By His grace alone
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. Romans 3:22-25 NLT
Paul in Romans 1:17, provides us the terms of righteousness and faith which are involved in God’s Good News or the Gospel. “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”” From our text, Paul continues to emphasize the greatness of the Gospel. “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:22). This is in contrast to what we usually understand of what righteousness is; a quality we attain by will and discipline. It is by keeping rules, or at least standards to aim for, in order to be righteous. To Paul’s Roman readers the very definition of righteousness was found in the Torah—the law of the Old Testament. Jesus is the one who actually accomplished the new righteousness of God apart from law, and Paul clearly states that we are to receive righteousness by faith instead of attaining it by works of law. “Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Romans 3:24). We are made right before God not by our own effort but by His grace. It is by the kindness, mercy and unmerited favor of God. God accomplished this righteousness when “Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood” (Romans 3:25). The full implications of such divine actions by God are beyond human understanding. But we can appreciate how far our gracious God was willing to go to make possible the redemption of His rebellious creatures. The only part we play in the process is what Paul refers to here as faith. It is not mere intellectual assent; it is trust and surrender. This should lead to humility for righteousness was attained by having faith alone in Christ. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9).