God is Revealed in Salvation
Romans 3: 21-26
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
The three tenses of salvation: Think past, present, future.
Justification, Redemption, Atonement (there are other terms as well) = Salvation from the penalty and unrighteousness of our sin. This is an event, although it may be difficult to know when the event occurs.
Sanctification= Salvation from the power of sin in our lives presently. This is an ongoing process of growth. It may appear that this is not occurring.
Glorification= Complete salvation from the presence of sin.
This is an event that occurs in the future in heaven with God.
Revelation 21: 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Salvation is an event that spawns a process that ends in a promise.
- A New Understanding of Righteousness
1:17; here verse 21
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known,
- Not based on the Law (what you do) v.21
We have talked for several weeks about God’s standard for righteousness and that it is perfection. This is a reference to the law and your adherence to it. And this standard of righteousness is why there must be a pathway apart from the law, because the law judges you based upon what you do! We cannot manage perfect behavior.
Perfect behavior, perfect faith? Some may object about the quality of your faith. Faith and actions are connected.
We also cannot manage perfect faith. But the standard for faith according to Jesus is not perfect faith! Mustard seed faith. Lord I believe, help my unbelief. What are we believing? What are we trusting?
- Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son. Who Jesus is.
- Jesus Christ has died as a substitute for sinful people in order to reconcile them to God, to make their relationship with God right, to grant them righteousness. What Jesus has done for God and mankind.
- Revealed in the Law and Prophets v.21
New Testament quotes from the Old Testament about Jesus. This apologetic will be meaningful for Jews or people who believe the Bible is authoritative.
Jeremiah 31: 31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Acts 2 sermon: Two quotes about Jesus, one about the Holy Spirit.
Acts 3: 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. A reference to Isaiah 52 and 53 and Psalms 22.
Acts 4: 11 Jesus is: “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
Acts 8: quote from Isaiah 53
Acts 13 sermon: five direct quotes from the OT
This idea will be explored more in Romans 4
- Righteousness by faith from first to last 1:17, v.22
We don’t ever deserve righteousness. It is purely a gift. Even after we are forgiven, we will not behave well enough to deserve God’s grace. We are completely dependent on the grace of God in our lives. And that leaves us in a great place because we dare not trust ourselves. This means that we do not lose our righteousness if we sin. And that is very good news. If you have a gift, you have the gift. You do not receive it because you deserve it, that would be a wage earned. Instead, the gift is credited to the giver. Put this in the language of Parent and child. What do we need from our children? What do we want from them? When they fail do we disown them?
What great men of the Bible are perfect? Peter? James and John? David? Abraham? Moses?
- Jesus Alone Makes Righteous Ones v.22
- Jew and Gentiles alike are under Sin’s power
v.22 and 23 There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
3:9 For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.
- Jew and Gentile alike are Justified by Jesus
3:22-24 There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
- The three pictures of God’s Grace v.24-25
Justification= A legal term, a pronouncement of innocence
Redemption= An economic term that refers to a debt paid (forgiveness is the same idea from the perspective of the one who is owed the debt)
Atonement= A religious term that refers to a substitutionary sacrifice
III. God is Revealed in Redemption
1: 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Well, here in Redemption we see the nature and power of God revealed as well. Our response should be the same, to give thanks and pattern ourselves after God’s character!
- No sin is overlooked
No sin is paid for that Jesus does not pay the price. This demonstrates God’s righteous character. This means that we cannot treat sin lightly. My sin causes Jesus to suffer!
Hebrews 10: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Your forgiveness is bought and paid for by Jesus Christ.
- No sin is unforgiveable (other than rejecting Christ)
This highlights God’s mercy, patience and grace!
You are not beyond hope. God is more powerful in His ability to forgive than your ability to stack up sins that require judgement. Apostle Paul knows this personally!!
You can have life in Christ. But you must give Him your life, and trust Him to save you!
- God is both Just and Justifier
How does God balance His mercy and justice? He does it at the Cross. He manages both His justice and His mercy by willingly, personally taking on the punishment for the sins of others.
There is an element of this that His followers take on as well.
Micah 6:8. Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.