Righteousness Not Wrath

Romans 3:21–26

Posted by Ian Rush on May 26, 2024
Righteousness Not Wrath
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Main idea: All can be declared righteous by God through faith in Christ because of the Work of Christ.

  1. Express Faith (Romans 3:21-22a)
  2. Excuse Excuses (Romans 3:22b-24)
  3. Exalt Christ (Romans 3:25-26)
  • Automated Transcription
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    Good morning, everybody. It's good to be with you. I received a text from Dan and Linda this morning. And they were encouraging me and saying there'll be there'll be tuning in from the airport to be with us this hour this morning. So I think it was more of a we love you, we miss you. We're going to be praying for you. So you guys, even though they're from a distance they are. They're still very much caring for us and shepherding us and praying for us while they're away. So likewise pray for them as well. I don't think it was a hey, I'm going to be watching and keeping an eye on you. So make sure you get it right. Okay, which is good, too. All right. Please stand for the reading of God's Word. We're going to be in Romans chapter three. So turn there in your Bibles, I'm going to read beginning in 21 through two verse 26. So Romans three, if you don't have the Bible with you, or if you prefer, it's up on the screen behind me, as well. Okay, Romans 321. But now, the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all who belief, for there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift. Through the redemption is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins, it was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. This is the word of the Lord. Let's pray. Father, we are amazed even as we read this text aloud, and consider the things that have come about for us because of what you've done. So, Father, I pray that now as we delve into the depths of this passage, that our faith in Christ would be refreshed, a new, that our temptation to sin, would be, battled against and unhindered once more, that we would see the glories and the beauty of Christ that has been made available to us, and that everything else would pale in significance to that, and that we would turn to Him. All of us, even those of us who have been believers for a period of time, we need to turn to Christ every day, we need to remember these things a new every day. So pray that these things would be built into our hearts, that they would be the driving force of our lives, our encouragement and our strength. Father, I pray that You would help us to be attentive to your word, as we come to help us to be changed and convicted by it as well. We pray for our sister churches here in Spokane, particularly this morning, Christ, I hope with John, just down the road here, that the gospel would be faithfully preached from that church and would have lasting impact on lives and glorify you for many years. And we pray the same for Trinity Church in the valley with Paul that you'd help him and those he ministers alongside to shepherd the flock there to be making disciples of Jesus Christ. So far, they help us now as we come to Your Word, we pray in Christ's name. Amen. Please have a seat. All right, who likes puzzles? I'm not talking about like word puzzles. I'm talking about the ones that you get out of the box and then you have to pull the pieces together who likes those. I like the other kind of puzzles. I both really, but I imagine the puzzle people that you got a box so 100 piece puzzle, okay, you take the lid off of the box and you think, Oh, that's a nice picture on the front, I can't wait to make this puzzle, you take the lid off. And inside of your 100 piece box, you find a million pieces. And all a million pieces are completely different, like different different puzzles. They're not even for this puzzle. None of them fit together, and none of them have the same picture on them. That would be pretty overwhelming, right? Puzzles are overwhelming enough when you open them up. But to find one that has too many pieces, all the pieces are wrong. And none of them fit together would leave us feeling in a pretty lost state. I'm sure if that happened, probably less of you will put would put your hands up and say I liked doing puzzles, maybe you'd switch to word puzzles, instead, there would be an impossible task, there's no way that you could complete that puzzle. As much mashing as you tried. You just couldn't do it. So Brian, he led us through the first two and a half chapters of Romans last week, and that left us in an even more impossible and hopeless situation. Okay, so I have the blessing this week. And Brian really did a great job of rounding off last week. And and bringing us to the good news. Okay, we saw all about sin, we saw all about unrighteousness, we saw all about the condemnation, the wrath of God that the unrighteous are under because of our sin. But there's a corner that turns and we'll get to that this morning in the next section of chapter three. So the title of the message this morning, by the way, if you picked up one of these on the way, and for those of you who are new. And you don't know about it on the third fault of this, you'll find all the sermon information. So the titles in there, the passage, the main idea or the points, so you can take notes in there, and take those home with you. So you can keep track throughout the week and remind yourselves of the things that we talked about this morning. But the title this morning is righteousness, not wrath. Okay. So what we heard last week, what you see in those opening two and a half chapters of Romans is wrath. You see sin, you see condemnation, and you see the punishment of God. But this week, we see righteousness instead of wrath, righteousness, not wrath. And the main idea, then is this. All that is, everyone, every single human being who ever exists, can be declared righteous by God, through faith in Christ, because of the work of Christ. So that main idea just encapsulates everything that we're going to go through in this passage this morning, everything this, these verses present to us. So we're just going to break it down into three parts. And point number one is this Express faith, expressed faith, verses 21. And then the beginning of verse 22. Let me read them again. It says, But now, the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Christ, for all who believe, as I said, Brian helped us to understand the first section of Romans last week. So let me just give a quick review of what we saw in beginning in chapter one all the way through to chapter three, and verse 20. The nutshell version of it is this, everyone, all, every single person that ever exists, barring Jesus Christ, the God man is unrighteous. Everyone is unrighteous. chapter one verses 16 and 17. Paul says, In the Gospel, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, the righteousness of God is revealed. The righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel. Then the very next verse chapter one and verse 18. He says, The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men. All that verse means is, because of the unrighteousness because of the sin of mankind, God's wrath is revealed from heaven because of that God's wrath comes, his punishment comes his judgment comes. So you see the two parts of it there in 116 and 17. And then 118.

    God's righteousness is revealed in the Gospel, God's wrath is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men. chapter three, verses nine to 12, tell us that all are under sinned. So the unrighteousness of men that we hear about in 118, that God's wrath has been revealed for and because of all of us are considered unrighteous. All of us are under that wrath. Those verses saying chapter three, none is righteous. No, not one. No one understands. No one seeks God, all have turned aside, together, they become worthless. No one does good, not even one. It's very clear, right? What Paul does is he pours scripture from all over the Bible together and puts them all together to give us that verdict on mankind. Every single one of us in this room, every single person on the planet right now is included in this. We are all under sin. And therefore, chapter three and verse 19, is true of us as well, where Paul says, the whole world is accountable to God, the judgment of God and the wrath of God is on all of us, because of our sin. So it feels like an impossible and a hopeless position, right? Until we get to verse 21. The narrative begins to change, Paul says, But now, but now. It's not that people haven't been able to be saved up until the point that he writes this. But now, in fact, we see in chapter four, which I encourage you to read the Abraham who lived 1000s of years before Paul was saved in the same way that Paul describes here. But now, in verse 21, is the turning point, in Paul's excellent explanation of the state of mankind. We had been left in a hopeless condition at the end of chapter three and verse 20. But now, the outlook for mankind takes a turn toward the hope for and it's all based upon the work of our good God. So let me take a moment to say this. There are times in life, when we can feel hopeless. And I don't just mean in our sin. I mean, there's all kinds of things that can go wrong in life. Okay. And often, often, it's not down to us. Often, there's just things that are going on in the world, things that are going on around us, and we can feel hopeless. But let me encourage you. Words like but now in the Bible, mean that you are never without hope. If God remains a part of your picture, sin or otherwise, which he always does, by the way, there is always hope. He is the one who brings food, where there's famine. He's the one who brings water in the wilderness. He's the one who turns darkness into light. And he is the one who brings life where there is death. He brings the dead to life. So he says, But now, but now. So we turn the corner and he says, the righteousness of God has been manifested. The righteousness of God. To be righteous just means to be upright. It means to be just, it means to be fair. It means to do that which is right that which is good. And of God means that is His righteousness, the righteousness of God. It is his alone. It defines who he is. It tells us that God is eternally right. It doesn't just mean in an intellectual sense. It doesn't just mean why Like, you asked God, the question, who scored? Who scored the tuck the first touchdown in the Super Bowl last year And God's like, well, I know the answer. That's what it is. That's not what it means that God is eternally right. Okay, it's not talking about it in an intellectual sense. He is that as well. He's omniscient. He knows everything. But here it means in a moral and judicial sense. God is right. He's right. He always does the right thing. Because he is righteous. He always makes the right call, he always makes the right decision. He always does what is good. He always acts righteously. And we can trust him to do that. And again, that's something that we can rest in, isn't it? We can trust God, always to do what's right. We can look at our lives and say, because God is sovereign, because God is in control. And because I know that God is righteous, He is doing what's right, right now. He's doing what's right. And I can trust him. He makes just, and fair decisions, as we will see as we work our way through to the end of this passage. So we're told the righteousness of God has been manifested. I read to chapter one and verse 18, earlier, where we saw that the wrath of God was revealed against all unrighteousness of men. Here we are told that God also reveals His righteousness, which we also saw in verses 16 and 17 of chapter one. And this righteousness, as we see back in chapter one is revealed in the gospel. We can know God's righteousness through the Gospel. And this is what makes the good news. Good news. Right? It means that we as sinners, who are judged adjudicated to be declared sinners, deserving of death eternally, can be declared righteous. That's the good news. And that's really good news. And he tells us how he says it's apart from the law is apart from the law. And he says, although kind of like a parenthetical statement is statements in parentheses, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, so he's saying there, we don't attain this righteous standing through obedience to the law, we don't attain it through our good works. Romans seven, as we'll see two weeks from today, tells us that it's not that there's something wrong with the law. It's not that the law is insufficient, or deficient in some way. It's our depraved hearts that are at fault. Because of our heart, our propensity to sin. We're unable to attain the righteousness of God, were without it were completely depraved. Though he says here in chapter three, the Law and the Prophets bear witness of it. The law and the Prophet says just another way of saying the Old Testament scriptures, they do point to the way of attaining true righteousness, they point to the true way. So he's essentially just saying, even though you can't attain that righteousness by obeying the law, the law and the prophets point you to the true way of attaining that righteousness, and that's Jesus Christ. That's the old gospel. It's been with us from the beginning. Salvation by Faith is not a new thing that Jesus and Paul introduce. It's been around since Eden, since God made that promise to Adam and Eve that a serpent Crusher would come. They had messianic hope that one day one would come who would reverse the curse that had come upon creation and mankind. And from that point, all the way through all of Scripture attests to this same message. And Jesus is the central figure of it all. He's the one that makes it all possible. It's all about Christ. It's all about Christ. So it's not through the law, though the Law and the Prophets attest to it. So how is it then why he tells us next The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ. For All, who belief. For All, who belief.

    This means that God as a righteous judge, the one who always declares rightly and makes the right decision and does the right thing can declare sinners as righteous may wonder, well, how can how can that be a righteous thing for him to do? We'll get to that in a minute. But that's the puzzle piece we've been missing, right? That's the problem that we've had, that we haven't known the solution for all the way through until 321. God now reveals to us, yes, you are unrighteous. Yes, you are in a hopeless state. Yes, you are cut off from God, and you are under his condemnation. But the very thing that you need, the righteousness that you need, I have made available for you. You can have it all through my Son, Jesus Christ. You can have it show us the puzzle piece that we've been missing. God's righteousness is available through faith in Christ. This means that it's not of our own works. But if we have faith in Christ, where once we were declared sinners and condemned to eternity in hell, by him. Now, we are declared to be righteous, just as Jesus himself is, as God is, that should blow your mind. Right? Because we know what we are. We know that what we're capable of. We know from these opening two and a half chapters what God has declared us to be. And then he says, through Christ, I can declare you to be righteous, just as I am righteous. I can make the same declaration about you, as I make about myself, as I make about Jesus, that can be yours. It's mind blowing, what God does. And this is what makes these verses central to Romans, some of the most important verses in the whole Bible. Because it's the message of the gospel. This is why I'm here. This is why I do what we do. And this is what I want you to hear. This is what, as a church, we want the whole world to hear. You can be forgiven by God for all of your sin. And not only that, but declared righteous by him. And not only that, but a whole bunch of other stuff that we'll get into in the next few weeks in Romans, being freed from the eternal consequence of our sin. If you put your faith in Jesus Christ, if you would believe in Him, that's the all important part, right? It's not universalism, which is okay, everybody was a sinner. Now, God's done this thing, and now everybody's righteous is for those who believe. It's for those who put their faith in Christ. What does that mean? What does it mean? Well, it's as simple as it sounds, really. It means you affirm Jesus Christ for who He really is. I think sometimes we can be prone to reimagining Christ, according to our own experiences or according to what we want our Savior to be like. We can't do that. You're savior, Jesus Christ needs to be the Jesus Christ. That Scripture gives us, the Jesus Christ that scripture presents to us. You need to affirm Jesus Christ, for who He truly is, the God and Savior that the Bible presents. He's the God of this universe. He's the God who is sovereign over all things. He's the God who spoke all of this into existence and continues to rule or things. And you must not only affirm this and say that you believe that, but start valuing him in that way as well. start respecting him in that way. Start living for Him as if he's the God of the universe because he is. start respecting him as if he's the one who's created you, and given you purpose because he is. Be willing to give up everything to come and follow Him, realizing that there's nothing that you can bring to the table, there's nothing that you can contribute. There's nothing that you can do to earn this righteousness that you need. But he contributes everything and will give you everything. People give up their lives for this. For this message, for this truth, you've heard of Martin Luther probably, this is what he was willing to oppose the whole of Roman Catholicism in the 16th century, for why he did all the things he did is why we know his name today, because he understood this truth. And he saw this as the opposite of what the Roman Catholic Church is teaching everybody, and people are dying, deceived. So I'm willing to die so that people can know the truth. The Roman Catholic Church, Martin Luther included, had been taught to believe that the righteousness of God referred to his moral perfection, and it referred to him as a mean, condemning judge over those who are unrighteous. And it led people like Luther to hate God. Because they just saw him as this cruel punisher of unrighteousness. They emphasized God as the righteous judge and us as the worthy recipients of His wrath unless we could attain to his righteousness. And they started pushing this false abusive doctrine of indulgences, works salvation, basically, where they would say simply, if you, if you're just give money, or if you're just do this or do that, then you will earn your way you will earn the righteousness that you need. Now, I don't know how much of this or that you need to do. So you just better keep doing it. And you better keep giving it as much as you possibly can. And then hopefully, on the day that you die, you won't have to pay off your sin anymore, in the pellet in the place of punishment, in purgatory or in hell. You can even do this for your dead relatives, give money on their behalf, so you can free them from the punishment. That's what they were pushing this false doctrine. That's why Martin Luther he became a monk. He committed himself basically to a life of misery, in order to try and earn righteousness in order to pay off his sin, while he lived on Earth, wearing uncomfortable clothing, giving up any kind of pleasure that he could have in this life and trying to live in as miserable way as he possibly could. There were times when he would just sleep on the stone cold floor in the middle of winter, in the castle that he lived in to try and punish himself for his sin, so that God's wrath would no longer be upon him. But it was through his own study of Romans as a monk who would go out to churches and teach people that Luther discovered the truth about the righteousness of God. That's not the God of the Bible. That's not the God of the Bible. The righteousness of God doesn't refer to God as a main god. It refers to him as a kind, compassionate and gracious, saving God who acts on behalf of people, not against people, that he does not stand only willing to judge for people's sin, which he does judge sin, but willing to save those who believe. So are you trusting in works to save you? Are you trusting in something other than Christ? To save you? Ask yourself this question. What do you turn your attention to? When you fall into the various pits of this life? Right? Hopefully, you guys know what I mean by that. Like sometimes life is smoother than other times, and it's those other times when it kind of feels like I'm down in a hole All again. Like, things have gotten difficult. Things feel like they're going wrong. And it's affecting me like life doesn't feel great. What do you turn to? In those moments?

    What's the Savior that you turn to? What is it that you turn to for help? What is it that you turn to for hope? What is it that you turn to to give you maybe a temporary pick me up or feeling of pleasure? Or something to just I need something else to think about. Like I need to just space out of real life and let my mind be given to something else. Those are functional saviors. You need to turn to the real savior. He had turned to Christ. These truths apply to believers, too. I think it's easy to read a passage like this and say, Yeah, I wish all of my unbelieving friends would read this passage. But we all need to be reminded these things every day. We regularly affirm with our words, even in Scripture and our speech, but in songs as well that we sing that we're saved by grace. But is that the way that you live? Do you live as if you are saved by grace? Do you live as if you're saved by your own works and your own merit? When you send Do you heap guilt upon yourself? Do you tell yourself that you're a second rate Christian, or maybe not even a Christian at all, because of the shortcomings of your own efforts? That reeks of works based salvation, right? Certainly, we must confess and recognize our sins to God, and to close, mature believing friends. We must make efforts to change the bad patterns in our lives. But we must always remember that our standing before God as righteous is secure, because it's based upon the work of Christ, not our works. We can't do it, and we can't undo it. He is the only one who can change our hearts. And in so doing, our new hearts are what bring about the change to fruit in our lives. So embed your roots in Christ, and your fruit will surely change. So I hope to see you I know you guys, we've been reading in growth groups that learn the gospel, one of those books in that series, just so we can be familiar with, what is this message that we trust in? And how can I communicate it with people that need to know it, including my brothers and sisters in Christ in the church is a key component to the Gospel, what we read in these verses. As well as making sure we believe it, we need to make sure it's a part of what we say to others when we share the gospel with them and encourage them in Christ. That is God's work. It's not our work. So as well as expressing faith in the wrong things, we sometimes just make excuses as to why we're not going to turn to Christ and follow Him. Which brings us to point number two, which is not a typo. Excuse, Excuses, excuses, excuses. So we find that in the remainder of 22 and then into the beginning part of verse 24. He says, For there is no distinction. For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift. So again, believer don't get trapped into thinking that these verses are only for the last day for us to we need truths like this every day in our fight against temptation and sin. So what does he say there is no distinction, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift. So the basic message is this. There is no difference. That's what no distinction means that there's no difference, just as all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. As was emphasized in the first two and a half chapters, so to all can be justified by his grace as a gift All is the key word. That's our emphasis here. God's gift is available to all. Now is that all universally No, it's not he specifies is to all who express faith in Him. If you are included in the first group, the all who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, which you are, by the way, then you are qualified to receive God's gift of justification by faith alone. It's available to all. Poor clarifies two important concepts in these verses. The first is justification. So think of it this way. We've just stepped into the Divine Cosmic courtroom of God. Okay, where God is the judge. And we are all of the ones who stand under his judgment, the ones being judged. In the first two and a half chapters, we learned what the judges declaration was of us, as lost unsaved sinners without Christ, God's judicial courtroom declaration about us is that we are condemned sinners, to eternal punishment in hell. The word here though, is justification. And that is the opposite of condemnation. It is God's judicial declaration, then in the courtroom, that same courtroom that a person has a legally righteous standing before him, and will receive all of the blessings eternally, that are associated with that standing. That's what justification is, his declaration of a sinner, that they are now righteous, He no longer calls you sinner, he calls you righteous, I declare that you are righteous. Think it's important to realize this not just a neutral thing. He's not just saying your sin has been dealt with. I forgive you. It's a positive affirmation. It's a positive declaration. Not just you're forgiven, but your righteous, your righteous. The same as I am righteous, the same as Jesus is righteous. His righteousness is yours. Through faith, our sin and its consequences became Christ's. And His righteousness and its consequences became us. That's imputation. So that's what justification is. Next. The second concept he clarifies is grace. This is as a gift. Make no mistake. This justification is a gift of His. We don't earn it. We sung about that in a song this morning. The doctrine of total depravity that we read about up until this point in Romans makes God's grace gift, a necessity. If we understand our sin fully, we also understand that our salvation is only a bait available through something outside of us. There's nothing we can do. There's nothing we can do. He decided, this is his gracious gift. He decided in his own divine wisdom on his own, not foreseeing what we would be like or what we would do. Just have his own decision. By his own will. He decided that he would bestow His eternal favor, otherwise known as Grace upon those who chose to, and one part of the favor He bestows upon us is that he justifies us. So God has made salvation available to all who believe God's righteousness is available for all who expressed faith in Christ without distinction

    is the classic Come one, come all. No one is left out. All of you are invited to come and turn to Christ and be forgiven, and be declared righteous and receive all of the blessings of the heavenly places. I don't know if you've ever had this conversation with your siblings. I'm talking to adults. Okay? Because I've had this conversation with my siblings. Which kid does mom and dad love best? Do you ever do that one? Right? It was like, You were always Dad's favorite growing up, and that's like, No, but you're always mom's favorite grown up. Which kid did the parents love best? Now kids? Don't panic. Your kids love all of you. Okay? They love us, right? I'm a parent. There's no difference in my love for any one of my kids. I love them all. I'm willing to give everything for their good. I don't always do it perfectly. I'm a sinner. I'm selfish. But I love my kids all equally. That's the point. God makes no distinction. His salvation is available to any who believe. I think a good illustration of this is the apostle Paul, right? If anyone had an excuse, if anyone were ever able to say, oh, no, I'm not. I'm too bad. Sometimes. That's our excuse, right? God can't save me, I'm too far gone. Paul is like the prime example of the person who could have and should have been able to see that he murdered Christians, he tore down and tore up church gatherings. That was his sole purpose in life. And then God saved him. God decided I will save Paul, I will declare him righteous. So there's no distance that you could have gone, that is beyond the saving arm of God. He will show you favor. If you turn to Christ. So what's your excuse? What's holding you back? Is it sin? You say no. Let me word it a different way. Because I have conversations with people that say this. There's something in this life that you still want. And you feel like coming to follow Christ will mean that you can't have that thing. There's something you don't want to give up. I'm not willing to give up my Sundays every week. I'm not willing to do whatever Christ caused me to do. I'm just not like I want, I still want to do all of those other things. I don't want to give them up. Let me encourage you this. Think about what you gain in Christ. When you think about what you gain in Christ, you'll do the same as what Paul does in Philippians chapter three, he'll say all of the things that I counted as most valuable in life. Now that I fully understand who Christ is, and what he's done for me, they're rubbish. Like in comparison, everything else is rubbish. You don't think that right now. You think all of these other things are valuable. You think all of these other things are giving me what I need. I want them I need them. But listen to what Scripture says. All of that is rubbish, compared to the value of knowing Christ. And what you gain in him, is priceless, and lasts forever. It never diminishes it never rusts never fades. So be willing to come and follow him at whatever cost. That's what you need. All the things of this life will die and fade and be replaced, but never Christ. So the question is, then how is all this possible? How can God possibly still call himself righteous when he just declares someone who's an obvious sinner as righteous? How can he still call himself righteous? How can he still call himself just I thought someone that was just made fair and right decisions and treated the unrighteous according to their unrighteous deeds, and punish them and treated the righteous according to the righteous deeds and rewarded them. How can he still call himself righteous? How can he still call himself just how does all of this work? The answer is found in the remaining verses. So we'll pick up the rest of verse 24 and go through to 26 point number three exalt Christ. It's all about Christ. through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness. Because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins, it was to show His righteousness at the present time. So that he might be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. So we've already heard that God is righteous, and just we're just trying to understand how that plays out. When he obviously declares a sinful person, as righteous, we know that he is always right, therefore always does the right thing. He always makes sound judgments regarding sinners and the righteous sinners received the appropriate consequence for their sin. And likewise, the righteous received the appropriate reward for their righteousness. In other words, to answer my previous questions, he cannot just forgive and forget. He cannot just pretend that nothing ever happened without his wrath for sin, being satisfied. And this is where Jesus comes in the Lamb of God. He says, we are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. It is the redeeming work of Christ, that makes all of this possible. He has paid the price of death in the place of those who belief so that we might be freed from sin, so that we might be freed from the wrath of God, and would become his children instead, and declared righteous by him. So Jesus were told was put forward by God as a propitiation by His blood. Blood was the payment that was due to God, death was the payment he expected from us because of sin. The cost of your head was blood. So Jesus gave His blood, he had to die, to redeem us. And we see here as well that this was God's plan. He put his son forward. Think about that. He paid the ultimate price. Think about the depths of the agony that God went through. So that sinners, enemies, scoffers people tearing out his beard and spitting in his face, people like us could be saved. propitiation just means to satisfy the wrath of God. And that means that we earned God's eternal wrath by our sin. So it needs to be satisfied somehow, he can't just pretend that that didn't happen, and that there's no punishment do. So Jesus came and willingly received that wrath himself. When he died on the cross, though he had never sinned himself. And it was that sinlessness that uniquely qualified Jesus for that task, he alone could stand in our place. Either you receive God's eternal wrath for your sin, or Jesus does one time. And then as he said, with his dying breath, It is finished. And we're told here is to be received by faith. God's righteousness is received by faith. We're gonna go over that again. But just say this, do you think Paul's trying to draw our attention to something? It's not by works is by faith alone. And finally, in closing, he tells us this was to show God's righteousness. So how does this show us God's righteousness? Because in divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. This is talking about what happened to those who lived and believed before the coming of Christ.

    Here God says it was just the same for them as it was for us. justification by faith was true for pre crucifixion of Jesus believers. Though Christ's had not come yet and done the deed God for bore the sins of believers who came before Christ. again reach out to for about Abraham, because they still put their faith in the Messiah. Their sin was covered by his work, too. And he next says at the present time. So that was true of them all the way back then up until the point of Jesus. And it's true from the point of Jesus all the way through until the end. It's always justification by faith alone. So that he might be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus, no matter who you are, or when you lift. God's righteousness is shown through Christ, because he is just it shows his justice, he still punishes sin appropriately, his wrath is still poured out on sin, either on the head of the unbelieving sinner, or on Christ in the place of believers. And he is the justifier. He declares sinners who believe righteous on account of their faith in Christ. That's how both can be true. So God's righteousness is available through faith, because of the work of Christ. So rest in the fact put your value and hope in the fact that if you are in Christ, you're in a different position now than you were before. Something different is declared about you now than was declared before. Because of what Christ has done for you. That's reason to rejoice. That's reason to exalt Christ. For the whole, have the rest of your life, even though things might go up and down. So exalt Him, worship him, look at what he has done on your behalf. The appropriate response is worship. He's not trying to restrict you, he wants to give you all the blessings of the heavenly places. So continually turn to Him and follow Him. Let's pray. Father, we're so thankful for the wonderful truths of this passage, the centrality of the gospel that we've seen, I pray that You would help us to continually follow Christ, trust in Him, not in our own works because they're worthless and and don't accomplish anything for our righteousness, but instead that we would trust in Christ and rest in.

Ian Rush

Ian is the Youth Pastor of Faith Bible Church. He and his wife, Claire, have 5 kids and recently spent a few years serving in a small church in England.

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