Summary: The Law, above all else, says that to be a sinner is to be a transgressor of the Law. There is no way around it, the Law of the Bible has announced the just sentence of death. What is there to do?
Series: The Line in the Sand
Message Title: The Thin Red Line
Scripture: Romans 3:22-24
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
As we mentioned last week, at this very point that we have arrived in Romans, we are very aware that the Law has had its say concerning the life and destiny of any human being. The conditions, unchangeable and unalterable as they are, have been set forth. The Law, above all else, says that to be a sinner is to be a transgressor of the Law.
Romans 10:5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them."
There is no way around it, the Law has announced the just sentence of death and having spoken, it stands silent before the sinner who is now silenced forever. What is there to do? Well, the Law has no warrant or cause to do anything for the sinner. The Law cannot relieve his fears, his needs, or his cares. The Law cannot relieve his grief nor can it pay his debt to God. The law is unable to do anything other than cry out to the sinner: “Thou shalt not sin,” and, “The wages of sin is death.” The job of the Law, education and conviction, is complete.
Man is a sinner, morally guilty and in urgent need of justification, in urgent need of a reversal of the inevitable sentence, and in urgent need of satisfactory settlement with the offended—and eternal—Law of God.
Jesus came not to reverse the sentence but to offer a more than satisfactory settlement, a more than suitable payment to the offended—and eternal—Law of God. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law. It says in Romans 3:22:
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
A possible better rendering of this is found in the King James Version. There it says,
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
In these words we see that God’s righteousness is therefore provided unto all men. And, yet the righteousness of God does not come to one who simply has faith in God, but to those who by faith claim the name of Jesus Christ. Saving faith in Christ is a necessary part of the righteousness God provides.
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
William Cunningham, a Scottish preacher in the 1800’s, wrote: “Under law God required righteousness from man. Under grace, He gives righteousness to man. The righteousness of God is that righteousness which God’s righteousness requires Him to require.”
How is it possible to please the Sovereign God? How is it possible to obtain that level of righteousness that is God’s Righteousness (nothing less) , which God’s righteousness requires?
which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:
As we said, the only righteousness that is acceptable to God is God’s righteousness. Impossible to get on our own, it’s available to all. God’s righteousness is provided unto all men. It is available to everyone that has, is, and will walk the earth. Because of it’s availability, we are therefore enlisted by Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. However, even though this righteousness is provided unto all, it is nevertheless applied upon only those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. Only those who believe in the name of Jesus Christ and His finished work of the cross will have righteousness credited unto them.
This is the only conditional element of the gospel. This righteousness is placed upon us as a cloak when, by faith, we receive Jesus Christ as Savior. Righteousness is from God, through Jesus Christ, to all who receive Him by faith.
for there is no difference. 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
There is one other place in Romans where the statement for there is no difference. It is found in Romans Chapter 10.
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,