“But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” Romans 3:21-22
Finally, Paul has arrived at the solution. God revealed His righteousness in many ways before the full revelation of the gospel; His law, His judgment against sin, His appeals through the prophets, His blessing on the obedient. But in the gospel, a new kind of righteousness has been revealed. This is the righteousness that God had planned from the beginning. Under the Old Testament law, righteousness came by people behaving but under the gospel, righteousness comes by believing. The law itself reveals the righteousness of God, because the law is holy, and just and good. The law bore witness to this gospel righteousness even though it could not provide it. The entire Old Testament is witness to the salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament sacrifices, the prophecies, the types, and the great gospel Scriptures all bore witness to God’s righteousness, but it could not provide it for sinful humanity. Only Jesus Christ could do that. “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” (Galatians 2:20)
Faith is only as good as its object. All people trust something, if only themselves, but the Christian trusts Jesus Christ. Law righteousness is a reward for works. Gospel righteousness is a gift through faith and the grace of God. It is a personal, individual faith in Jesus Christ that saves and justifies the lost sinner. Even the demons from hell believe in God and tremble, yet this does not save them. “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” (James 2:19) Salvation comes by repentance and a faith in Jesus. God gave this salvation to everyone.