But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God wants to have fellowship with us. He wants us to live with him and experience his love and blessings. Finally, he wants to bring us to his heavenly glory. He has one requirement—we must be righteous. We must have the “rightness” that makes us acceptable to God. Setting the standard, God declares, “Be perfect.” We are to be and do everything according to what meets his approval. And what meets the approval of the holy God is nothing less than perfection.
Try as we may to reach that level of rightness by striving to do what God commands and avoiding what he forbids in his law—we are faced with the fact that it is impossible. The truth is that all of us “fall short” of the perfection that God requires. On our own, we are helpless and headed for an eternal separation from God and all of his blessings.
Oh, how we need saving! God knew that, and in mercy, he acted. He came into our world and freed us from the tangled mess of our sin by suffering for us the punishment we deserved. And he gave us his own perfection so that God now counts us as perfectly right. We meet God’s approval because Jesus has covered us with his righteousness. What we could never produce on our own, God has freely given to us.
Jesus did exactly what we needed him to do: he saved us. Trusting in Jesus, we have life with God and will enjoy fellowship with him forever!
Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 376)
Jesus, your blood and righteousness my beauty are, my glorious dress;
Mid flaming worlds, in these arrayed, with joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in that great day—who can a word against me say?
Fully through you absolved I am from sin and fear, from guilt and shame. Amen.