Justified by Faith—Romans 3:28
"For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law"(Romans 3:28)
I occasionally have the privilege of sitting with small groups of people who are new to our church or have joined a small group. One of the usual icebreaker question is, “Tell us a little bit about your faith journey?” It is a good and quick way to get to know someone’s background. However, something I’ve often noticed is how quickly most people recite a long lineage of things they’ve done while never mentioning their relationship with Jesus.
Jesus what we could not do. When we put our faith in Him, we are justified before Him.
For many of us, the things we do for God take front and center. We have this underlying belief system that these things make us acceptable. However the principle Paul is sharing with people working very hard to live by tradition and rules still rings true today: We are made right with God by our faith and not by our works.
The main point to understand is that God did in Jesus what we could not do. When we put our faith in Him, we are justified before Him. Our action has nothing to do with the Law or the good things we do. In Paul’s opening chapters, he spends so much time proving this very thing and now he is making his case for trusting in Jesus. He’s saying faith is the only key!
Why do we make acceptance of this gift so hard? Why do we complicate this simple yet amazing truth? Why do we try to add to what Jesus did for us? Just like Paul told the Philippian jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Believing is all it takes, and it unlocks our right standing with God.
Today, instead of looking to what you’ve done, start by thanking Jesus for what He’s done. Ask Him to make this a foundational truth in your life.
Original article published June 26, 2009.