He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.Romans 4:25(NASB)
Having been brought to a realisation of our sinfulness and unworthiness in the eyes of a holy God in the early chapters of Romans, we discover ourselves face to face with our own gross sinfulness and desperate need for salvation.
We are encouraged as we hear that Abraham was imputed with righteousness because He believed in God and trusted His Word. He believed that God raised the dead, and that God was true to His promises. Jesus tells us: "Abraham rejoiced to see My day; he saw it and was glad," and yet Abraham was only given a fraction of the truth that God has graciously given to us, through His completed canon of Scripture.
Abraham looked forward to the day when God's promised Saviour would come, while we look back to Christ's sacrificial death on the Cross and His glorious Resurrection - but unlike us, Abraham did not know the many details that God has been gracious enough to share with the Church, through his holy apostles and prophets.
Abraham looked forward prophetically, but we rejoice to keep in remembrance that historic occasion when Christ died for our sins, was buried, and raised from the dead. Yes, He was delivered over to death because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. What a joy to finally discover that righteousness is imparted to all who believe in God Who raised Christ from the dead so that we might be saved by faith in Him.
After such a catalogue of wrath and condemnation in the early chapters of Romans, what a comfort it is to read that by faith we are justified. Christ died in our place to pay the price for our sins so that we could be made righteous, imputed with His righteousness, and become the righteousness of God in Him. He was raised from the dead into newness of life so that we could also receive His eternal, resurrected life, as a gift of God's grace. Yes, it is through faith in His sacrificial crucifixion and glorious Resurrection from the dead that we have been justified - it is by God's grace through faith that we are been justified, just as Abraham was justified by grace through faith in Him.
But justification is only the first step in the unending love-story of salvation. Once justified we must recognise that the old life in Adam is past and must remain nailed to the Cross, while the new, born-again life in Christ is to mature in the faith, to grow in grace, and to walk in spirit and truth. And starting in chapter 6, Paul guides the justified believer, step by step, through the many benefits that have already become ours in Christ by faith, and which are accessed by grace through faith in the glorious gospel of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You that despite my sinfulness and rebellious nature, Christ was delivered over to death on the Cross because of my transgressions, and was raised the third day for my justification. Thank You, in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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