TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Romans 3:23-24
Are you old enough to recall the old TV show “The Millionaire”? It ran for five seasons (1955-1960). The premise of the show was an anonymous millionaire would give a one million dollar gift to some unsuspecting soul each week. As you can imagine, those who received the gifts had great difficulty believing it was free; surely there is something they must do. It was a gift to those individuals.
Do you ever doubt God’s offer of grace, no strings attached? Do you ever still live in fear of God’s anger and the Day of Judgment? You feel like you should attempt to do more to earn His favor. God’s grace can’t be that easy, can it?
The Greek word charis is translated “gift.” Justification is not given because of any merit on our part. On our own we are helpless to save ourselves, but God’s grace has been freely given as a gift through Jesus Christ. Paul clarifies this further in Romans 5:9, “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood….” Whose blood? The blood of Jesus shed on the cross at Calvary. “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.” Our debt is paid, we are delivered from God’s anger, and we are given a right standing before God.
No amount of good living or church attendance can give you justification. The old church hymn affirms, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” It’s not from sitting in a pew, standing for a song, bowing for a prayer, contributing a check, teaching a class, or serving the poor. Justification is God’s gift.
The good news is the fear of God’s judgment becomes a thing of the past. The punishment our sins deserve is paid in full by Jesus Christ. No, it’s not fair that Christ should die for our sins and we should get off scot-free. We absolutely deserve punishment, but praise God, we have been given grace.
Today, I will…read the words to each verse of “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,” reflecting on the gracious way God justifies His children.