Summary: How Redemption Works Through Righteousness (Rom. 3:21-26)
How Redemption Works Through Righteousness (Rom. 3:21-26)
Illustration:Faith is not merely your holding on to God--it is God holding on to you. He will not let you go!
E. Stanley Jones.
1. Have you ever stopped to contemplate how redemption works through Christ’s righteousness?
Redemption is a buying back from judgment. It is a rescuing and recovery from being lost. It is being released from the penalty of sin.
Most people love to hear of a great report of how someone has been redeemed from disaster. Hollywood has made money for years telling stories of redemption through hard work, luck or human virtuosity.
Illustration: The classic story of Rocky Balboa, the washed up fighter who pulls himself up by his own boot-straps to become the heavyweight champion of the world produced three successful sequels. At a time when Rocky is down on his luck he gets a call from the undefeated Apollo Creed to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world – something of a publicity stunt. Instead of disgracing himself, Rocky nearly pulls off an upset, but redeems himself and his marriage in the process. In 1976 it won the top award as best picture for being a classic human-interest story of man-made redemption. Slyvester Stalone has made a career out of making this man engineered redemption characters.
In contrast, Paul teaches the Romans how redemption works through the righteousness that is found in Christ.
True redemption starts from God’s purposes to rescue man from the destruction of sin, death and eternal judgment through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
There have been thousands of alternative redemption plans offered to the human race, but none satisfies God’s standards except through Christ’s recovery solution.
Only when people learn to proclaim redemption through Christ righteousness will they learn to be fully satisfied.
Ask the Lord to help you to contrast the human engineered plans of redemption with the one given in Christ.
2. Paul teaches the Romans that the foundation of redemption is found in Christ’s grace. Romans 3:24 states, "All are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy at Christ’s expense) through the redemption which is provided in Christ Jesus."
Paul emphasizes that only when the gift is received does the propitiation take place. (To cause one to become favorably inclined or to regain the good will of God through Christ’s sacrifice)
You and I know of many people who are aware of this free gift, but have never reached out with their whole heart, soul and mind to personally receive it.
A person can acknowledge that they rationally understand redemption as an ideal concept, but it only becomes actuated when we personally trust Christ to come in to our life as our Lord and Savior.
Just as a person can acknowledge that there is a chair in front of them, but only finds rest when they place their entire weight on it for support.
Approximately 86% of the world’s people are yet to receive Christ’s free gift of redemption and grace for numerous reasons.
Ask the Lord to help you to guide people to personally act by faith in Christ. Show them how to pray to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord today before it is too late.
3. Paul shows the Romans that our redemption is only by faith in Christ’s righteousness. The great apostle knew that many of the Jewish members of the church were prone to listen to the Judaizers who emphasized their own brand of righteousness.
Paul counters this human tendency to rely on one’s own goodness by stressing the ultimate form of faith is an expression of penitence.
Only when we recognize our need to depend on Christ’s righteousness instead of our own, are we able to receive His free gift of salvation. He writes, "We are not adequate in ourselves but our adequacy comes from God. He has qualified us (Making us fit and worthy and sufficient) as ministers of a new covenant of salvation through Christ. Not ministers of the letter of the legally written code but of the Spirit for the code of the Law kills, but the Holy Spirit makes one alive." (2 Cor. 3:5,6)
Ask the Lord to help you teach others how pure faith is full of penitence, reliance and realization that our worthiness is found in Christ alone.
4. Paul taught that redemption comes through the pardon of God.
Illustration: One day a convicted murder heard that a man had come to visit him the night before he was to be executed. When the prisoner saw the man in a black cape carrying a Bible he shouted at the jailer, "I do not want to see any preachers. Religion never helped me before and it certainly will not do me any good now!" The visitor looked deeply into the prisoner’s eyes, turned and walked silently out of the room. The next day as they were about to place the noose around the prisoner’s neck the sheriff said, "Do you have any last requests?" The prisoner said, "I stayed up all night wondering who that visitor was? Please, tell me who he was." The sheriff paused and said, "That was the governor of the State who came to give you a pardon! Today you are not going to die just because of your crime, but because you refused to accept the pardon."