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23 for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. 24 Yet through his powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away his righteousness. His gift[a] of love and favor now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!

25 Jesus’ God-given destiny[b] was to be the sacrifice to take away sins, and now he is our mercy seat[c] because of his death on the cross. We come to him for mercy, for God has made a provision for us to be forgiven by faith in the sacred blood of Jesus. This is the perfect demonstration of God’s justice, because until now, he had been so patient—holding back his justice out of his tolerance for us. So he covered over[d] the sins of those who lived prior to Jesus’ sacrifice. 26 And when the season of tolerance came to an end, there was only one possible way for God to give away his righteousness and still be true to both his justice and his mercy—to offer up his own Son. So now, because we stand on the faithfulness of Jesus,[e] God declares us righteous in his eyes!

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  1. 3:24 The Greek word is dorean, which means “present,” “gift,” “legacy,” “privilege.”
  2. 3:25 The Aramaic can be translated “God ordained in advance an atonement by faith in his [Jesus’] blood.”
  3. 3:25 Or “propitiation.” The mercy seat becomes a metonymy for the sacrificial, redemptive work of Christ. The mercy seat was the lid to the ark of the covenant, which was carried throughout the wilderness for years and finally found a home in the temple in Jerusalem. “Blood of mercy” was sprinkled on the mercy seat (or “place of satisfaction”) yearly on the Day of Atonement, which covered the sins of the people until Jesus sprinkled his blood on the mercy seat in the heavens. The mercy seat was not seen by the people; only the high priest went into the holy of holies to sprinkle blood upon the mercy seat. Yet Jesus was publicly offered as the satisfaction for sin’s consequences.
  4. 3:25 Or “passed over,” “released” (let it be). This is the only place the Greek word paresis is found in the New Testament.
  5. 3:26 Or “faith in Jesus.”

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