“Lose all their guilty stains”
Does a man who went the farthest in a race win a competition if he does not actually finish the race? We might vary in our goodness but we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Paul reminds us that this righteousness we all need from God cannot be earned, but it is also available to everyone who believes. All of us in ourselves are unrighteousness; we are raggedy spiritually. So how does God count the raggedy as righteous without himself being unrighteous? First there is redemption, the rescue of a hostage through a payment of a price. Jesus Christ paid the price we are to pay for our sin. Our sin is not swept under a carpet but paid for on the cross. Then, there is propitiation, Jesus voluntarily being the wrath-absorbing sacrifice. Not only did he suffer physically, but God’s wrath was poured out upon him. In pagan sacrifices the offender brings the sacrifice to appease the defended god. In Jesus, the offended God himself provides the sacrifice so he can absorb his own wrath. Why did he do this? Because he loves us. Jesus is the mercy seat of God where sinful people can meet a holy God. Lastly, there is justification. God justifies the sinner, declaring a raggedy person righteous. He does so by Jesus taking our jacket of sin, and we get to wear his perfect life and his righteousness. If this is all true, how do we get this? By saving faith in Christ. What is saving faith? It’s not some general idea that God is for me, but it is the explicit coming to Jesus and believing that he is who he said he is and did what he said he did on the cross. Will you receive this Jesus Christ? You can listen to this message on Romans 3:21-26 by Pastor Mike HERE!