When I was in graduate school, one of my professors would give tests that nobody could pass. Imagine our dismay when he told us at the beginning of the semester that it would be impossible for anyone to score 100 percent on his exams!
We may feel the same way as we read what Paul says about the Law of God. But the apostle’s intent was not to discourage us but to point us in a different direction. There is a righteousness from God that is “apart from the law” (v. 21). It is righteousness that is “given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (v. 22).
We can see the wisdom of God in holding all of humanity to a standard that neither the religious nor the irreligious can meet. Since the Law renders everyone guilty, anyone who believes will be “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (v. 24).
This is not a case of God resorting to the class curve. It is a matter of substitution. Jesus came to be “a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood” (v. 25). His death paid the penalty for our sin, and His life met God’s perfect standard for righteousness. Through Christ, God makes sinners righteous without compromising His holiness. He can be both “just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (v. 26).
Once we have been made righteous in this way, we have no grounds for boasting. Righteousness is not our accomplishment. Nor do we have any reason to fear God’s Law or view it with contempt. We uphold the Law through our faith in Jesus Christ (v. 31).
>> Have you accepted God’s diagnosis of your spiritual condition? If you accept that you are a sinner, you need to accept His remedy as well. Look to Jesus for forgiveness and for righteousness. Lord,
Lord, why would we choose to pay the penalty for our sins if Your Son has already done it for us? We confess our sins and ask for Your forgiveness. Your salvation grants us eternity with You!