The Gospel in The Book of Romans
|The Author and Finisher of Our Faith|
Be sure to continue making lists as you read.
Lesson Four..... Justified by Faith (Click Here For Previous Lessons)
This lesson will explore Romans Chapter Three.... Romans was written by Paul about AD 57
Chapter 3 is a transition chapter taking us from man's sinful and lost condition, and God's condemnation and wrath against sin to God's plan of Salvation and justification by faith.
Paul has made it clear thus far that both Jews and Gentiles were without excuse and in need of God's mercy. In the first few verses he asks and answers some questions. You'll find that this is one of Paul's favorite methods of teaching.
Question: Is there any advantage in being a Jew?
(he'd made it clear that Jews were as sinful as the Gentiles, and even
Answer: "Yes" because the Jews possessed the Word of God and His oracles.( note: they were the first to have the Gospel preached to them as well)
Question: Does Israel's unbelief cancel God's faithfulness?
Answer: Absolutely not! It establishes it.
Question: Then why shouldn't we sin so God can be even more merciful in forgiving and good can come of it?
Answer: Paul treats this question as obviously a mindset he'd encountered, and he counters it with very little respect, by saying that those who reason this way deserve to be condemned themselves.
Question: Are we (Jews) better than they? (Gentiles)
Answer: Not at all. For we have established that ALL men are under sin.
Then, he sums it all up by quoting from Psalm 14:1-3
Here is a list from that scripture:
1. THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
2. THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
3. THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
4. ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
5. THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.
6. THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
7. WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,
8. THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS;
9. WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS;
10. THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
11. DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
12. AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.
13. THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.
The whole of mankind stands as sinners before God, controlled by sin and with no desire to seek after God. Therefore, God must seek after the sinner. More about that in later lessons.
Now Paul begins to write of the Law and justification. In verses 19 and 20 he tells us that the Law speaks to those who are UNDER the law, and no man has a right to boast of his own good works or argue with God as to the requirements of His Holy Law, so the whole world is guilty and accountable before God because through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
In Verse 21 Paul introduces the theme
of "JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH" ... the heart of the GOSPEL!
Justified: (dikaiosis) declared, pronounced, reckoned righteous in God's eyes ...acquitted from guilt ...
Redemption: (apolutrosis) liberation from the guilt and penalty of sin into a life of newness .. "bought back" from the slavery of sin and death, deliverance from the required payment and penalty for our sin
Propitiation: (hilasterion) "a cover" as in the Mercy Seat, the Lid of the Arc of the Covenant .. Christ Himself is called our propitiation . "whom God has set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, by His blood" Jesus is the One through whom God shows His mercy of justifying grace to a sinner who believes that Salvation was accomplished by Christ's paying the price for us with the shedding of His Blood on the cross and having been judged for our sin, satisfying God's law, for God MUST judge sin.
Faith: (pistis) a conviction based upon hearing, to persuade, to trust in, what is believed, assurance ... Always used in Scripture pertaining to God and Jesus ... faith in or believing in their "trustworthiness" or "faithfulness" of things spiritual
Verse 24 - 25 "JUSTIFIED freely by His Grace, through the REDEMPTION that is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a PROPITIATION in His Blood through FAITH"
Volumes could be written about these verses! Here is, as I said, the HEART of the GOSPEL!
A brief overview of what took place on the cross:
In verses 25 & 26 Paul tells how God seemingly "passed over" the sins of mankind, allowing them to escape His judgment. While some did incur His wrath at times, for the most part their sins were "covered" by the blood of bulls and goats. But in Jesus' sacrificial death, God demonstrated the full measure of His wrath against sin and His righteousness at the time of His choosing to be both JUST and JUSTIFIER of the sinner who would have faith in Jesus regarding His work on the cross.
JUST: God revealed His Wrath against sin by laying sin upon Jesus .. the sin of all mankind .. Jesus became sin for us as He hung on the cross, and He was Judged and sentenced to pay the penalty on our behalf .. He who was without sin! He paid the whole price for us. The shedding of Jesus' blood was a sacrifice that was a judgment that rightly belonged to us as sinners, every sinner in the world! Then by His resurrection and life, the Propitiation was complete because the sin barrier between God and man had been broken. Jesus then entered the Holy of Holies to present His own shed Blood on the alter, to spill out over all who would believe, as the last blood sacrifice that would be required. God's justice had been satisfied once and for all for all time!
JUSTIFIER: God declares the one who has faith in Jesus and His sacrifice of being judged, condemned, and penalized for the sins of all, paying the whole price that God's law and justice demanded. That faith must be directed toward the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ .. that and that alone .. we could never hope to be able to justify ourselves.
As I pointed out, this is merely a BRIEF overview of what took place on the cross. There is much more to come in the following lessons.
To expand on the main theme of this lesson, I'd
like to present an excerpt from one of the Rev. Billy Graham's sermons.
REV BILLY GRAHAM
The first step to God is a realization of our spiritual poverty. We humans seem to think we can work at being righteous, but we cannot save ourselves! It's a good thing to strive toward godly character in ourselves, but as it relates to Salvation, the Word declares, "There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death." Prov. 14:12 - It would seem logical to some that these characteristics could save our souls, but, "Wise are they who openly confess that they are sinners, and cry, "God be merciful to me, a sinner." THEN, because of our beloved Jesus, we can be saved because He has redeemed us by God's loving Grace.
We praise and thank You for all Your wonderful blessings and Love! Thank You for our Savior, Jesus, and thank You for seeking for us when we were lost and without hope.
Bless those who have stayed with all the lessons and those who have just joined us as well. We ask that you help us to understand Your Word, and understand the great gift of Your mercy and love that You've provided for us in offering Salvation for all who would believe. Help us to see with spiritual eyes all that You have for us and all You would have us do.Show each one of us where and to what we are called to do in Your service, and provide the way for us to walk in Your Will.
Shower us with Your Holy Spirit to provide knowledge and wisdom as we search Your Word. Give us determination to continue in our studies to show ourselves approved and learn how to rightly divide and understand Your Holy Word. Lead us to those with whom we may share what we learn, so we can rejoice that others are shown the Way!
Keep us all safe, well, and strong, and bless our families and loved ones as we go about our daily lives. Remind us that we are precious to You, and you have a plan for each of us, and You have only our good in Your mind for us.
Help us to stand strong in America and repent and turn from any wicked ways and humble ourselves and pray. Give us courage to lean on you in this troubled time in our country. Guide our leaders with Your Holy Spirit, from our President to our local law enforcement. Give them wisdom, strength, and the abiltity to carry out Your Will. Bless and help those nations that are standing with us in our fight against senseless terrorism. We pray for the peace of Israel.
Help and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted in other countries. Those who are in prisons and impoverished for their faith are blessed by You, because they are persecuted for righteousness' sake. We remember their bonds! And we ask for a special blessing and reward for them.
We pray also for our enemies. Stay their hand from violence to the innocent. Help them to see that You are God and that Jesus died for the the world of sinners that You love so much that You gave Him, and He laid down His life for them too.
Father, in Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
God bless you all ... Be sure to come back for Lesson 5.
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Love In Christ,