Summary: A short study of six very important terms that help us to understand the core of the gospel.
TEXT: ROMANS 3:21-31
TITLE: “THE CORE OF THE GOSPEL”
INTRODUCTION: A. Bill was lonely and decided
his life would be more interesting
if he had a pet.
He went to the pet store and
told the owner he wanted a pet but
he didn’t want the standard pet.
He wanted something unusual.
After some discussion, he
finally decided on a centipede and
took his new pet home in a little
white box shaped like a tiny
After a day talking to his pet
and getting to know him, Bill
decided that he wanted to go out to
He leaned over the little
white house and said, “Hey, would
you like to go out to eat with
me?” But his new pet didn’t
Bill waited a few minutes and
leaned over again. “I said, ‘Do
you want to go out to
eat with me?’” Still no
answer. Bill figured that maybe
his new little friend was hard of
hearing, so he leaned in real close
and shouted, “Hey! Do you want to
go out to eat with
me?” A little voice replied, “I
heard you the first time! I’m still
putting on my shoes!"
B. Paul has been painting a very vivid picture in Romans. It’s a picture of
our condition: we are separated from God by sin.
1. He’s letting us know that no matter what we do, we’re going to be
frustrated by our own efforts. We have an impossible job (almost
like the little centipede)
2. We are utterly and hopelessly lost.
--3:11-12 – “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even
one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All
have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is
no one who does good, not even one.’”
3. Our “spiritual autopsy” has been conducted in 3:13-17 – “ ‘Their
throats are empty graves; their tongues practice deceit.’ ‘The poison
of vipers is on their lips.’ ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and
bitterness.’ ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark
their ways, and the way of peace they do not know’ ”
a. Our physical autopsy presents a sickening anatomical study:
throats like open graves; lips like poisonous snake; mouths full of
rudeness and indecency; feet like speeding chariots to destruction.
b. Our psychological autopsy is no better: our lives are full of ruin
and misery (both in our lives and in the intent to cause ruin and
misery in others’ lives) and we have no peace.
c. The Bible says that sin is like yeast. It takes very little to infect
our whole person.
(1). Max Lucado: “Not only does sin contaminate every human
being, it contaminates the being of every human.”
(2). Sin is fatal: Paul states it succinctly a little later in Rom. 6:23
– “The wages of sin is death…”
C. Paul has left us dangling over the pit of Hell. We can feel the flames
and torment as we read what he wrote.
1. But…here’s the Good News (vv. 21): “But now a
righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known…”
2. We couldn’t do it on our own so God did it for us!
--That is truly the core of the Gospel!!!
3. The essence of that singular statement says:
a. I was dying but now I can live.
b. I was blind, but now I can see.
c. I was lost, but now I am found.
D. This morning, I want to briefly discuss six terms that we need to
understand; six terms that are crucial to our understanding of the core
of the gospel.
A. “To miss the mark”
1. Archery term – “to fire at a target and miss.”
2. God designed us in His image but we have fired at that target and missed
--Satan’s temptation – “you will be like God”
B. V. 23 – “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God
1. Grk. construction –
a. "sinned" - past tense.
b. "fall short" - present tense. Continual
2. Everyone – me, you, the most spiritual person you’ve ever met. Doesn’t matter
A. “Doing what is right”
1. Older English it was “rightwiseness”
2. Lit. “knowing what is right and doing it”
B. Notice that Paul says we are not capable of the righteousness required by God.
1. V. 21 – “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known…”
2. V. 22 – “This righteousness from God…”
A. “The act of pronouncing acquittal or exoneration”
1. Recognition of guilt but acknowledgment of extenuating circumstances
2. Extenuating circumstances are not our circumstances or excuses
--Rather the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf