from the Old Testament–
In King Solomon’s early years we read of a marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter – probably a political alliance to secure peace with Egypt. This was the first of many such marriages where the King attempted to insure a peaceful reign. (verses 1-2) Were these marriages a mistake? We’ll see.
King Solomon’s high officials are listed by name and family in this passage. (verses 1-19) I truly believe there is nothing recorded in the Word by accident, and someday–not today–I want to study these names and their meanings very closely. I’m sure there are great treasures here, but not today.
The vast wisdom and prolific writings of Solomon are recorded in the remainder of the chapter. (verses 20-34) We are told Judah and Israel were very happy; eating, drinking and enjoying themselves during these early years. Will their happiness be short-lived? Stay tuned.
In this chapter Solomon begins to make preparations for building the Temple by making a treaty for timber and stone with Hiram, king of Tyre, who always loved David. Again we see wisdom and guidance as God leads Solomon to marshal enormous resources and man-power for the task at hand.
from the New Testament–
Within these verses is found one of the great misconceptions of modern religion–verse 23: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. While it is true all of mankind is guilty before God Almighty until they hear and receive the Gospel (Good News) of Christ, many preachers put a period after this verse and then proceed to teach their followers how to earn God’s love, forgiveness and acceptance. They outline steps and suggestions for working toward receiving “the glory of God” in your life.
Paul used no period! In fact, while there may be a pause indicated by a comma in some translations, Paul went on to say, “they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a satisfactory payment by his blood, to be received by faith.” There is no break in Paul’s thought here. He states emphatically, “…we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (verses 21-30) The Amplified Bible translates this passage:
- Romans 3:21-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
- 21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,
- 22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,
- 23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.
- 24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
- 25 Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.
- 26 It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus.
I encourage reading these verses prayerfully, asking for wisdom and understanding. Doing so will grow your faith in the finished work of the cross and the unmerited favor and mercy (grace) of God. Grabbing on to the truth of this grace will change your life from one of religion to one of relationship with Christ…the most important step of faith anyone can ever take.
Here we read Paul’s argument for faith, and faith alone. God declares us (sinners who accept Jesus) righteous, not because we are, in and of ourselves, righteous or have anything righteous in us, but simply because of our faith, through which the righteousness of Jesus Christ is applied to our account. The guilt and punishment of the believer were borne by Jesus (Isaiah 53.5,11; Galatians 3:13, 2 Corinthians 5:21) and the righteousness of Christ is applied to the believer’s credit (1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9)