Salvation by Faith Alone & Grace of God | Devotion #3: Romans 3:20-24
Joshua Combs | Lead Pastor
“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight…” Romans 3:20
One of the important truths of the Scripture that we must understand is there has only ever been and only ever will be one means of salvation. For some this may be a radical thought that differs substantially from what you have been taught. Nonetheless, it is true. Throughout the whole of human history, one method of salvation has been given.
Some have, in error, taught that obedience to the Law of Moses was how the saints of the Old Testament were saved and reached the glory of Heaven. Romans 3:20, clearly teaches, “…by works of the law no human being will be justified….” Clearly, Abraham, Moses, David, and every other ancient saint was not justified, redeemed, or saved because of their adherence to the Mosaic Law. This principle continues today; no person regardless of the depth of their personal devotion can restore a right relationship with the God of the universe simply by following the letter of the law. Just a few verses later, Paul writes, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are unable to obey the law (James 2:10). So, if the law does not provide a means of salvation, what is the law’s purpose? God has given us the law because “…through the law comes knowledge of sin” (3:20). God’s Law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai with the sole purpose of revealing how far from God’s holiness and perfection we truly are.
That understanding leads us to the great and rather depressing reality that we cannot save or rescue ourselves from God’s wrath that is on us. The principle question of this portion of Romans chapter 3 is, “How can we be made right before God?” The Scripture says, “…the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”
God in His marvelous grace, sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin on the cross of Calvary. He was buried but rose again on the third day. It is through Christ’s atoning work on the cross that the gift of salvation is offered to mankind. We receive that gift, “…through faith….” We believe in what Jesus did as the only means to rescue us from the deserved punishment from God that we were facing.
Back to the original point, God’s Word gives only one way of restoring a right standing before a Holy God, “…by grace you have been saved through faith.” Abraham, Moses, David, and the saints prior to the cross looked forward in faith (see Hebrews chapter 11) to the cross, while we look back in faith to the work of Christ on the cross. Salvation has always ever been and always ever will be by grace through faith.