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 presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Reflection. This short passage is full of amazing theology. Let me try to break it down into some simple ideas. Here goes: we are all in the same boat and cannot save ourselves; God is righteous; our fault and failure is put right by the free gift of grace; Jesus' sacrificial death atones for us.
How many of us realised that as we read those six verses we were reading the heart of the gospel. We were in deep trouble. We could do nothing about it. God sends Jesus. Jesus dies sacrificially. Salvation!
Thanksgiving. Thanks be to God for saving me. Amen.