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May 10 – “But now…”

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” – Romans 3:21-22 

Scripture reading: Romans 3:10-31

All the words in the Bible are crucial. But two of the most important words in the Bible are in Romans 3:21. Those two words? “But now.” In the passage leading up to those words, our depravity is examined and exposed in the piercing light of God’s law. We are forcefully reminded that we are guilty of breaking God’s law innumerable times and are, along with the whole world, accountable to Him.

It is after the dark portrayal of our guilt and sin that those two words jump off the Biblical page, “But now.” We might expect that now we will come under judgment for our sin, now the proper wrath of God against sin will be pronounced against us. But instead, verse 21 points us to the righteousness of God given through saving faith in Christ alone.

The passage goes on to speak about justification, about grace as a gift from God, about redemption through the shed blood of Christ Who covers – propitiates – our sin with His blood. We begin to realize that Christ bore the curse of our sin. In its place, He has imputed – credited – His record of righteous obedience. Although we are guilty sinners, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (23), those who have true saving faith in Christ are forgiven of their sins and granted eternal life.

If you recognize your guilt and know God’s grace through saving faith in Christ alone, then live a life of deep and sincere gratitude – always!

Suggestions for prayer

Sincerely thank God that “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10). Thank Him that instead “for our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Pastor Ted Gray is a retired minister in the United Reformed Church of North America. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.


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