Summary: A look at the theological words to see what they really mean to us
Our passage today starts with the word 'Therefore', which gives us a clue that there is a discussion that has already resulted in some sort of conclusion. As a result of which we have the passage in front of us today. It is also Paul at his difficult best. You can almost hear him having thoughts and getting them down on his paper. He didn't have my luxury of word processing, once it was written it was written, no going back and changing it. When a new thought comes along that really fits somewhere further back it must be recorded and dealt with there, he can't go back and re-do the last paragraph or two.
So, before we deal with the therefore lets try to get sense of what Paul is saying. I sat down and tried to re-write the thoughts, it helped me to get closer to the text. See what you think, if it helps you too – great, otherwise, just ignore the next slide.
We are standing in Grace and we are at peace with God because we have been justified by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So we rejoice in the hope of the God's Glory. We continue to rejoice even when that faith brings us troubles, because we know that those troubles produce perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character hope.
Our hope does not disappoint us because we have God's love, brought to us by the Holy Spirit, who, himself was given to us by God.
Now that may or may not help you. It certainly won't if you don't understand all the theological language, so we will take a look at some of those words later, as we try to get a better understanding of exactly what Paul is talking about and what it means for us.
First, though lets go back and take a look at how Paul arrived at the 'Therefore'. We have to go back to Romans 3:21 to see what Paul is talking about.
[Slide 4] – Romans 3:21-26
Ro 3:21 But now a righteousness from God, b apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. c
Ro 3:22 This righteousness from God d comes through faith e in Jesus Christ f to all who believe. g There is no difference, h
Ro 3:23 for all have sinned i and fall short of the glory of God,
Ro 3:24 and are justified j freely by his grace k through the redemption l that came by Christ Jesus.
Ro 3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, 16 m through faith in his blood. n He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished o —
Ro 3:26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
In verse 21 Righteousness (being right with God) came from following the Jewish law – completely and perfectly. Now though another way of righteousness has been revealed. Before Jesus people couldn't have known about what he would do, unless they had studied the scriptures very closely and listened carefully to God speaking through them. No-one had, although some had come close. Now though righteousness comes through faith in Jesus – whether as a Jew you have tried to follow the Law, or as a Gentile you had no knowledge of the Law.
'There is no difference' Paul says at the end of verse 22, for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.
[Slide 5] – Tin rolling demonstration – ask for a volunteer.
[Slide 6] – Tin rolling explanation.
The tin represents us. However hard we try we cannot keep on the straight and narrow. We will always fail, get distracted from our purpose, or change our focus.
Mt 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
Mt 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Paul then goes on to explain that righteousness under the Law is not possible and justification is only available by faith – even to Abraham. Being Paul he does this in great detail, you can read it later, the key thing for us to understand is that God knows that righteousness is impossible for us living in a fallen world.
[Slide 7] – Bible Passage
Coming back to today's passage lets take a look at some of these technical words and try to get a better understanding of them all.
[Slide 8] – Bible Passage