If I was to ask you what are the most important or significant verses in the Bible to you, how would you respond? I know it’s a bit of a silly question as all of Scripture is important and relevant for us. However what verses really stand out for you and why?
For me without a doubt it’s Romans 3:21-26:
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 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, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
These verses are jam packed with spiritual meat for the soul! They have impacted my life so much. Here are some brief points as to why these verses have stood out and touched my life to such a large degree.
1) To my knowledge they are the most comprehensive set of verses explaining the Gospel in the entire Bible. They highlight God’s righteousness, our sinful depravity, and that salvation is a gift from God that can only be attained by faith in Christ. All the Bible points to the Gospel, the saving work and Good news of Christ. There is nothing more important to teach and ensure we draw on every day of our lives.
2) God frees us from the condemnation of the law and grants us eternal peace under His grace. Righteousness is not attained by simply following the law, but by faith in Christ who fulfilled the law perfectly. What a gift! We don’t have to stress when we stuff up in our pursuit of striving to honour God because under Christ there is no condemnation.
3) They highlight how God saved us which is crucial to understanding and appreciating His nature, not to mention how much it cost Him. God is holy and righteous. He cannot allow sin into His presence and cannot just forgive our sins without the penalty for our sins being atoned for. Therefore He sacrificed His Son, Jesus, to have His judgment and wrath propitiated, or placed onto Him, instead of us. It’s through the shedding of the innocent blood of Christ that God’s judgment for our sin is satisfied and the penalty paid in full for all those who trust in Christ with their lives.
4) These verses blow away any pride we dare have within us and therefore keeps us humble before God. Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, therefore we all deserve to be judged accordingly. No one can boast in receiving the free gift of salvation that God has for us through Christ. If we could earn it, it would not be a gift and we would not be saved by grace.
5) We are justified. We are right with God now. That grants us great assurance in receiving the gift of salvation. Given that our new spiritual birth and salvation is a work done by God alone, ie we can’t earn our salvation in any way, we know we are secure in our salvation as God’s work cannot be undone. He has declared us righteous and there is no act that will change that. Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient to pay the price for all our sins. Of course we can’t abuse that and just do what we want after accepting Christ, as our perseverance in obeying and following Him will prove that we are truly born again with our salvation being secure. We dare not abuse the grace of God who we risk being judged accordingly.
6) God’s sovereignty is declared. God is in control. Those He calls He justifies and those He justifies He glorifies (Rom 8:28-29… probably up there with these verses as one of my favourite). God’s plans are not frustrated by us. What an incredible realisation it is that the sovereign creator and sustainer of the universe is working within and for Christians in accordance with His good plans. Even before Jesus was born, God in his divine forbearance saved those who trusted in Him to be saved through the atoning work of Christ as it was His plan from the beginning!
There are some of the reasons why I love these verses. There is so much more but this blog is already getting too long.
I would love to hear what some of your favourite verses are in the Bible. Verses you hold close to your heart and draw on. Please don’t feel you have to go into the detail I have, as it would be great to just hear of how God’s Word encourages others out there.