Romans 3:21-26, "Justified"
Romans 3:21, “21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,”
- The phrase “righteousness of God” isn’t a common phrase we would use in our language today, but it means glory.
- Scripture teaches us we were created in the image of God, to dwell eternally in His glory (Genesis 1-2), but all of humanity has abandoned His glory to pursue our own glory (Genesis 3.)
- That is why you see every human being throughout history trying to leave their mark of glory on this world. Every human being throughout history is trying to make their life count for something. Every human begin is trying to accomplish something in life that makes them feel like their life matters, and it is because we are pursuing our own glory!
Romans 3:22, “22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction”
- When we use the word “faith” in our world today we use the word “faith” completely different then how it was used in the first century when the Apostle Paul writes Romans. We use the word “faith” like a connotation of “good feelings.” We use the word “faith” as a synonym of “not sure if something is true, but you just have to believe.”
Hebrews 11:1, “11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
- The word for assurance means substance, and the word for conviction means evidence.”
- We have evidence revealed in creation (Romans 1), evidence of eyewitness testimony (Gospels), and evidence of Old Testament promises (verse 21).
Romans 3:23, “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
- Lets be honest with ourselves this morning. Every human being is consumed with the pursuits of our own glory, and we all fall short.
Romans 3:24, “24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus”
- In verse 24 the word “Justified” means “to be declared righteous.” It is a judicial term.
- The image you should have in your head is of a courtroom, where you have been found guilty of pursuing your own glory, you are exhausted in your pursuits and the God of Scripture would be just to walk away and leave in the pursuit of your own glory (Romans 1).
- But, just before the gavel drops, Jesus stands up and says, “You no longer have to pursue your own glory, because you are declared righteous!”
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”
- The word “forbearance” in verse 25 means “patience.” It is the God of Scripture who is patient.
- The God of Scripture creates humanity in His glory, but we abandon His glory to pursue our own glory, and He would be completely just to walk away, but instead the God of Scripture responds with patience. Isn’t that amazing?
Romans 3:26, “26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
- Everywhere in our world today you will hear people talk of justice. We want justice for those police officers who abuse their authority. We want justice for those teachers who neglect their students. We want justice for the employer who abuses their position. We want justice for the guy in the car who speeds past us on Mo-Pac.
- We all say we want God to be loving, gracious and kind, but can you imagine if evil and terror ruled the world for eternity? That wouldn’t make God loving. That would make God cruel. No, the God of Scripture makes it really clear He is just.
- The God of Scripture is not only just, but He is also the justifier. The God of Scripture enters our world, lives a perfect life, pursues those who have abandoned His glory for their own glory, and willingly lays down His life at the cross. His name is Jesus!
Aren’t you tired of pursuing your own glory? Tossing and turning every night, wondering if you have done enough, wondering if you have made the right decision, wondering what people think, wondering if you will be able to keep the little, microscopic glimpses of glory from fading. Aren’t you tired?
The Apostle Paul was, and he is writing to you and me to say, “Receives the glory of God apart made known in Jesus Christ, declared righteous as a gift by His grace.”