Scripture: Romans 3:20-25 (NIV)
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished“
The Right Way to Approach Righteousness
In this podcast episode, the speaker shares a personal realization about folding clothes and draws a parallel to the Apostle Paul’s message to the Romans. Just as the speaker discovered a better way to fold clothes, the Romans were confronted with the truth that their understanding of righteousness was misguided. They had been using the law as a means to make themselves feel good and righteous, but Paul reveals that true righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
1. The law reveals our need for a Savior: The purpose of the Old Testament law was not to make us perfect or righteous on our own. Instead, it serves as a mirror, showing us our imperfections and pointing us to our need for God’s salvation.
2. Good works alone cannot save us: No matter how many good deeds we do, they will never outweigh our sins. Our salvation is not earned through our own efforts but is a gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ.
3. Our righteousness comes from God’s forgiveness: God’s forgiveness is not something we deserve or can earn. It is a demonstration of His love for us. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, God offers us a way out of our sin and a restored relationship with Him.
1. Recognize your need for a Savior: Reflect on your own life and acknowledge that you cannot save yourself through good works alone. Humbly accept your need for God’s forgiveness and grace.
2. Embrace faith in Jesus Christ: Place your trust in Jesus as your Savior and acknowledge that His sacrifice on the cross is the only way to receive forgiveness and righteousness. Surrender your life to Him and invite Him to be the center of your life.
3. Shift your focus from self-righteousness to God’s righteousness: Instead of relying on your own actions to feel good about yourself, seek to understand and embrace the righteousness that comes from God. Allow His love and forgiveness to shape your identity and actions.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for revealing the truth about righteousness through your Word. Help me to let go of any self-righteousness and to fully embrace the righteousness that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. I acknowledge my need for your forgiveness and grace. Guide me in living a life that reflects your love and righteousness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
May this devotional encourage you to approach righteousness with a humble heart, relying on God’s forgiveness and grace rather than your own efforts. May you experience the freedom and joy that comes from a deep and authentic relationship with the Lord.
Podcast Transcript: Discover the Real Purpose of Scripture
It really wasn’t until I got married that I realized I don’t know how to fold clothes. I just, I don’t, I must not do it right. I didn’t know there was a right way, but apparently my way is not the right way. It’s like the Apostle Paul just hit the Romans with that same realization. Like, hey, your whole life, you’ve been reading the scripture and you’ve been using it the wrong way. That’s not what it was intended for.
The Role of the Law
In verse 20, in chapter 3 of Romans, it says, “Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law. Rather, through the law, we become conscious of sin.” This must have hit them hard because that’s exactly what they’ve been taught to do. Here’s the Bible, read it, do what it says, and you’re going to be righteous by all those good things you do. It’s like they were using the Bible to make themselves feel good about themselves and how righteous and how holy they are.
Misusing the Bible
Hey, look at all these great things I’ve done. Look how good I am, everybody. It kind of reminds me of Anchorman. Everybody, come see how good I look. It’s like they were using the Bible for the wrong thing. That’s not what it was meant for. The whole idea of the Old Testament is just to show how much we need God and how much we need a Savior. You’re not going to fulfill all the law. You’re not going to do everything that you’re supposed to do. You’re never going to live your life without making a mistake.
The Imperfection of Humanity
And to look at your life, and to look at scripture, and to say, man, look at how good I am. I’m amazing. It’s the total wrong way of looking at it. The Old Testament was telling us that we are imperfect, it’s through our rebellion that we’re going to need to be saved, and we are going to need God to do it for us because there’s nothing that we can do to take away the sin that we’ve done on our own. Yet that needs to be taken care of and that’s what God did through Jesus Christ and it’s through faith in Him that allows us to have atonement for our sins.
The Fallacy of Being “Good Enough”
We cannot be good enough. That is the biggest lie that people believe. They just believe that I am a good enough person, that somehow all the good that I’ve done is going to outweigh the bad. But it’s not the case. It does not matter how much good I’ve done. It matters if I’ve done any bad at all.
The irony here really is that the Apostle Paul is talking directly to people who go to church all the time. This would be equivalent to going to a church on Sunday morning and seeing all the people that are there on Sunday morning and if there’s a Sunday night service and Wednesday services and they’re a part of all their small groups and they’re doing all these things and they see themselves as righteous through their actions that they’re taking. And the Apostle Paul’s like, hey, listen, it doesn’t matter how much you think you’re righteous. You’re not. Like, those are all good things. But the problem here is that you’re not perfect and you need to be saved just like everybody else. You need your sins forgiven just like everybody else.
The Role of Faith in Redemption
And that law, all those good things you’re doing, that’s great. But it’s not enough. It’s never going to be enough. So it’s the faith in Jesus that’s going to redeem you. Not all the good stuff that you’re doing. He doesn’t argue whether what they’re doing is good or not. He even tells them later, like, hey, that is good stuff that you’re doing. The key difference is thinking that you deserve God’s forgiveness versus God is giving his forgiveness and he’s giving you a way out even though you don’t deserve it. He loves you that much and he wants that relationship with you and that is the sacrifice that he made and he’s given it to you, not because you deserve it, but because he loves you and that is the only reason.
So I’m going through Romans chapter 3 for what it’s worth. Those are my thoughts. And as always, I want to encourage you to get into the Word and seek a deeper understanding of God’s grace and the purpose of the law.