But Now... [Romans 3]

19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:21 marks a radical turning point in Paul's letter to the Romans. Starting in chapter one and up to this point, Paul leveled the playing field for all of mankind, whether Jew or Gentile. He showed that all of us are sinners and are hopeless before God according to the Law of God. And then, in 3:21 you see the words But now.... Those two little words introduce hope for all of us who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Paul explained that God provided His righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. God, who had every right to destroy us in our sin, chose instead to justify us as a gift of His grace. In the next chapters of Romans, Paul continued writing about the hope we have in Jesus who is God's solution to our sin problem.

We praise You God that You are not only a just God, but You are the God who justifies us who had no hope. Cause us to better appreciate the gospel message that gave us a radical new life in the two little words, but now....

Beth Warlick, 7/14/2009