23 since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God,24 and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] [a]grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,25 whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] [b]sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness [which demands punishment for sin], because in His forbearance [His deliberate restraint] He passed over the sins previously committed [before Jesus’ crucifixion].26 It was to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus [and rely confidently on Him as Savior].
Romans 3:24I.e. His favor and mercy, extended to man who can do nothing to be worthy of it. It is God’s amazing gift.
Romans 3:25By laying his hands on the head of the sacrifice the person offering the sacrifice identified himself with it and through its death it became an atonement or covering for his sin. Because the unblemished sacrifice “covered” his sin it placed the person offering the sacrifice in a right relationship with God. Later under the new covenant the perfection and sacrifice of Christ would cover (atone for) the imperfection and sin of those who identified with Him and accepted Him as Savior.
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