The Essence of the Gospel (Romans 3:23–25) - Radical

The Essence of the Gospel (Romans 3:23–25)

Romans 3:23-25, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood to be received by faith.” These are three of the greatest verses in all of the Bible. I’m not saying there’s Bible verses that aren’t great, but these are glorious. Like, when you read these verses and realize what they mean, that we have all, you and I, have all sinned against God. We’ve rebelled against God. We deserve eternal separation from God. Yet, we can be justified before God. Declared innocent before God. Forgiven of all our sins. How’s that possible? By his grace as a gift. So, this is a gift God gives us by his grace. He makes it possible for us to be forgiven of all of our sins. How’s that possible? Through the redemption that’s in Christ Jesus.

Though you have sinned against a holy God, you can be justified by the grace of God—it’s a gift made possible

through Christ.

Well, what did Christ Jesus do? God put him forward as a propitiation by his blood. That word propitiation basically means one who would bear the judgment we deserve, the wrath we deserve in our sin. Jesus has been put forward by God the Father. God the Son has endured the judgment we deserve in our place in such a way that we don’t have to do anything to earn our salvation. Forgiveness before God, redemption before God, cannot be earned. It is given, received, by faith. We trust in what Jesus has done on the cross for us. We believe that Jesus has paid the price for our sins, and we surrender our lives in total dependence on him to be saved from our sins. For him to lead our lives as our Lord. This is the essence of the Gospel in three short verses, and I just want to encourage you with it today, that though you have sinned against God, rebelled against a holy God, you can be … And if you are a Christian, you’ve placed your faith in Christ, you are justified by the grace of God.
This is a gift. It’s a gift greater than any other gift humanly possible, and it’s made possible through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. He has taken the penalty and wrath that your sins and my sins deserve on himself, and by faith we have been made righteous before God. Thank you, oh, God, for this Gospel. God, I pray that even as we talk about that right now, God, that you might draw somebody to faith in Jesus as they’re listening to this Gospel. That you would open their eyes. That it would hit their hearts, like, “I can’t do anything to earn favor of God, but God has made a way for me. God has poured out the judgment, threw my sin upon his Son, and his gift is there to be received by faith right now.” I pray that somebody might be saved from their sins just listening to this right now. They might put their faith in you. Receive your grace. Then, God, when they do, and for all who have, help us to live out of the overflow of this gift of grace.
Lord Jesus, we praise you for taking the wrath we deserve upon yourself. Oh, God, thank you for your love for us, that you would pour out the judgment we deserve upon your Son instead of us. That, Jesus, you would willingly die as a substitute for us, as a propitiation. You would shed your blood for our sins. Oh, we praise you for this gift of grace. We praise you for its reception by faith in our hearts and we pray today that you would help us to live out of the overflow of this love with faith in you today with endless gratitude for the Gospel. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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