A lot was accomplished on the cross of Calvary. However, many of the precious truths and blessings associated with the cross were kept hidden until they were revealed to the Apostle Paul.
These precious truths were made know to the apostle Paul directly by Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Billboard of Change
A great sign to recognize that a truth or change is being revealed is the “But Now’s” found in the Pauline epistles. you could think of them as a huge billboard advertising a change is taking place. Here is one such billboard:
Rom. 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
This verse starts off with a “But now” signaling that something in the past is being replaced with something new.
As we know, sin separates us from God. It keeps us from having a right standing with God. The law was God’s measuring stick so to speak, and perfect obedience to it was necessary to be justified in the eyes of God.
Of course, man fails miserably at this (Romans 3:20) hence we can not be justified in His sight. The purpose of the law was to give men the knowledge of sin and to pronounce us guilty before God. It showed there is nothing in us that is pleasing to God. This is certainly bad news for us.
But Now the Righteousness of God
However, with Paul’s “But Now”, Paul makes known to us that at the cross something wonderful happened; the righteousness of God apart from the law is being revealed.
We are justified, by accepting Christ as our savior. God has provided His righteousness through our identification with Jesus Christ. The law has not been discarded but is fulfilled through Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross.
Rom. 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
What an amazing blessing has been revealed here with the opening of the “But Now” in Romans 3:21. If you have not yet put your trust in Christ, won’t you do so now and enjoy this wonderful blessing.
We did a 10-part series examining the “but now” of the Apostle Paul. Here is a list of the other articles in the series: