Romans 3:19-28 (NRSV)
Verse 19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. Verse 20For "no human being will be justified in his sight" by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. Verse 21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, Verse 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Verse 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; Verse 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Verse 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; Verse 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. Verse 27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. Verse 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.
In today's reading St. Paul directs us to behold God's amazing work:
"We know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For 'no human being will be justified in his sight' by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin."
The righteousness of God is this: that God loves and justifies sinners! The good law of God was given to show God's holiness: God has loved and will always love the children of Israel — no matter what. And now God proves this steadfast loving kindness in Jesus, the seat of mercy. The Refuge to which we are drawn is God's holiness for the sake of the whole world. We continue to dwell in the holiness of God at the seat of mercy by God's grace as a gift!
Thank you for proving your love, O God, by your grace in Jesus and through all time. Thank you for loving us. Amen.