My Sin and God’s Righteousness
Romans 3:23 (p. 1747) July 23, 2017
There is no difference, for all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified freely by his grace . . . .
A lawyer looks at sin
The wrath of God is being revealed against all the godlessness
and wickedness of men who suppress the truth . . . .
“Dear Sirs: I am. Yours truly, G.K. Chesterton.”
Letter to the editor, explaining what is wrong with the world
- “THEY” are under wrath (Romans 1:18-32)
- “WE” are under wrath (Romans 2:1-29)
- God’s wrath is JUST (Romans 3:1-20)
A theology of exchange
But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known . . .
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement . . . .
- Humanity exchanges of truth of God for a lie
- God exchanged our communion with him for wrath
- God provides redemption through the work Christ
- My unrighteousness exchanged for Christ’s righteousness
- My unbelief exchanged for belief by the work of the Spirit
When I get sin right . . .
This was to show God’s righteousness . . . .
Romans 3:25-26 (ESV, and see The Message)
- I see God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS DEMONSTRATED = WRATH SATISFIED at the cross
- I see God’s INITIATIVE in my salvation:
— in justification, God DECLARES ME RIGHTEOUS (NOT “NOT GUILTY”)
— in redemption, God TAKES MY PLACE
— in propitiation, God SATISFIES HIS OWN WRATH
- I see in the law, my life of gratitude
Another helpful definition of “the gospel”
Even though we have sinned and defaced the divine image, nevertheless,
through the means of faith, and not through works of the law,
and only because God is gracious
toward Jew and Gentile sinners, and not because we have earned anything from him,
God freely justifies those who trust in Jesus Christ,
through the redemption that Jesus himself accomplished for us and in his place.
(from Kim Riddlebarger’s “Justified by Faith”)
More study resources for Romans 1-3
Bob Deffinbaugh’s sermon on Romans 3, “Justification” at https://bible.org/series/romans-righteousness-god
Ligon Duncan’s messages at http://www.fpcjackson.org/resource-library/sermons/greetings-from-an-apostle
John Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Eerdmans, 1955).
Kim Riddlebarger’s sermon at http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/sermons-on-pauls-epistle-to-th/
Sinclair Ferguson’s “The Great Exchanges of Romans” at http://www.ligonier.org/blog/great-exchanges-romans/
F.F. Bruce’s paraphrase of Romans at https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/1958-2_bruce.pdf or Paternoster Press (1965) and his Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Eerdmans, 1977).
Tim Keller’s Romans For You (The Good Book, 2014) studies.
Charles Hodge’s Epistle to the Romans (Eerdmans, 1886).
James Boice’s Romans (Baker Books, 1991).
Earl Palmer’s Romans series notes “The Greatest Book”, Winter 2002, University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, Washington. Palmer recommends Francis Thompson’s Hound of Heaven, Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment as literary portrayal’s of the atonement. I like the closing scene of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities where Carton exchanges his life for Darnay: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”