Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 3<br>God's Righteousness Supplied<br>Introduction

Friday, February 27, 2009

Romans Chapter 3
God's Righteousness Supplied
Introduction


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Romans 3: 21-22a But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.


After the thunderous litany of woe that described our true condition before God, and which Paul has expounded three times, in three different ways in the first three chapters, we come to the light at the end of the tunnel. He has removed for any person all vestiges of hope that there can be any way out of His just condemnation, other than by the free grace and mercy of God. The picture we have been seeing is one of darkness, depravity and despair – man as a race and all men as individuals inescapably under the just condemnation and wrath of a holy God.

Yet now, Whose righteousness has been manifested? It is God’s! This righteousness is not attainable through the law, for it is "apart" from the law in this sense. In other words our justification is not attained by anything that we ourselves do or try to do to keep God’s perfect law. One does, however, need to understand that it was through the keeping of the law by the man, Jesus Christ, that the righteousness of God apart from the law was imputed to we sinners who could not justify ourselves.

Adam’s single sin had him ejected from Eden. The discovery of unrighteousness in Lucifer had him cast out of heaven. One lone sin, one hint of corruption, one shadow of impurity in any being is enough to destroy that being from the presence of God eternally.
“Thou who art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on wrong…” says the prophet Habbakuk (Habakkuk 1:13)
In fact, the man, Jesus Christ, was also the Eternal Son of God, in Whom dwells all the fulness of the godhead bodily {Col 2:9} and upon Whom the Spirit rests without measure. {John 3:34} As such, He was not only the keeper of the law, but the originator of it - because the very law itself is the expression of His perfect divine nature. God effectively said, in giving the law, "You must be like me; exactly like me. You must be holy as I am holy and perfect as I am perfect."

No fallen flesh – no man, no corrupted being – can do this, as Paul has shown. The next verse states it plainly enough when we read, "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." We are reminded yet again of the fundamental truth that, "There is none righteous, no not one."

The righteousness that belongs to God - perfect holiness - came in the Person of Christ and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. He lived and died in perfect righteousness as a man, by perfectly following the spirit of all of God’s law, following exactly the plan of the Father from eternity for Him specifically {Ps 40:7-8; Luke4:16-18; John 5:19,30; Heb 10:5-9} – even unto death on a cross.

All that remains is for the means of the appropriation of these things to be given to a person so that he might receive them. This means is faith. God has given to every man (that is, every believer) a measure of faith. {Ro 12:3}

It is faith in Jesus Christ that is contemplated, rather than that abstraction of simply "faith" - a vague sense of belief in God. That sort of faith is a corruption of the word, just as all religions are, these days called "faiths." Christianity is not a "faith." Christianity is the exercise of faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind and the Eternal Son of God. Such faith is active and it trusts God implicitly as both Saviour and Lord. The term "Lord" means explicitly that He governs the life and that all of our so-called "rights" are given into His hands.


3 Comments:

Blogger Derek Ashton said...

Tony,

I like that line about Christianity being the exercise of faith in the person and work of Christ. A good clarification.

Derek

6:35 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...

Derek,

Thanks for the comment. It's always good to remember that faith has its Object.

But are you reading the blog backwards or what? This entry was from February.

Blessings,


Tony

6:57 pm  
Blogger Derek Ashton said...

Tony,

I've been rather busy the last few weeks, so I've followed your blog less attentively than I like to. When this happens I try to go back and catch the details later, so today I'm listening to everything I missed. I actually look forward to times when I fall behind and have to catch up on your posts. It means I get several nuclear spiritual blasts in succession.

KABOOM!

Grace & peace,
Derek

7:05 pm  

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