Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 3<br>God's Righteousness Supplied<br>The Character of God's Salvation - Parts 3&4

Friday, March 06, 2009

Romans Chapter 3
God's Righteousness Supplied
The Character of God's Salvation - Parts 3&4

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Romans 3:21-26 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. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.

Part 3 - Application to all mankind

When Paul says “all have sinned”, the context says that he is really bringing together in one lump those who were under the law and those who were without the law – Jews and Gentiles alike. Just as both classes of people had sin in common, so there is salvation now for those of both classes when they believe on Christ for salvation from sin. In both cases, salvation is through faith and is apart from works of the law. It is apart from any works of any type – whether after the manner of the Jews with their written code, or after the manner of other men who try to justify themselves by other self-generated means.

Part 4 - By grace alone

The bad news that we have heard is that all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The penalty for our sin is eternal death – torment in hell for eternity. That penalty is just. If you do not agree that it is just then you have not yet grasped the exceeding sinfulness of sin, nor the holiness of a God Who cannot look upon any sin.
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity… {Habakkuk 1:13}
The good news is contained in the “but now”. God is saying that, notwithstanding the fact that we are all utterly rebellious, selfish, wicked creatures, justly under condemnation for our sins – yet God has done something altogether wonderful and totally unexpected. Something that angels long to look into. {1Peter 1:12} Something foretold by the prophets of old, but now fully revealed by the Holy Spirit through the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has made a way where there was no way.

In the infinite counsels of the divine mind from eternity, God purposed to show more than just His holiness, His power and His justice. He determined to show more than His love, which He had already showered on all people through divine forbearance from the time of Adam. God purposed to show not only men, but all of His creatures, including the elect and the fallen angels, the true nature of His righteousness by exhibiting something that could not be known if His creatures had never fallen. God purposed to show His grace.

Who could have anticipated such a thing? Who could have believed that Omnipotence, fully justified in condemning mankind, would instead choose to take on human form and lay down His life so that those who would trust Him alone for their salvation from sin would not only be saved, but would enter into eternal sonship with Him in heaven? It is not simply a skin-of-the-teeth salvation. Not a reluctant, “I told-you-so” sort of thing. Not a “You’ll pay for this for the rest of your eternal life” salvation. It is a full and free salvation given in joyful liberality with a generosity befitting He Who owns all things.

This is the God of all creation. It is what He has revealed Himself to be like. He is gracious and merciful. He always was. “But now…” He has revealed these things to us in the Person of Christ. Christ revealed the righteousness of God, for He lived it. He lived it in human form, in the likeness of sinful flesh, tempted in points just as we are, yet without sin. He lived under the law and kept it in the way it was intended to be kept – in the spirit.

This is something that we sinful men could never do, for we were spiritually dead. But we could hope and trust in the God of the promises when He said that…
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. {Habakkuk 2:4 AV}
In other words, He who trusts in God’s righteousness will live, but he who trusts in his own righteousness has no standing whatsoever with God. This is why grasping the message of the first 3 chapters of Romans is so important. Your own righteousness has killed you, but God’s will save you. And God has provided the Way through which His very Own righteousness can be attributed to you. That way is by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings, Tony,

The gospel is, indeed, very good news, amazing news! It chases away al fear, self pity, depression, hopelessness, and every other thing which seeks to weigh us down. It makes us leap for joy to have received this grace and compels us to pray that our Lord would open the ears of everyone we meet, so they would receive Jesus. Thank you for your web presence in sharing God's Word, and I pray many will be set free from sin and death as they listen and receive.

10:07 am  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Nice to hear from you. Thanks for commenting. This has been the aim of the whole Romans series - to show how good the good news is.

That you get it and abide in it shows in the music that you make as a result.

We each proclaim according to the several gifts we have been given and the rest is God's.



2:52 pm  
Blogger Derek Ashton said...


The result of listening to this post: JOY!

That's what the Gospel brings when we start to understand. God's grace in Christ is amazing!


7:17 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Yup! I knew you were anticipating this bit of Romans with great savor. I thought of you while I was posting it.



7:23 pm  

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