7. God’s Remedy

Romans 3:24

And [you] are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus

When a person is first presented with the pure core of Christianity, the reaction is usually revulsion. This is because we want to save ourselves, and not be simply saved by someone else. We assume that somehow that given the time and interest, we can attain a certain measure that meets God’s demand. The previous section has already discouraged such thinking, and here now, the only solution is given. Romans 3:21-26, the Scripture explain how salvation—the stance of being right and in favour with God is only provided in Christ. Christ is the righteousness that is needed for one to be righteous before God. This righteousness is a gift received by faith alone. Here are three implications from the passage due to this free gift.

  1. If salvation is by the gift of God, apart from human doing, then we can be saved now. We do not have to wait until we reach some high level of attainmentor pass some undetermined future test. Many people think in these terms,because they know that their lives and actions are far from what they should benow and they keep striving. But this means that salvation can never be a presentexperience but is something always in the future. It is something such personshope to attain, though they are afraid they may not. However, this future element moves into the present, because of what God has already done for us in Christ.
  2. If salvation is by the gift of God, apart from human doing, then salvation is certain. If salvation is by human works, then human works (or a lack of them)can undo it. If I can save myself, I can unsave myself. I can ruin everything. Butif salvation is of God from beginning to end, it is sure and unwavering simplybecause God is himself sure and unwavering. What he has begun he willcontinue, and we can be confident of that.
  3. If salvation is by the gift of God, apart from human doing, then human boasting is excluded, and all the glory in salvation goes to God. I doubt any ofus would want to be in a heaven populated by persons who got there, even inpart, by their own efforts. The boasting of human beings is bad enough in thisworld, where all they have to boast about are their good looks, their money, theirfriends, or whatever. Imagine how offensive it would be if they were able to bragabout having earned heaven through works, even the work of faith. But it is not going to be like that! Salvation is a gift. It is receiving God’s righteousness—apart from law, apart from human doing. It is, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “not by works, so that no one can boast” (2:9). No one in heaven will be praising man. In heaven and now here, the glory will go to God only. Soli Deo Gloria!

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