Monday, March 01, 2010


If a jeweler wants to bring out the brilliance of a diamond, he places it under a light on a background of black velvet. The contrast underscores the sparkle of the precious gem. In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul has spread the black cloth of sin—we see the entire world guilty before God. It has been nothing but bad news. Now, he is ready to display the beauty of God’s grace. We finally get to the good news, when he makes this transition with two words: “But now…” (Romans 3:21).

Here’s a diagram from a Chuck Swindoll study guide to show the contrast between what we are in sin and what we become in Christ:

Then we were…
under God’s wrath
spiritually dead and depraved
guilty in ourselves
condemned by the law
in need of salvation by faith

Now we are…
under God’s grace
spiritually alive
declared righteous in Christ
forgiven by His blood
with salvation by faith

In Romans 3:21-31, Paul answers the most crucial question in all of life: how can sinners be accepted by a holy God? That we are sinners is beyond dispute. That God is holy is beyond debate. The chasm we must cross is humanly impossible—to get from where we are to where God is. This requires a Divine solution. To answer that, the Apostle will take us 3 places: the slave market, the temple altar and the court room. This week, we will travel there and learn the answer to our dilemma.

No comments: