February 27, 2018

An Unexpected Courtroom

Romans 3:24–26

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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.

An Unexpected Courtroom



Central Truth

Culture will tell us "do good, get rewarded; do bad, get punished." Culture is all about performance. For the Christian, Jesus was our performance, and those who have trusted in Him are righteous before God.

Devotional | Romans 3:24–26

Picture this:

You are standing before the throne of God. There He is, the perfectly holy Judge wearing righteous robes. And there you are, ashamed and deserving of punishment for your "crime" of sin. You are...

Picture this:

You are standing before the throne of God. There He is, the perfectly holy Judge wearing righteous robes. And there you are, ashamed and deserving of punishment for your "crime" of sin. You are in awe of just how far short you fall of His standard of perfection. And the perfect and holy God holds your judgment in His hands. Speechless, you await the verdict of "guilty."

But then, something unexpected happens. The holy Judge steps off His throne of perfection and down toward you. He takes off His righteous robe and puts it on your shoulders, and then He steps off to pay the penalty for your crime. There you stand. Righteous, holy, blameless before God.

How can God be both "just" and "the justifier" of the one who has faith in Jesus? How can He both punish sin and forgive us? We need to look to the cross of Christ for our answer. God couldn't simply forget about sin. He is perfectly holy, and every sin is a blatant offense against Him. He needed to deal with it. But instead of condemning us all, which is what we deserve (Romans 6:23), He sent Jesus into this world to live the perfect life we are incapable of living and to die the death for sin that we deserve. He took the penalty on Himself so we could be free (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus was the "propitiation" put forward by God for us that satisfied God's wrath (Romans 3:25). Whoever receives Jesus by "faith" is "justified," or declared righteous. Right now.

Daily, I have to fight the lie that I must "do more" or "perform" for God to gain His love and acceptance. It is difficult for me to believe that, once I have received Jesus Christ by faith, my identity is as a righteous son right now without doing anything else or needing more time to clean up my act. This is such a vital truth for us to grasp. If you have, by faith, trusted that Jesus paid the penalty for you, God sees you as righteous, now. And that will never change.

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Bio | Matt Pacholczyk

I have been the brunt of many Aggie jokes in my time here on earth, and most of them for good reason. But I have discovered why so many people hate Aggies: they're jealous of what we have!

Even though I attended the greatest university on the planet (Texas A&M) and learned many valuable lessons, we can all be thankful I had access to a dictionary to write this thing! Propitiation? Sheesh. Thanks, Paul.

You can usually find me over in Fort Worth serving at the Porch. I love Jesus, and I love that He changes our identity. Read on.

Discussion Questions

1. If others examined the last week of your life, what would they say motivates your actions? An identity as a son or daughter of God, or something else?

2. Take some time today to search the Scriptures and meditate on passages that deal with our identity in Christ.

3. What can you do today to inform your heart about the holiness of God?

4. What can you do today to inform your heart about the goodness and grace of God?

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