“He Turns His Ear” (Psalm 116: 1 – 2, HCSB) by Carley Evans

“I love the Lord because He hears my appeal for mercy. Because He turns His ear to me, I call out to Him as long as I live.”

God is merciful. God’s mercy triumphs over God’s judgement. His mercy triumphs over judgement because of His Son’s sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection. Christ’s shed blood covers our sins so that God is able to be merciful to us.

God tells us that among people “there is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All turn away; all alike are useless. There is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3: 10 – 12) Since everyone “falls short of the glory of God,” everyone is “justified freely by [God’s] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3: 23, 24)

We are “declared righteous” when we “have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3: 26) Through Jesus’ work, God “hears [our] appeals for mercy.” God is able to “turn His ear to [us].” He is able to be merciful to us, who are sinners saved by grace.

“A Gift Available To All” (Romans 3: 23 – 24, HCSB) by Carley Evans

We are all fallen in sin; we are all freely justified in grace.

Sounds too simple to be true, says Paul. But “there is no distinction.” Through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s righteousness is available to all — whether Jew or Greek, male or female, freeman or slave. Everyone’s redemption comes “through faith in His blood” (Romans 3: 25) for God the Father declares Jesus and “the one who has faith in Jesus” as righteous. (Romans 3: 26)

Since salvation is so simple, Paul asks, “Where then is boasting?” and responds, “It is excluded.” (Romans 3: 27)

Salvation does not come to us via “works of the law,” but through faith in Jesus’ blood. (Romans 3: 28, 29)

Paul reminds us, “Now to the one who works, pay is not considered as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness.” (Romans 4: 4 – 5)

God owes us nothing; He gives us redemption, salvation, justification, righteousness not as payment but as gift.