Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Justified means “to be set right” or “declared righteous”. It refers to both the acquittal of all charges and the provision of right status before God. Justification stands in complete contrast to condemnation.
Sometimes we hear the example used of a person who stands before a judge in a court of law and the judge declares them not guilty; all the charges are removed from the person’s record. Legally, it is as though the person had never been accused. Justification is a declaration that grounds for the infliction of punishment do not exist. However, this example doesn’t quite get to the depth of what is happening when we are justified by Christ because it doesn’t go far enough.
When God justifies a person, He not only acquits him from guilt, but clothes the person in His own righteousness, making the person absolutely fit for heaven. “Justification goes beyond acquittal to approval; beyond pardon to promotion.” Acquittal means only that a person is set free from a charge. Justification means that positive righteousness is imputed to the person.
What makes the act of justifying us even more amazing is the fact that God does it “freely by His grace.” The adverb “freely” simply emphasizes the idea inherent in God’s grace. As the sovereign Creator, God is always supreme over His creation. Never can any creature force Him to act in any way. All that God does, He does of His own free will. Therefore, His act of justifying sinners is one that He does out of His own loving nature, giving us as a gift that we never could earn or merit. To say it another way…God grants justification not due to any merit on our behalf, but solely by His grace, the undeserved love and mercy of God!
This gift is given to us through an act of “redemption.” Redemption was a word that was used when referring to the money (a ransom) that a slave would pay in order to secure his or her freedom.
The good news is that Jesus is the one who paid the ransom for us; He’s the one who has bought us back from the slave market of sin. If you have time, stop for just a second and let that sink in. His blood was the ransom price paid to satisfy the claims of a holy and righteous God and Jesus paid it in full.
Take some time and think about your own life and what it means for you to be justified by Jesus, to have the righteousness of God imputed upon you. Think about what it means to have been ransomed—redeemed—by the blood of Christ.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians. NIV Life Application Study Bible.