Romans Day 4 // Our Righteousness is Gift

Romans 4:13-5:11

Every so often, a new song comes on the radio that really surprises me. Not because of its incredible vocals or instrumentals, or because of its creative lyrics, but because it speaks truth in such a lost culture. One song of this sort came on the radio a few years ago, sung by Katy Perry. These were the lyrics that made my jaw drop to the floor:

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally

There is no fear now
Let go and just be free

I will love you

How beautiful those lines are. “My love is unconditional, you do not need to fear, be free for I will love you unconditionally.” It is so telling that Katy Perry, a pop star known for her lyrics about “California Gurls” (yes, that is really how she spelled girls to name that track) and how she “kissed a girl and liked it” can indeed recognize that unconditional love is the love that wipes out fear and allows one to be free. 

She may not know it, but even in this confused culture, a pop star can still recognize the Truth of Christ – the truth that He so clearly spoke from the cross. 

And this is the freedom that St. Paul speaks of in Romans 5:1-5. It is not because we deserved Christ’s sacrifice that we were saved. Indeed, we did not (see yesterday’s reflection). But, it is thorough His incredible love that we are given the gift of righteousness (emphasis on the word GIFT). As a gift is given out of love, without having needed to be earned, and asking for nothing in return, God gave us the gift of Himself. A gift we could never have earned.

“Why, one would hardly die for a righteous man – though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” Romans 5:7-8

It is with that knowledge of such unconditional love we should find such freedom. For if God chose to die for us even though we didn’t deserve His sacrifice, but still so desperately needed it, then what do we have to fear? 

Christ has already proven His love Romans 8:32

My dear sisters, this is a sweet and beautiful reality. And, regardless of how much we feel as though we don’t deserve Christ, He still gives of Himself to us fully and freely in every moment. What is it that holds you back from accepting His unconditional love? Is it a fear that you are too sinful? That you are too weak? You are unworthy? What is it? Recognize this fear today and ask the Lord to help you to understand the gift of His sacrifice. It is through the understanding of gift that we will recognize how to allow our righteousness to be justified by faith.