“As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’
‘Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.’ ‘The venom of asps is under their lips.’
‘Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.’
‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.’
‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
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. For there is no distinction:
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. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins.
It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”
– Romans 3:10-28
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one-to His own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, and there was no deceit in His mouth.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the righteous one, My servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the many, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”
– Isaiah 53:4-12
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-
but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.
More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
– Romans 5:6-11
What righteousness! What justice! What love! Not one attribute of God eclipsing another in His complete and total perfection.
We are all completely depraved sinners. His righteousness abhors sin. His justice demands the punishment of sin. His justice demands that His wrath be poured out on sin. The only way we can be saved from that wrath is for someone who has fully kept every commandment of God to take that punishment in our place.
Jesus Christ did that. He, God, became a man, God in a body, loved God with His whole being, followed God’s perfect will completely, kept the law perfectly, withstood temptation far beyond what we can comprehend, and then He went to the cross and God poured out His wrath on Him and crushed Him. And then…God demonstrated His acceptance of that sacrifice by raising Christ from the dead, seating Him at the right hand of God, and exalting Him above all!
And as a result of that great sacrifice, those who cry out to Him in repentance, trusting in nothing but the work of Christ to save them, can live. In His great mercy He awakens them from their sin and places in them a heart of flesh…that they may believe and be saved from God’s wrath, and may have eternal life with their Savior and King, Christ, who will one day judge the entire world in righteousness and justice and power.
“God paid the demands of His own justice against us by dying in our place.” – Paul Washer
“Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.”
– “Rock of Ages”, Augustus Montague