Jan 3, 2016 1125
Now a righteousness apart from the law has been made known. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:21-22).
Paul grew up, as all good Jews, believing that if you wanted God’s favour you had to obey his law in every detail. A Pharisee’s dedication to God’s law was shown by the small boxes (phylacteries) containing copies of the law, which he wore on one wrist, on his head, and fastened to his door.
In a Jew’s mind the law was supreme, and obedience to the law was necessary for anyone who wanted to be redeemed.
But the apostle Paul declared that no matter how strictly one observed the law, he was still a sinner (Rom. 3:22). Outwardly he may appear righteous, but his motives were still corrupt. He may feel righteous, but God, who sees the heart beholds that which is far from perfect (Matt. 23:5-7).
This declaration by the apostle Paul tipped the beliefs of many on their heads.
Unfortunately, many Christians also believe that their entrance into God’s coming kingdom also depends on the way they have lived. But they conclude too late that all their good works have fallen short of the perfection God requires. As a result they go to their graves with no assurance that they will be saved. And that is an unnecessary tragedy because God’s word teaches us that if we put our faith in Jesus instead of in ourselves, the assurance that we will be saved is ours.