Romans 3:21-31 Justification by Faith

Jun 7, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

We have finished the first theme of Romans:

Condemnation of Sin (attempt to stand before God by the law)

We now enter the second theme of Romans

Justification by Faith

Romans 1:18 – 3:20 wrath of God revealed for all mankind

but now:

Romans 3:21 –   Righteousness of God is revealed (apart from the law)

The gospel Paul preached 

  • was new, in a historical sense; that is, it began with the coming of Christ and was new to culture and not understood by the orthodox Jews in regards to their interpretation of the Savior.
  • was old, inasmuch as it was part of God’s plan from the beginning. “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior” (2 Timothy 1:9-10

Peter says essentially the same thing: Christ “was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20

Before, Paul says, we were under “the wrath of God”

But now we have access to “a righteousness from God” 3:21

Before, sin enslaved us.

But now “you have been set free from sin” 6:22

Before, Law bound us.

But now, “by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit” 7:6

Before, we were under condemnation.

But now there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” 8:1

The repeated expression “but now” signals not only a logical transition in Paul’s argument but also a historical moment on God’s redemptive timetable: “when the time had fully come, God sent his Son” Galatians 4:4

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

what is the righteousness of God apart from the law ?

righteousness attained through faith.  Cannot be obtained by the law since the law only reveals that we are sinners and that righteousness is beyond our reach.

“apart from the law” was a major stumbling block to Jews, but major news to gentiles

22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

what does Paul mean by “no distinction” ?

Jew/gentile, circumcised/uncircumcised

if we use the categories we already covered:
ungodly, moralist, religious moralist

24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

what is justification?

justified  G1344  δικαιούμενο  dikaioōmeno

declare establish rightness or correctness, vindication, this usage is passive tense so it means to be declared right by another (not ourselves)

as the RC took over religious affairs, starting in Rome, they obviously are going to rely on latin scripture rather than greek.

Latin word “justificare” (yust-i-fi-car-ae)

Means to make right, (not declare right)

by 1600 council of Trent, this word became the basic of understanding of justification by RC standards (God must see righteousness in you, 100% complete before He admits you into heaven which led to the idea of purgatory)

what is redemption ?

redemption  G0629  ἀπολύτρωσις  apolutrōsis

ransom, release by payment

what is propitiation?

propitiation  G2435  ἱλαστήριος  hilastērios

atoning sacrifice, appease, reconcile through sacrifice

what is faith ?

faith  G4102  πίστις  pistis

faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow; 

“the faith” often refers to the Christian system of belief and lifestyle

James Boice calls “the salvation triangle” 

Screenshot 2020-05-15 16.50.02.png

JUSTIFICATION This describes the act of a judge in a court of law who acquits an accused person. On the basis of Christ’s redemptive and propitiatory work, God justifies those who put their trust in Him. 

REDEMPTION Jesus Christ ransomed [purchased] us at the price of His own blood. It is what He did for us, not what we do. 

PROPITIATION This describes what Jesus Christ did for us in relation to the Father. He turns aside God’s wrath against sin through His sacrifice of atonement  By taking our punishment on himself, He satisfies God’s justice. 

FAITH repenting, life changing belief in the person and claims of Jesus Christ.

Redemption, propitiation, and justification are inextricably bound together. Any one is impossible without the others. God’s condition for receiving salvation is faith in Jesus Christ.

notice the phrase “so that He would be just and the justifier” at the end of the verse.

Why is this important ?

to show that God as a perfect and just judge did not become unjust is declaring guilty people innocent without a just cause.
i.e. if a judge declared a thief innocent when there was evidence proving his guilt, that judge would be called corrupt, unjust, wicked.

God declares the wicked to be righteous, how ?

propitiation and redemption offered by Christ

Jesus paid the legal fees of our crimes = death …the wages of sin

separation from God
physical death

Jesus also atoned for us, appeased the wrath of God with His shed blood

27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

Just because He is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not mean all other civilizations are not still accountable to Him.

John chapter 1 tells us that all things were made by Him and that means everything. 

God is the God of all men, (of all creation) or He is nothing. 

30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.

3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

establish  G2476  ἵστημι  histēmi to make stand, to uphold

upholding the law (means agreeing it is right) not the same as satisfying it

what is justification?

justified  G1344  δικαιούμενο  dikaioōmeno

declare establish rightness or correctness, vindication, this usage is passive tense so it means to be declared right by another (not ourselves)

what is redemption ?

redemption  G0629  ἀπολύτρωσις  apolutrōsis

ransom, release by payment

what is propitiation?

propitiation  G2435  ἱλαστήριος  hilastērios

atoning sacrifice, appease, reconcile through sacrifice

what is faith ?

faith  G4102  πίστις  pistis

faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow; 

“the faith” often refers to the Christian system of belief and lifestyle

 

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