Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Rom. 4:4-8
Heavenly Father, this portion of your Word contradicts our deeply engrained notions of how life is “supposed to work”—quite literally, work. We expect to get what’s coming to us. We demand fairness—an honest return for our labor, time, and sweat. Good wages for good effort.
Thankfully, the gospel flies in the face of conventionality, predictability, and normalcy. Salvation isn’t by our grit, but by your grace; not by our sincerity, but by your sovereignty; not by our wanna-be-works, but by Jesus’ finished work.
Indeed, thank you for not being fair with us, Father. Thank you for being outrageously generous, immeasurably kind, and scandalously good. What we could never earn—your perfect righteousness, you’ve credited to us as a gift. What we cannot imagine—that you’d justify ungodly people, you’ve done so, joyfully and legally.
Because of Jesus, our transgressions are forgiven (all of them), our sins are covered (every one of them), and you’ll never hold us guilty for any of them (no exceptions). King David called such people “Blessed,” which we deem the understatement of the ages.
Father, thank you for reconciling us to yourself through Jesus, and for placing us in an eternity of your permanent favor. Thank you for, not only removing all condemnation for our sins, but for replacing all judgment with your exuberant delight in us. Father, thank you for not only welcoming us; but for wanting us, enjoying us, rejoicing in us—adopting us as your children and making us your inheritance.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, drive the gospel—this gospel, deeper and deeper into our hearts, that we might live and love to your glory. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.