3:23 is a very familiar verse to me: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I was thoroughly trained in the “Romans Road” as a young person, but as an adult I have been constantly amazed by the logical flow of thought throughout the book of Romans and I enjoy reading the entire book–best done in one sitting, if possible. After years of only knowing a few, selected verses from Romans and thinking that Romans 6:23 best follows Romans 3:23, I marvel at how a few phrases in Romans 3 can explain salvation so clearly.*

I feel like I have only just begun to scratch the surface of what these verses mean, so I’m not going to write much more about them right now, but I encourage you to read these verses over a few times and let the phrases roll around in your head and resonate in your heart too.

What truths strike you anew as you consider these verses?

* I wonder how the verses in the “Romans Road” were selected as the “plan of salvation,” when in context the gospel message is clear right in Romans 3 and many other times throughout Romans.

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