0223 Righteousness Reviewed
Encounter Radio Outline #0223
Air date: 6/9/02
by Dr. Stephen F. Olford
Introduction: In this section of the epistle, Paul employs questions and answers in order to voice what may still be doubts concerning all that has been said in the preceding chapters. He answers:
I. The Voice of Opposition (vv. 31-32)
The answer to the voice of opposition is the righteousness of God revealed in Christ. Paul’s emphasis here is on the reality of God’s love which has been revealed in Jesus Christ. It is seen in:
A. The Sacrifice of the Son of God (v. 32)
In all probability, when Paul dictated these words, he had in mind the sacrifice made by Abraham when he delivered up his son Isaac (Gen. 22). For the Jews, this story is the classic example of the redemptive efficacy of martyrdom.
B. The Sufficiency of the Son of God (v. 32)
In giving His Son, God the Father also gave everything else. The blessings brought before us in this epistle are all wrapped up in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the reality of God’s love, we have a final answer to every opposing voice.
II. The Voice of Accusation (v. 33)
The answer to the voice of accusation is the righteousness of God reckoned in Christ. Paul’s emphasis here is on the eternity of God’s love. That word “elect” or “chosen” carries us back into a past eternity where God first chose us in Christ.
A. There is a Looking Backward to God’s Foreknowledge (v. 33)
Our assurance of salvation is not based on our choice of God, so much as His choice of us. Therefore, He sees to it that no one can lay any thing to the charge of His elect or chosen.
B. There is a Looking Forward to God’s Fulfillment (v. 33)
In answer to the voice of accusation, Eternal Love replies that you and I are the elect of God. That is to say, we are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and one day, thank God, glorified.
III. The Voice of Condemnation (v. 34)
The answer to the voice of condemnation is the righteousness of God received in Christ. The activity of God’s love is set before us in the four aspects of Christ’s redemptive ministry:
A. Christ as Sinbearer (v. 34)
The death of Christ was both final and sufficient in that it met every requirement and condition of a holy, just and good law. Now God deals with us in grace, both in time and throughout eternity.
B. Christ as Savior (v. 34)
The resurrection of Christ is the proof of the sufficiency and efficiency of His death. It is the visible and historical evidence of our justification. Because He is a living Savior we may receive the life of righteousness in Him
C. Christ as Sovereign (v. 34)
This is the place of sovereignty and authority. The place He occupies today is not a tomb but a throne, and because He reigns in heaven we can know the joy of righteousness in our hearts.
D. Christ as Succorer (v. 34)
Jesus Christ is the King-Priest, interceding for us in heaven, while the Holy Spirit intercedes in us on earth. By the power of the indwelling Spirit we can know the strength of righteousness in our hearts.
IV. The Voice of Separation (v. 35)
The answer to the voice of separation is the righteousness of God realized in Christ. Paul’s emphasis here is on the security of God’s love. The voice of separation challenges the people of God in:
A. The Physical Adversaries (v. 35-37)
There may be tribulation, distress, persecution, nakedness, peril, and the sword.. But there is victory in Christ (v. 37). What security there is in the love of God that is in Christ Jesus!
B. The Spiritual Adversaries (vv. 38-39)
Extremes of state, power, time, space, nor any other created thing have the power to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
Conclusion: Paul has shown that the salvation of God is nothing less than the reality, eternity, activity and security of the love of God in Christ Jesus. And in answer to the questions as to who shall oppose, who shall accuse, who shall condemn, and who shall separate, the reply is “no one,” not a single one!
Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching
P.O. Box 757800 Memphis, TN 38175-7800
Phone: (901) 757-7977 or (800) 843-2241 Fax: (901) 757-1372
Comments? Send mail to: OMI@olford.org