Ben Fetterolf
Follower of Jesus | Husband | Father | Pastor at Hampton Park Baptist Church of Greenville, SC
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Not In Me
Romans 3:21-31
Grace, gift, faith. These are the words that dominate this foremost text on how to be made right with God.
Published March 13th, 2020
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Main point summary
Main point summary
We have no reason to boast or exclude others because justification is by grace through faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-31
But now a the righteousness of God b has been manifested apart from the law,
although c the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
the righteousness of God d through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
e For there is no distinction:
for f all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God,
g and are justified h by his grace as a gift,
i through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God j put forward as k a propitiation l by his blood,
to be received by faith.
This was to show God’s righteousness,
because in m his divine forbearance he had passed over n former sins.
It was to show his righteousness at the present time,
so that he might be just
and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
o Then what becomes of our boasting?
It is excluded.
By what kind of law?
By a law of works?
but by the law of faith.
For we hold that one is justified by faith p apart from works of the law.
Or q is God the God of Jews only?
Is he not the God of Gentiles also?
Yes, of Gentiles also,
since r God is one—
who will justify the circumcised by faith
and s the uncircumcised through faith.
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith?
By no means!
On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Observation : The righteousness of God : It's manifested in the law. The law displays his righteousness. It helps us to see what is righteous. It reveals God's character. But seeing God's righteousness in the law leaves us with this question: how can God be righteous and sinners not be judged? How can God let sinners go unpunished? Letting sinners go unpunished is unrighteous. We may do this on earth (as parents) but that's because we're sinners, too. The law can't make anyone righteous. It keeps condemning us. It keeps telling us that we're unrighteous. I can't obey it enough to make up for my sin. Therefore, God also manifested his righteousness apart from the law. How? By punishing someone else for sin, his own Son. God put Jesus forward as a blood sacrifice to take the payment for sin so that anyone could be justified (counted righteous) by faith in him. This sacrifice demonstrated God's righteousness. It shows why he could pass over former sins of his people who were not judged for their sins. And it makes him just in counting righteous everyone who has faith in Jesus. Amazing! Application : Being Right with God : What do I look to in order to be made right with God? Do I look to my daily performance? This would be the works of the law. Do I depend on my knowledge of what is right and wrong? This would not be the law of faith. My justification rests on Jesus' righteousness and vicarious atonement on my behalf. I need to preach this to myself daily. I am not worthy. I am a sinner. I cannot do anything to earn God's favor. My standing with God and God's pleasure with me is based on the work of his son Jesus Christ. When I sin, the answer is not to try harder. That's the works of the law. The answer is confession of my sin and faith in Jesus. Nevertheless, the law is a guide in the actions that are pleasing to God. So, having been justified by faith, I can now freely uphold the law by faith, not as a means of earning God's favor, but in thankfulness to a God who has undeservedly shown me his favor. He showed me kindness when I didn't deserve it. Therefore, I want to please him. And the law (His Word) shows me how.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.