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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Evans

God Demonstrates His Righteousness by the Cross

Main scripture reading: Romans 3:22-27

As I sit reflecting on this passage in the book of Romans, several realities about Christ’s gruesome and glorious crucifixion leaves me speechless. When the apostle Paul opened up his letter to the Romans, he stressed that the gospel “reveals the righteousness of God” (1:17). Righteousness in the Greek (dikaiosyne) means holiness--pure and the absence of sin.

It is written that God publicly displayed Christ on the cross to demonstrate His righteousness (3:25). Demonstrate in the Greek (endeixis) means “proof and manifestation made by action.”

Christ’s death on the cross proves two things based on this passage:

  1. How heinous sin is

  2. God’s holiness

On His righteousness: to prove, reveal, and show the seriousness of God’s holiness, He sent Jesus to undergo the most gruesome suffering to atone for our sins (3:22-25a). Jesus’ blood cleanses us from our wretched mistakes and makes us able to stand before the Holy One justified. This is a big deal. The cross shows the completion of God’s message of holiness throughout the Old Testament. He was preparing His people by giving them shadows of His upcoming and ultimate demonstration through sacrificial animal offerings and ceremonial washings. This was in preparation for the true Lamb who “takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The sovereign Lord cannot be in the presence of sin, it’s the reason why He commands, “be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Holy living is absolutely necessary for the Christian (1 Thessalonians 4:7). We cannot claim to be His children if we still make sinful practices our lifestyle.

On the heinousness of sin: to show how deplorable sin is, God Himself had to come down in the person of Jesus and deliver Himself over to undergo the most violent, brutal death. Sin is so reprehensible that it makes us incapable of saving ourselves or doing anything to atone for it. Just as the guilty person standing in the courtroom must rely on the judge’s mercy for acquittal, we must enter the courtroom of grace to stand before the Righteous Judge for pardon. This passage in Romans tells us He does so freely through Christ. That’s why boasting about our salvation in arrogance or thinking we’re better than others is excluded (3:27). We did nothing to deserve such mercy. Had we worked for our righteousness, God would have owed us because it’d be due to us (4:4,5). We are not saved by our own works, we are saved by God's work—and that work was completed on the cross (John 19:30).

As a result, our response to the gospel is one of obedient faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26). Our faith in the saving grace of God is merely us receiving the salvation that has been presented to us as a gift (3:25). In Romans chapters 6 and 10, Paul reminded the church what their obedient faith first looked like: calling on the name of the Lord by water immersion. Baptism is not the work of man, it is the work of God (Colossians 2:11,12). Christ’s death and resurrection made this divine operation effective. It’s the sacred cleansing of His blood to make the sinner holy and be made righteous before the Holy God.

God’s demonstration of His righteousness by the cross is His final punctuation mark for humanity. May we respond to the loving call with obedience.

If you’re wanting to give your life to Christ and be united to His body (His church) through baptism, click the link below to find the Lord’s church near you or contact us:

Hymn of the day: Lamb of God by Praise and Harmony (acapella worship)

Your only Son no sin to hide

But You have sent Him from Your side

To walk upon this guilty sod

And to become the Lamb of God

Your gift of love they crucified

They laughed and scorned Him as he died

The humble King they named a fraud

And sacrificed the Lamb of God

Oh Lamb of God, Sweet lamb of God

I love the Holy Lamb of God

Oh wash me in His precious Blood

My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God

I was so lost I should have died

But You have brought me to Your side

To be led by Your staff and rod

And to be called a lamb of God

Oh Lamb of God, Sweet lamb of God

I love the Holy Lamb of God

Oh wash me in His precious Blood

My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God

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