Romans 3:19-28 Part 2
An Exposition – The Righteousness of God in the Gospel
Romans 3:25 – 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; NASB
A. whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. –
Paul now points to the redemption price which was paid by Christ Jesus. The “whom” speaks of Christ. But notice here that it was “God” who “displayed publically” Christ. It was “God” reconciling us to Himself by “a propitiation in His blood.” Here “propitiation” speaks of an atoning sacrifice which was placed on an altar. This atoning sacrifice propitiates God’s holy wrath towards sin, which means it satisfies or appeases God’s holy anger because of sin. To state this another way, God sacrificed Christ publically, to appease His own holy wrath. Here again notice these two important elements of the Gospel, it is THEOLOGICAL because it has been wrought by God and it is CHRISTOLOGICAL because it has been purchased by Christ.
The terms “in His blood” speak of Christ being a blood sacrifice that appeases the holy God to provide the justification that is received by faith. God is “He who requires blood” (Psalm 9:12) because the wages of sin is death and without the death of someone, sin cannot be atoned for, because without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness or remission of sins (Heb 9:22).
Notice again Paul’s emphasis on faith. This “propitiation” is provided “through faith.” Faith is the vehicle “through” which the “propitiation” is applied. God’s wrath is appeased and satisfied for every individual who receives the satisfaction “through faith.” No one can merit this appeasement of wrath without becoming the appeasement themselves. This is why salvation is NOT of works, but rather “through faith” in Christ who worked it for us.
B. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; –
Now this blood sacrifice was God making a “demonstration of His righteousness.” This is the “manifested righteousness of God” (v-21). Consider here, God has something to demonstrate, His righteousness. How did He do that? He sacrificed Christ Jesus publically to “demonstrate His righteousness.” Here Paul gives us the reason why God needed to demonstrate His righteousness. “Because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.” Here Paul simply means that God needed to demonstrate His righteousness because He had not burst forth in wrath against all sin in all the previous ages on mankind to destroy them, but rather “in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins” that were “previously committed.” Here learn also that justification for sinners in previous ages was completed by Christ.
Romans 3:26 – 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. NASB
A. 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, –
Here Paul describes that Christ’s death was a demonstration of God’s righteousness “at the present time” to explain that it is now fulfilled at the advent of Christ. This is the “fullness of time” when God has once for all time (Heb 10:10-14) demonstrated His righteousness through the sacrifice (propitiation) of Christ.
Galatians 4:4-5 – 4 But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. NASB
B. that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. –
Here Paul states that God is “just” in this act of propitiation and that He is the “justifier” as well. God is the One who justifies (Rom 8:33), and He justifies “the one who has faith in Jesus.” See then in this glorious verse, justification is by faith, and in this God has demonstrated His justice.
Romans 3:27-28 – 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. NASB
A. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. –
Here Paul points to mankind and asked how we can boast before God somehow of our own merit. Here he plainly states that “boasting is excluded.” In other words, we have no place to boast of our justification before God because it was completely unmerited and gratuitous, not being earned by us but rather freely given and earned by Christ. Further that this justification comes now “by a law of faith,” and NOT “of works.” The idea of justification “apart from works” in this context is emphatic and repeated several times for Paul states just a few verses later…..
Romans 4:5 – 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness, NASB
Notice how many times in this short context this idea of justification by faith apart from works has been mentioned.
1. v-21 (But now apart from the Law)
2. v-22 (even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe;)
3. v-24 (being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption)
4. v-2 (as a propitiation in His blood through faith.)
5. v-26 (the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.)
6. v-27 (Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.)
7. v-28 (For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.)
B. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. –
Here Paul summarizes the main point of this passage in very certain terms. This statement emphatically sets forth the idea that justification happens “by faith” and is “apart from works of the Law.” This is the heart of the Gospel that could not be stated in any clearer terms than are given here. This is a major theme in Paul’s doctrine of salvation.
Romans 5:1-2 – 1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.NASB
Galatians 2:16 – 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified. NASB
Philippians 3:9 – 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, NASB
Justification before God is by God’s Grace ONLY, and received by faith ONLY, because of what Christ ONLY has done.
This teaching is a part of a 12 month series called "The Savior, The Cross, and The Gospel" ….
See all the audio here….. http://www.heritageabq.org/teaching/seriesview/36/
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