TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Romans 3:21-26

The 2006 movie Amazing Grace chronicles much of the extraordinary life of William Wilberforce, the abolitionist responsible for the end of British involvement in transatlantic slave trading. Wilberforce’s childhood preacher was John Newton, a former slave ship captain prior to his conversion, who was haunted greatly by “20,000 ghosts” from those terrible days.

There is an emotional scene where Wilberforce visits his old friend and discovers he has recorded his account of those terrible slave ship days. His eyesight gone, Newton hands Wilberforce the record and insists, “You must use it! Names, records, ship records, ports, and people. Everything I remember is in here. Although my memory is fading, I remember two things very clearly: I’m a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior!”

Like John Newton, I am a great sinner. However, through faith, repentance, and baptism, sin is atoned for (Hebrews 9:24-26), and the wrath of God is propitiated (or appeased, 1 John 2:2), so that He is no longer angry over my sin. But something is missing from the equation. If all Jesus’ blood did was forgive my sin and appease God’s anger, I would still stand before a holy God as a great sinner.

The good news is I have received justification! “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24). I am as guilty as can be of sin; all the evidence is against me. But because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, I am not guilty and free from the condemnation, innocent and upright (Romans 8:1).

That’s justification. I have been given a right standing before God. Christ is a great Savior!

Today, I will…give thanks that the blood of Jesus that forgives also gives me a right standing before an Almighty God.