Prayer: O God, strengthen our wills to follow the path you set for us through your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift,
Our devotion writer writes; “Most of us expect to receive gifts at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, or graduations.” Sometimes we can hide them or return them for something we really want. But what do we do with gifts that are totally unexpected? “That’s why the concept of God’s grace as a gift can be a bit problematic or unsettling for us.”
To us humans the gift of grace is hard to accept. What did we do to get it? NOTHING! What do we do to keep it? NOTHING! Furthermore, it is not a gift we can easily hide in the closet. It is not a gift that we earned. As our devotion writer explains God’s grace is like a baby; “such a gift needs our attention, even when that means messy diaper and 2:00 AM feedings.” We are changed by it, and it is a lifetime of change. We don’t stop changing.
Christ has run the race for us and we have won because He has won. Now we have to learn how to accept this grace that we did not earn.
Prayer: “Thank you, Jesus, for being a gift to us. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
Righteousness through Faith
21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.