In his commentary on Romans, James Boice calls Romans 3:21-31 not only the heart of Romans, but also the heart of Scripture. One purpose of the Old Testament is to point us to the New Testament, specifically to the atoning work of Jesus Christ. There is perhaps no better summary of what Christ did to restore our broken relationship with God than what is found in these eleven verses. There are important theological truths taught in these verses; truths we should seek to understand.
But there is another truth we must also understand, the truth of the reality of sin and the wrath it deserves. The early chapters of Romans make this clear (Romans 1:18-3:20). Admittedly, these early chapters are tough to read, but if we are to truly know the extent of God’s love for us, we have to understand who we are and what we deserve apart from Him. But as true as it is about what Scripture says regarding sin, it’s equally true about what Scripture says God did about it. “But now…” (Romans 3:21). God has made a way for you and me, showing His love for us by giving us His Son, “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That is the story of the Bible, the story of how God made a way for those who couldn’t find their way. That way is only through Christ.
There is nothing more valuable than time spent in God’s Word each day. However, sometimes in our daily time with Him, instead of trying to read chapter after chapter, perhaps we should just read, re-read and reflect on passages like Romans 3:21-31, passages that speak so clearly of what Christ has done. We don’t have to work for what God has already done for us in Christ because there is no human way to achieve salvation. We simply need to rest in the truth that Jesus did it all.
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe”