August 7

Romans 3:22-24 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

There is only one way to be made right with God. It is not in being perfect or doing good. His standard is His own perfection. His glorious attributes of goodness, patience, love, peace, and holiness are the standard. Anything short of that is not righteous. The Law of God taught man that he could not measure up to His standard by obeying, for no one can perfectly obey it.

But there is a righteousness that comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ. He lived a life that was up to that standard. If you hide yourself in Him, He will be your righteousness. He paid the sin debt you owed, and in place of it credits you with His righteousness. There has never been a more unbalanced exchange. There will never be a more redeeming exchange.

Why would He do such a thing? Included in that glory that we "fall short of" is a most lovely characteristic, grace. He chose to set His love on us. He sees what He can make of us and gives us what we could never deserve from our own efforts. We could never attain to the glory of God, so He made a way for us. What does He see that would cause Him to pay such a price as the cross? He sees His love transforming you into the likeness of His Son. He sees the day when you are living in the glory of God. This is true of everyone who comes to God, Jew or Gentile, before or after Jesus' death. It was true of Abraham when he believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. It was true of the prostitute who washed Jesus' feet with her hair, and it is true of you and me today.

Meditation: There has never been a more beautiful word to the human ear than "grace."