By: Holly Rotalsky

I have been mediating on the grace of God and I am truly overwhelmed. I have been studying the book of Romans and through my study I have gained new revelation and understanding into what makes us righteous according to God. I felt to write about my new revelations, these revelations may not be new to some, but new to me. One thing I realized is I have a lot of misconceptions due to what I have been taught by the Church as well formulating my own wrong assumptions along the way. When I would read these passages in Romans I would have to read the same thing over and over because it seemed difficult to wrap my mind around. These passages and truths have always been in the Bible, but because it is rarely taught and because I did not have this revelation, I would overlook these truths.

So, I have decided to go through the scriptures that I have gained new understanding and revelation and write a response to these profound and necessary truths in hopes that we all grasp what it means to be made right in God through His grace.

In Romans 3:19 it says, “Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.”

This is a great truth, we are all guilty of sin, which leads to death apart from God. God’s law serves as a standard for us to know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. How else are we to know if we have done something wrong or if it is evil if there was not the law making the distinction for us?

Then Romans 3:20 says, “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.”

This scripture blows my mind because I have been taught by the Church and I have believed that we must obey the law in order to be made holy or righteous, when in fact this is not true. The fact is the law is what shows us how sinful we are and our need for God’s grace, His mercy and His forgiveness of our sins! This revelation challenges me because so many times I try to do everything right according to God’s law and His principles in order to be accepted or approved by God.

Romans 3:21-22 goes on to say, “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”

So, this scripture answers the question, how can we be made right with God? The answer to finding acceptance in God is not based on us doing everything right or by trying to be perfect, but simply our faith in Jesus Christ is what makes us right with Him and that applies to every person on the planet who believes Jesus is God! I honestly struggled so much when I read this passage because I have spent much of my life trying to get God to accept me based on trying to be perfect and doing everything right, when all that is required of me is to have faith in Jesus and that is what pleases Him (so profound)!

Romans 3:23-24 says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”

I am so grateful that it is not up to my own self-righteousness to receive God’s forgiveness, God’s grace and that we are truly only made righteous through our faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I don’t believe we are then given permission to sin and not fear any consequences, but I believe it frees us from the pressure to feel our forgiveness from God is up to how perfect we are.

Romans 3:25 tells us that “For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.”

It is so amazing that we are made right with God by the simplest thing and that is faith, even though faith seems to be the thing that when confronted with the most challenging things in life, faith becomes such a challenge for us to hold on to and just believe. Faith is a gift from God.

Romans 3:27 goes on to say “Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.”

I continually have to battle to keep myself from trying to earn forgiveness and acceptance and just live my life like a child and have faith and trust God in all things.

Romans 3:29 says, “After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.”

Romans 3:31 “Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.”

This passage points to what I mentioned before, just because we do not have to earn our acceptance with God it does not give us permission to keep sinning and not live our lives based on God’s standards according to the laws/rules He has given us to follow in the Bible. I believe Jesus is the Word of God and by placing our faith in Him we want to follow and obey Him and His ways that are instructed to us in the Bible.

Romans 4:1-2 “Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? 2 If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way.”

Romans 4:3 it goes on to say, “For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

Romans 4:4 “When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.”

This passage reminds us again that, God’s forgiveness/mercy/faith is a gift.

Romans 4:5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

Here is another passage that reiterates the same thing.

Romans 4:6 “David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it.”

There is joy that comes with knowing it is not all up to you to earn God’s forgiveness, all you have to do is receive His sacrificial forgiveness and love for you!

Romans 4:7 “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.

We all should know this joy!!!

Romans 4:8 “Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

To be free from sin, to not fear the consequences of our sin which is hell, that is worth rejoicing over!

Romans 4:9-10 “Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. 10 But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!”

Romans 4:11 “Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.”

God’s forgiveness of us is undeserving, before we have done anything to deserve it God forgave us and sacrificed His Son Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:13 “Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. “

Romans 4:14 “If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it.”

I absolutely love this passage of scripture, it really explains the role faith has as it relates to His promise to us and what trying to follow the law and not God can produce. I am still pondering what that passage really means. What does it mean for the law to bring punishment on those who try to obey it? I find myself not really knowing how to stay in a place of faith and not always try to obey the law.

Romans 4:16 “So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.”

May we all have the faith to believe!!!

Romans 4:17 “That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing…22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. 24 It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”

We are able to know the truth and the truth will set us free based on these words. We can know how to be made righteous with God and how to be approved/accepted and forgiven by God through our faith only in Him.

I pray these passages of scriptures have opened your eyes as they have done for me and that you would release yourself from the pressure to earn your forgiveness of God and just receive the gift of faith and receive His forgiveness/mercy and love!!! I also pray that I and others, would be free from the pressure to be self-righteous and stop trying to obey the law without faith since it will only produce punishment. I feel after reading these passages of scriptures, most of us do not have a clue what real/true faith really is. I find myself challenged by these scriptures to live my life from a place of faith and knowing with certainty that I am made right with God only through my faith in Him and nothing else. I pray that we all would understand/know/believe/gain more revelation into the simple truth of faith and not self-righteousness or earning things from God through our works. My prayer is that you would grow in faith as well and that God would open your eyes to see that your righteous in Christ is based only on your faith in Him.