Summary: A scholar once said: "Matthew through John gives us the ¡§Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ¡¨ The Acts of the Apostles give us the ¡§Gospel of the Holy Spirit¡¨ But it is in Romans that we are given the ¡§Gospel of God¡¨

Sermon Series ¡§The Gospel of God ¡V A Study of Romans¡¨

Week #3 ¡§Righteousness and Justification¡¨

Study of Text: Romans 3:21-5:21

Opening Reading: Romans 3:21-26


INTRODUCTION: We enter now our third week of our study of Romans

„X Week #1 we discussed Paul¡¦s letter to the Roman church is the preeminent doctrinal work of the New Testament

„X Week #2 we learned about the doctrine of sin and how sin is universal

This week we are going to begin our study of the doctrine of ¡¥righteousness and justification¡¦

We found out last week that it impossible for man to achieve righteousness by human effort ¡V because everyone has sinned and nothing we do can remove our sin from us

Illustration: ¡§White Paint¡¨ Imagine you have a can of pure white paint. Then you put just a small amount of black paint in it. It is then forever grey. Not matter how much you add more and more white, it will still have a grey tint.

The only way to remove the grey is to start again with a new can of white

That is the understanding of the doctrine of righteousness and justification. God doesn¡¦t clean our old sinful heart; He gives us a new heart that is spotless

I. Paul explains this concept by giving a proper interpretation of righteousness

a. All who put faith in Christ receive God¡¦s righteousness

i. Read: (Ch. 3 v. 21,22a) ¡§But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.¡¨

ii. God¡¦s righteousness is unique because it fulfills both the penalty and precept (rule) of His law

o Christ¡¦s death on the cross works as a substitution for those who have broken God¡¦s law (Fulfilling the penalty)

o Christ¡¦s obedience to the law fulfills God¡¦s demand for comprehensive righteousness (Fulfilling the precept)

iii. Faith in Christ results in having Christ¡¦s perfect righteousness given to us

b. Righteousness is a result of having been justified

i. Read: (Ch. 3 v. 22b-24) ¡§there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,¡¨

ii. All have sinned, so none are righteous ¡V but by receiving the gift of Christ we are then justified

o NOTE: A reminder for justified might be ¡§Just if I¡¦d never sinned¡¨

iii. Because that is how God can now see you, when the righteousness of Christ is given to you it is as if you had never sinned

c. Justification is from God alone

i. Read: (Ch. 3 v.26) ¡§to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.¡¨

ii. It is God who justifies, not ourselves

iii. Only by God¡¦s grace (unmerited favor) could this be accomplished

d. So the proper interpretation of God¡¦s righteousness as given by Paul is:

i. We are not righteous

ii. By faith we are given the righteousness of Christ

iii. The righteousness of Christ justifies us from the penalty of sin

II. He then gives an example for this interpretation of righteousness: Abraham

a. He was not justified by good deeds (Ch. 4 v.2)

b. He was justified solely by faith (Ch. 4 v. 3)

i. Example: (Ch. 4 v. 4) If you are a worker you receive a wage, not a gift at the end of a work week. If we receive the wages for our lives, we would receive hell because the wages of sin is death.

ii. But God gives us a gift

iii. God doesn¡¦t owe us a gift for our good deeds, He gives us a gift because He is good

c. Justified apart from even circumcision (Ch. 4 v. 9-11)

i. Circumcision was the symbol of faith, but not the faith itself

ii. Note: A person can be circumcised and not be justified the same way a person could be baptized and not really saved

d. The most powerful thought in this whole portion about Abraham is that he was justified before ¡¥DOING¡¦ anything

i. This is a hard concept to grasp in a society that honors performance

ii. God doesn¡¦t honor performance, He honors faith

iii. Thought: But you know what, faith always leads to performance ¡V just look at Abraham

III. He then gives the result of righteousness and justification

a. Peace with God (Ch. 5 v. 1)

i. Until salvation we are in rebellion from God

ii. Now we can have peace through Christ¡¦s righteousness

b. Access to God¡¦s Grace (Ch. 5 v.2)

i. It is like the song we sing in the morning service, ¡§Take me in¡¨

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