Rom. 3:26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Most every Christian I know has a similar story, Christianity was not anything like they thought and His love was the biggest surprise of all. He loved us just because. His love was not connected to anything we did; actually, He loved us despite what we did or the way we lived our lives. Salvation came as an absolute gift. Nothing I could do could earn it, nothing I could not do would disqualify me. My righteousness is totally non-related to my life, my salvation can’t be based on my performance. Righteousness and the gift of salvation is simply that, a free gift. It is never earned or deserved. The one requirement; we receive His gift by faith. That’s the easy part and also the hard part, we have to get passed the stumbling stone of trying to do something to please God. Here is Martin Luther’s famous story and how he discovered the just shall live by faith.
“I greatly longed to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, “the justice of God,” because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him. Yet I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that “the just shall live by his faith.” Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.”
This was so shocking to me; I remember thinking, “That’s it, there’s nothing I need to do?” No that is it, there is nothing we can do. We are saved by grace alone by faith alone and that too is a gift from God. So this Christmas let’s celebrate the greatest of all Christmas presents, the gift of God’s love we receive through His Son.