PART 4 JULY 26 ROM 3:21-31 God’s Provision of Justification by Faith.
Last Week we Discussed that What Separates us from God is Sin.
- We are Not Strong Enough to Remove it…We are Not Good Enough to Erase it.
- For all Our differences, We All Share One Problem. We are Separated from God.
Every Person on God’s Green Earth has Blown it!
- The Hedonist blew it because they were Pleasure Centered and Not God Centered.
- The Judgmentalists Blew it because they were High-Minded…Not God-Minded.
- The Legalist blew it Because they were Work-driven and…Not Grace-Driven.
- The hut-builders sought Pleasure, the fault-finders sought Impunity, the rock-stackers sought Piety.
- The first Disregards God, the second Seeks to Distract God, and the third hopes to Reimburse God. BUT EACH ONE MISSES GOD…ALL ARE GODLESS.
Rom 3: 13-16 shows us that Sin Infects the Entire Person. KEY: Not Only Does Sin Contaminate Every Human Being…Sin Contaminates the Being of Every Human.
Sin does to a life what Shears do to a Flower. A Cut at the Stem Separates a Flower from the Source of its Life.
- It looks good for a short while and then it begins to wilt, petals drop off.
- You can try to glue it back onto the stem, put water and fertilizer around it…it Still Dies.
The Same Happens to a Life Cut Off from God, the Soul Withers and Dies.
- The Consequence of Sin is not a Bad Day or a Bad Mood…But a Dead Soul.
- This is why People can be so Vulgar…Their Souls are Dead.
- This is why some Religions Can be so Oppressive…They have No Life.
- This is why a Drug Peddler can Sleep at Night and the Dictator can live with his Conscience…Because They Have None!
- THE FINISHED WORK OF SIN IS TO KILL THE SOUL.
This is what we discussed Last Week…I am so Glad that the Apostle Paul did Not Leave us in the HOPELESS Situation we saw in Verse 20 of Chapter 3…
For 61 verses Paul described the Fatality of Sin. But just when we Wonder if there is Any Light at the end of tunnel…Paul says in verse 21 of Chapter 3 “BUT GOD HAS A WAY!
Remember the story of Lazarus…He had Died, Christ arrives days later and says Remove the Stone…Then He Said, Lazarus Come Forth!
You See…We Don’t Need Someone to Fix Us Up…We Need Someone to RAISE US UP!
- Our Task is Not to Think We Have to Get Up…But to Admit we are Dead! Because…
- The Only ones who Remain in the Grave are the ones who Don’t Think they are there!
- But Where Man Fails…God Excels! We Need to Understand that Salvation is God-Given, God-Driven, God-Empowered and God-Originated!
Based on this Point, Christianity is Set Apart from every other Religion of the World.
- No Other System, Ideology or Religion Proclaims a Free Forgiveness and a New Life to those who have Done Nothing to Deserve it But Deserve Judgment instead.
- EVERY OTHER APPROACH TO GOD IS A BARTERING SYSTEM! IF I DO THIS…THEN…GOD WILL DO THAT…
We can Summarize the first 3 ½ Chapters of Romans with 3 words, “We Have Failed!”
Then comes Verse 21 which says “God has a Way to Make People Right with Him!”
- God’s Highest Dream is Not to make us Rich, Successful, Popular or Famous.
- God’s Dream is to Make Us Right With Him!
In verse 21 of Chapter 3, Paul begins the second major division of his letter to the Romans. It extends through 5:21 and deals with God’s provision of righteousness or justification by faith.
Justification is Provided in Romans 3:21-26…The Gift of Being Right with God!
- In his letter to the Romans the Apostle Paul explains and expounds the message of what God has done in Christ.
In this final Section, Paul Now Responds to the Dire and Hopeless Situation that governs All humans when facing God as Judge…That is…The Whole World for All time Stands Guilty Before God for Not Living the life that He had Called US to live.
Rom 3: 21-31 Provides Gods Solution to Our Lost Dilemma: “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”
Til now Paul strongly asserted that No one in the world would be declared righteous in God’s sight-But instead would be declared at God’s final judgment to be Unrighteous before him.
- It is Grasping this main point [Our Total Unrighteousness] that Prepares us for what Paul Now Shares about the Good News of the Gospel!
- In these Few Verses We Discover what God has done in Christ for Us.
- And…We Discover Why the Gospel is such Wonderful News to All who Hear it.
Our Text is divided into 4 Sub-units.
- 21-23 is centered upon Paul declaring that God has done something for us.
- In 24-25a Paul expounds upon what God has done for us in Christ!
- In Vs 25b-26 Paul spells out the consequences of what God has done in Christ.
- And in Verses 27-31 Paul picks up and expounds upon the implications of what God has done in response to what God has done.
Vs.21-23: “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Right from the beginning, Paul signals that something New and Decisive has happened that has Changed Things for Us and for the Whole World.
- Which is That God has made known or manifested “RIghteousness” to All who Believe.
In addition…let me suggest 3 more points that tie into Verse 21.
First, God Provided what We Could Not Provide for Ourselves: Righteousness!
- Paul never wants us to forget this essential point that this verse must be seen as the climatic conclusion of everything that Paul has argued up to this point.
- Simply, This righteousness from God has been made known in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and is Now Available to Everyone “apart from the law”.
POINT: Being Righteous or Declared Justified before God Cannot come by Keeping the Law. Being Declared Righteous Can Only Come Through Faith in Christ.
Second, Through faith in Christ. Paul Also States that “This Righteousness from God” is being Made Known or being proclaimed through the preaching of his gospel.
Paul’s Point…Everyone Needs this Righteousness.
- There is No difference. No distinction between different groups of people…Because All Fall Short of God’s Standards. (vs. 23) “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.”
All People from All Times Stand Unrighteous before Him. Yet, All People (Potentially) Can Stand and be Declared Justified…Righteous Before Him Now.
- In Verse 22, Paul strongly declares that this “righteousness” is available and can be attained by anyone and everyone as long as they have “Faith in Christ”!
- Paul, in order to be very clear, tacks on the redundant “to all who believe”. These two ideas are at the heart of Paul’s gospel concerning Jesus.
Secondly: What God did through Jesus Christ now makes it possible for any person to be declared righteous in his sight.
Vs.24-25 is the Core of Pauls Message “24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.
- He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.”
In these 2 Verses, Paul Wants Us to Grasp 2 Fundamental Ideas.
First, Paul tells us that God Redeemed and Saved us through Jesus so that We can be Declared Justified and Righteous in His Sight.
Vs 24: Our Redemption/Salvation/Deliverance Came Through Christ.
- No one lives up to God’s standards. All are Under the Power of Sin.
- All stand Guilty and Condemned before God. All are Unrighteous.
- And all will suffer God’s wrath and punishment! But now, Paul says something big has happened that changes all of that. Now, All Can Be Declared Righteous!
- ALL can be justified before God by the Redemption for Which Christ Paid the Price.
FACT: God has Provided Salvation to Anyone and Everyone from their Hopeless Condition of being Under Sin and the Condemnation of God’s Judgment. Simply: God has provided for everyone what they themselves could not do otherwise!
Secondly, In Verse 25 Paul Sums up what Christ Achieved through His Death!
Vs 25 “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.”
- The ESV says, “Whom God put forward as a Propitiation by his blood.”
- The RSV says, “whom God put forward as an Expiation by his blood.”
3 different translations of this verse Provides 3 different terms used to interpret the Original Greek term: Expiation OR Removal of Sin…Atonement OR the Cleansing of Impurity … Propitiation OR the Removal of God’s Wrath.
All 3 Versions Describe from a Perspective the Nature of what Christ’s death Accomplished for Us in Order to Achieve Redemption for All Humanity.
- RSV…Christ’s death was a means of cleansing and removing sin…Therefore it was and should be rightly seen as a means of Expiation.
- NIV…Christ’s death was and should be seen as a Sacrifice of Atonement bringing Forgiveness and Reconciliation between God and Humanity.
- ESV…Christ’s death was and should be seen as a means of Propitiation. To propitiate means to Satisfactorily Make Payment (Appeasement) for Sin.
God Himself took the Initiative to Make Things Right with Himself. God Himself did what was Necessary to Satisfy His Own Wrath Against Sin.
Paul is unequivocally clear in what anyone must do to obtain the assurance that he or she might be declared “Righteous by God. Which is…to Respond to God by Faith!
Paul Not Only Emphasizes Faith…But States in Verse 24 that We Have Done Nothing to Earn this Redemption. And that “Justification from God” is Freely Given By God’s Grace.
In Vs 25-26 Paul Closes by Drawing Attention to How God Satisfied His Need to be True to Himself…God must maintain His Own Righteousness…God must Himself Do what is right.
- God maintained His Own Righteousness, While Securing Our Righteousness
Paul Underscores the Point that God is Righteous which means that He had to be True to Himself and Therefore has to Punish Sin and Wrong Doing.
- Paul says twice. “He did this to Demonstrate His Justice”
- KEY: God Fulfills His Own Righteous Standards. Therefore, God is Just.
Finally We Look at VS 27-31: Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Vs 27-31 Concludes with Implications stemming from What God has Done in Christ for US!
- First, it reiterates Paul’s main point: Apart from the Law, God has made it possible for anyone to be made right or righteous in God’s sight.
- God Offers Anyone the FREE GIFT of Being Righteous by FAITH.
- Secondly, Paul draws out 2 important implications that stem from his main assertion:
- There is No Boasting about this Righteousness!
- There is No Other Way of Obtaining this Righteousness Apart from Receiving it as a Free Gift from God.
Two Implications that Stem from Paul’s Main Proposition of being Justified by Faith.
- Paul begins his conclusion in VS 27 “Where then, is the boasting? It is Excluded.”
- Paul then asks Us to Consider the Role that “Our Boasting Should Play”
Paul wants us to realize that No One Can take Any Credit for Achieving Our Own State of Being Righteous Before God…It Is a FREE GIFT Received by Faith!.
Finally, Paul makes clear that there is No other way of attaining this state/or status of being Right with God other than by Receiving this Gift of Righteousness by Faith.
- Vs 30 states God will justify every person in the world by the same way-by faith.
- Jew or Gentile…Rich or Poor…We All Must Receive God’s Grace by Faith!
- No Exclusions. No Exceptions…All are and will be Justified the Same Way.
HERE IS WHAT I WANT TO LEAVE WITH YOU TODAY:
In Genesis 3 When We Sinned, God Had A Dilemma: His Holiness Demanded that Sin be Punished…Yet His Mercy Compelled Him to Love the Sinner!
2 Cor 5: 19, 21: “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation… 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Hebrews 10:14: “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
God Cancelled Our Debt…Your Debt…My Debt, Which Listed All the Rules We Failed to Follow…Christ Took Away that Record with its Rules and Nailed it to the Cross.
Let me Conclude today with this… Gen 2:17 In the Garden God told Adam, if You ever Eat Fruit from that Tree…You Will Die!
- Think about it…NO Fine Print…NO Hidden Agenda…NO Loophole or Technicality.
- God has Not Played Games with You or Me. He has Been Fair Since the Garden of Eden…The Wages of Sin have Been Death. (Rom 6:23)
Every Person has a Choice…Receive the FREE GIFT…Reject the FREE GIFT…OR… Ignore the FREE Gift…However…TO IGNORE the FREE GIFT is the same as Rejecting Gods Free Gift to YOU.
My Point today is Whether for Salvation or During Your Christian Life’s Journey…
POINT: TO IGNORE YOUR SIN IS TO ENDORSE YOUR SIN!