“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” (Romans 3:21-23).
There are several major religions in the world—Atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and others. Each has its own peculiarities. When set beside New Testament Christianity, none compares (not even Judaism which came from the one true God).
In this passage, Paul sets forth four significant, distinctive truths about the gospel which demonstrates its uniqueness and immense superiority. Let’s consider the first two:
Its rationale is distinctive. The reason which necessitated the gospel (i.e., the spiritual victory over sin through Christ) was God’s righteousness. It was because of His righteous wrath against all human ungodliness and unrighteousness that required its existence (Romans 1:18). It is God’s uncompromising righteousness that is revealed within it (Romans 1:17). Unlike all other religions in which humanity seeks God, in Christianity it is the righteous God who seeks lost humanity.
Its origin is divine. Unlike all other religions which have evolved from cleverly devised fables, Christianity exists because of revelation. The God who revealed His invisible attributes of eternal power and deity in nature (Romans 1:20) also revealed Himself in both the incarnate Word and the written word. The New Testament’s apostles and prophets delivered to the saints the faith which they received from God via the Spirit of truth. Their words did not arise from human volition; they spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Because they neither added to or subtracted from the words they received and then delivered, “it is written” is the exact will of God on every matter.