Reading: Romans Chapter 3
By Pastor Alex
We certainly understand the importance of using the correct currency in a transaction. We may have a great sum of money in U.S. dollars, but if we bring those bills to another country that does not operate in that currency, people there will simply not accept it. If the person we are buying from is kind, they will refer us to a location where we can exchange our U.S dollars for the correct currency. But until then, though we could have bought a mansion in the U.S., we cannot even purchase a single candy bar in Germany.
The kingdom of God is no different; it has its own currency. Paul is laying a foundation in Romans chapter 3 of what currency heaven uses. He begins by exposing a wrong type of currency which had been tried by so many for so long. “For by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin” (v. 20). The vast majority had tried to get somewhere with God on the basis of the law. This is us working up to God’s standard. The Holy Spirit is faithful to tell us the truth, and He is so clear with us through Paul that the greatest human efforts of righteousness apart from Jesus amount to nothing: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” (v. 11). Paul shares a different purpose for the law given to Israel. God’s divine purpose was to bring them to a place of realizing their own sin… and it is the same for us. We realize we need a Savior. We need a different currency, because no matter how much we have, we get nowhere with this one!
Then we hear the sweet sound of heaven’s currency! Not our human righteousness, but “the righteousness of God” which is available “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (v. 22). Heaven’s only valid currency is fully putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ – in all that He is and all that He has done. Now here is the amazing thing about this currency: it is freely available to everyone! “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” (vv. 23-24). You don’t need to get a Green Card and go work in God’s kingdom first; you don’t need to have any qualifications at all. In fact, when you are bankrupt in your own righteousness and have a lot of debt, that’s a great time for you to step into the currency of God! When we see our sin, we begin to step out of putting faith in ourselves. That’s when we can step into a radical faith in the perfect Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus said the one who is forgiven much loves much; so debts are no obstacle for God when we are ready to transfer to kingdom currency.
Where are you today, brothers, sisters, friends? Are you operating in your life in the realm of heaven’s currency? Are you still trying to get somewhere with God, or are you living out of the free gift? Sometimes we mentally agree with God’s Word, but we can begin operating in a works based bondage again. Be free from that! Have faith in God! Trust Him to provide you all your need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). It is when we live by faith that we can begin to “uphold the law,” because the the Holy Spirit writes that law on our hearts (v. 31).