21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
Law is the righteousness of God. Law is the way of life and it cannot be broken. Anyone who breaks the law is a sinner and bears the guilt.
Paul in Romans 3 verse 21 says that a new righteousness of God has been made known, a righteousness apart from the law. This can be challenging to understand, especially for the Jews. Law is righteousness. Law is ultimate and there is nothing above it. But Paul declares that there is a new righteousness apart from the law.
The one who breaks the law should be punished. How then can there be a new righteousness apart from the law? This must have been the question of the Jews. How can the law that was given by God can become invalid?
Paul is very careful as he presents the doctrine of Salvation. He says that the law and the prophets testify to this new righteousness. Though the righteousness has been revealed newly, it is not something coming out of the blue. Rather God has spoken about this new righteousness to the Jews and the people of Israel in the Old Testament through the law and the prophets.
How can one receive this righteousness? Paul doesnt say that one has to do something or keep some laws to earn this righteousness. Rather he says this righteousness is given. It is not earned but it is given freely to those who believe in Jesus Christ.
To a Jew this is very strange. Because to them righteousness can be earned only by keeping the law every day. But Paul is teaching something different. That righteousness is given freely by believing in Jesus Christ and this is given both to the Jews and to the gentiles.
When I meditate on these verses, I am able to see the peak of God’s love. Man is too weak to follow all the laws and rules. Though man knows what is right and what is wrong, he is overcome by sin and he is lead to commit sin. Sin silences the will to obey God’s law. Knowing the limitation of man, God sends his son to redeem mankind. The grace to overcome sin was provided on the cross.
When one believes in this cross of Jesus Christ who was sinless, this new righteousness apart from the law enters into their heart and life is never the same as before.