“Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).It is wonderful to know that we sinners are not justified by praying, or paying, or saying, or sighing, or crying, or doing anything. We are justified freely, by the grace of God. But this passage from Romans will mean more to us when we learn how the word rendered “freely” here is translated elsewhere in the Bible. The same expression is found in John 15:25, where our Lord, quoting from the Psalms, said: “They hated me without a cause.”
Why did men hate Him? He went about doing nothing but good: healing the sick, giving the blind their sight, causing the lame to leap for joy, preaching good news to the poor and deliverance to those who were bound. There was no good reason for crying, “Away with Him!” and “Crucify Him!” They hated Him “without a cause.”
But in the same way we might ask: “Why should He die for sinners? Why should He pay for their sins? He had done nothing wrong.” Ah, it was in love that He deliberately gave Himself into the hands of sinful men, that He, the sinless One, might pay for their sins. He did not die His own death, for death is “the wages of sin.” He died our death, paying for our sins. So, as men hated Him “without a cause” (except their own sinful condition), so Christ has “Justified” believers “without a cause” (except His own divine love).
And so it is that we can now proclaim the glorious news that God has sent us to tell all mankind, that His righteousness is conferred “upon all those who believe,” and that believers are “justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Pastor C R Stam