February 28, 2018

Topic Day|Redemption

This Is a Story of God, His Righteousness, and Some Crazy Children

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.

This Is a Story of God, His Righteousness, and Some Crazy Children

Bio | Andrew Marsh

Good morning. My name is Andrew Marsh. I get to be husband to the beautiful Jenny Marsh, daddy to Grace, and soon-to-be daddy to our baby boy, Jude! We transplanted from the Dallas campus to the Wild West of Fort Worth and have been serving in Watermark's Marriage ministry since 2013. The most important thing about me is that every day I wake up and live a life I could never deserve. God's redeeming power will never lose its majesty in my eyes, but that hasn't always been true. Continue reading to see just how amazing He is.

Central Truth

By no doing of our own, we are redeemed. As God made a way for us to be in relationship with Him despite our iniquities, He also satisfied His great righteousness through Christ's blood. God is both just and the justifier of those have faith in Jesus.

Devotional | Redemption

My spree of sin began on July 8, 1987. Twenty-four years later, my addiction to selfish desires held me captive in an extramarital affair for nearly a year. As my marriage was surrounded by God's people, I...

My spree of sin began on July 8, 1987. Twenty-four years later, my addiction to selfish desires held me captive in an extramarital affair for nearly a year. As my marriage was surrounded by God's people, I was crushed by the weight of my sin. Paul described the law as revealing the extent of our enslavement to sin—a power that was broken by Christ.

I spent many years trying to be "good enough" for the God of the universe (crazy, I know). This eventually sent me angrily in the opposite direction. I thought if I wasn't good enough for God, He wasn't good enough for me. Later, a hopeless drug addiction would bring me back to the foot of the cross in desperation. As He did in restoring Paul's sight, God broke years of addiction in an instant. This was enough for me to begin to try to understand who God is. The old habit of trying to fix myself and be enough continued to draw me away from God's truth.

In 2012, my desire to feel good enough led me into an affair. God's all-powerful grace began to bombard my life through my wife, God's Word, community, re|engage (Watermark's marriage ministry), and a daily pursuit of understanding. Long obedience in the same direction began to reveal REDEMPTION! The guilt and shame I had been carrying my whole life had been ignoring the cross. I believed in the resurrection, but failed to comprehend its power and intention.

Romans 8:3 says, "For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh." Today, like Paul, I am a servant of Jesus, having experienced an unforeseen, sudden, and startling change that resulted from an all-powerful grace. It was not the fruit of my reasoning or thought, but occurred so that my life might be a vessel for others to know God. I don't always feel redeemed, but God's Word is nevertheless true. Our lives have been transformed through no credit of our own. God's rich mercy, despite our sin, has redeemed us. GLORY TO GOD!

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Discussion Questions

1. In what areas are you trying to be "good enough"?

2. What does the gospel mean to you?

3. Is there an area in your life in which you struggle to believe God's redeeming power?

4. Read Romans 8:3. What was God's purpose for Old Testament law?

5. Identify areas of this passage you struggle to understand or believe. Spend time studying and praying that God will reveal His truth.

15 Comments available

Autumn Zevely 12 months ago

WOW! Such a testimony and devotional. I loved that you went from rock bottom in 2012 (affair) to serving in 2013 in marriage ministry. That’s God turning bad for good! So awesome! I sometimes struggle with God being “enough” so I try to supplement. Thankful for my CG that reminds me of His goodness!

stanley rose 12 months ago

Great way top encapsulate the verses Hugh! Thanks for that. Also, great testimony Andrew. Thanks for your devotion to your wife, even after you were fallen you fixed it. That takes strength and also your wife. I’m sure you wake up daily just thankful to be in her presence. I lost before I gained unfortunately but should God provide me another chance at Love, I am committed to making that opportunity the best I ever could. If not, hey, single is just fine…ha! So says JP any way.

Patricia Simmons 12 months ago

The last sentence of your central truth hit me like a bolt of lightening. We serve a just God who also justifies us through his son Jesus Christ. Law maker who sentences us but gives a get out of jail free card through Jesus Christ. Thanks for your authentic story of sin and redemption. I continue to pray for one I hope will someday get this truth and come to the end of himself as you have done. Thanks be to God indeed!

Hope Harris 12 months ago
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Frank Joyce 12 months ago

Good morning Andrew! Thanks so much for your comments, especially about how our Father God rescued you from addiction. I’m curious if you can tell what that was. I’ve been asking God to release me from the bonds of my addiction to prescription pain medication for my back, but so far I haven’t heard anything. I so hope to be healed though have also come to terms that this might be my thorn in this life. Thanks again Brother, I pray that you’d be a blessing to those you meet.

greg jones 12 months ago

It was not the fruit of my reasoning or thought, but occurred so that my life might be a vessel for others to know God.

Well said.

Brenda Kromka 12 months ago
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Happy Birthday lovely lady. Andrew thanks for your testimony today.

Michael Scaman 12 months ago

Romans 3:21-26 was considered by Luther, Calvin, Martin Loyd Jones, Spurgeon and many others to be the center of Romans, some saying center of the New Testament or even the Bible. That makes it good reason to pay close attention.

Man has a serious problem. And actually… God has a serious problem. Why? Throughout history He’s been showing mercy to sinners. How is justifying sinners right? But God will do right and be seen as doing right in the gospel.

Ps 25:8

Christopher Hyland 12 months ago

Good morning Andrew Love your story of grace! I am still amazed that God knowing we could never do it on our own came to us. He created us knowing we would fall and knowing He would have to step in. He is both just (perfect and HOLY) and is the one who justifies us by His infinite sacrifice on the cross. The whole thing boggles my mind if when I stop and think. But I am so grateful he pulled me from depravity and foolishness and redeemed me for His sake!

Mike Frizzell 12 months ago

Thanks for sharing your story, Andrew.

Hope Harris 12 months ago

HaPpY Birthday to Sue Bohlin

Hope Harris 12 months ago

GM Friends, Here are some of my thoughts from the Passage verses 22-26. The key statement for me is “we have been made right.” What a gift to stand in rightness before God. This gift restores me and sets me on a path to be restored to who God has always intended me to be.

Here are some terms that occur as I live out my life of faith.

My Identity is Restored My Thinking and worldview are Realigned My Life is Reoriented

Sue Bohlin 12 months ago

Super testimony, super devo, Andrew! Since today is my birthday, I zeroed in on the opening phrase of today’s passage, “justified by his grace as a gift . . . .” It doesn’t matter what kind of birthday gift anyone else gives me–ever, nothing can compare to the kinds of gifts God gives! To be declared “just as if I’d never sinned” is going to beat any earthly gifts, right?!

But the Lord did give me an earthly birthday gift as well: my Medicare card. Now I can start the process of scheduling a hip replacement!

Lindsey Driscoll 12 months ago

Andrew, thank you for sharing how Christ released you from your sin and guilt through faith in Christ’s death.(3:25) Looking further at the word justified, it is defined as being made righteous in the sight of God. My study bible notes read “God declares them to be not guilty.” Not guilty. Not carrying around guilt and shame in our lives. The thought of the guilt and my past addiction reminds me that I don’t forgive myself, I look deeply at the gospel and see that it is about the blood of Christ that has marked me not guilty, free from carrying guilt from sin around with me.

Hugh Stephenson 12 months ago

Well said Andrew. Praise God for your story of rescue and redemption.

My focus on this passage is the words justified (render innocent or righteous), redemption (ransom, deliverance) and forbearance (tolerance, restraint) .

These words give me an additional and perhaps more compact way to understand. They show me in a different and powerful way how I am not getting what I deserve. For me, this makes the link to grace as a gift from Him even clearer. When we talk about the goodness and kindness of God I now see a more complete and descriptive picture.

Additionally, I note one of my favorite phrases in verse 26; “so that”. The prior verses lead up to the “so that”. Paraphrasing – God is 100% righteous and demands 100% justice. Jesus pays 100% of the cost of 100% of my sins.

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