February 3, 2024


Romans 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”


In Romans 1:17, Paul quotes from Habakkuk to emphasize that the righteousness of God is revealed through faith in Christ, and that the justified will live by faith. This righteousness is not earned through works or the law, but is a free gift received by faith in Jesus. The documents provide helpful commentary on this passage. One explains that this righteousness is not our own, but the very righteousness of God credited to us by faith. Another notes that this was the pivotal discovery for Martin Luther - that God's righteousness referred to here is His declaration of righteousness upon those who believe. Several documents highlight that this righteousness comes by grace through faith. We can't earn it through obedience or works. One states that faith is not the grounds for justification, but simply the means by which we receive God's gracious gift. Another explains that works relates to law, while faith relates to grace - we pursue a right relationship with God through grace by faith. The documents also unpack how righteousness and justification are legal declarations - we are counted as righteous because of what Christ has done on our behalf. This contrasts with the guilty verdict we were under before knowing Christ. Now we are treated as though we have not sinned at all, by virtue of Christ's redeeming work. In summary, this passage celebrates the good news that God credits His perfect righteousness to all who trust in Christ. This righteousness is received by faith as an undeserved gift of grace. The justified now stand in a right relationship with God and live by faith in the Son of God who loved them and gave himself for them.


As modern readers, we may easily gloss over a verse like Romans 1:17. But this truth unlocked the gates of heaven for Martin Luther centuries ago, as he finally grasped that God freely credits Christ's righteousness to those who believe. What wondrous love is this! The God whose glory and righteousness rightly condemn all people offers His own perfect righteousness as a covering for our sin. He treats former rebels as loyal friends, all because of Christ's atoning work on the cross. This undeserved declaration of righteousness is received simply through faith in the finished work of Jesus. As those who have been freely justified by faith, we now live in a state of peace with God (Rom 5:1). Yet we do not take this gift for granted, as if sin no longer matters. Rather, understanding the gravity of sin that made Christ's sacrifice necessary should compel us to pursue holiness out of love and gratitude to the One who bore our punishment. We also proclaim this good news to others, urging them to be reconciled to God through repenting and believing. May we never shy away from declaring this radical message: that through faith in Jesus, God credits to our account a righteousness that we could never earn. This is the power of the gospel for salvation to all who believe!


Gracious God, we stand amazed at the gift of righteousness you freely give us through faith in Christ. Thank you for justifying us, though we were dead in our trespasses and sins. Help us to grasp the wonder of this gospel truth. Give us opportunities to share with others this free gift of salvation by your grace. Strengthen our faith as we seek to live righteous lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

The light of God's Word reveals the way of salvation through faith in Christ. As hands reach out to grasp the cross, crowds gaze upon the sacrifice that brings redemption by grace.

The light of God's Word reveals the way of salvation through faith in Christ. As hands reach out to grasp the cross, crowds gaze upon the sacrifice that brings redemption by grace.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.