The Reason Why
Read Romans 3:21-31
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Last week we were in the 21-26 the paragraph on God’s Righteousness and Justification.
The last two weeks we covered quite a few topics. So I’ll start with a brief review of where we were. In Romans 3, 21-26 Paul introduces us to this idea of God’s righteousness and our justification.
Because God is a righteous or a just God, in the cross is this demonstration of His righteousness, or justice. Our faith in the person and work of Jesus at the cross is the means by which we escape the hold that sin has on life, and where we escape the wrath of God. By our faith, God imputes his righteousness to us, and it is by that imputation that he declares us righteous in His sight, thus beginning the Christian walk.
Now, the question before us this morning is Why? So far we have been given this problem of sin, that we all share, then we learned that Solution to this Problem is that God declares us righteous by faith in Jesus. Then last week we looked at the Origin of the justification, was God and his grace, the method of our justification was the cross, and the means of our justification is faith, Now this morning we are going to look at Why? Why did God prescribe that our justification would be by Him?
The summary of that paragraph is the last verse, romans 3:26. I would like to take apart Romans 3.26 this morning.
He-the He is God the Father---Did IT-that is-sacrificed His son Jesus at the cross to-that is the reason why- to demonstrate. that is to show or to make known publically.
To whom is God the Father demonstrating His righteousness. For the whom, we go back to Ro 1.18, and Romans 3,23 says all have sinned and fall short of the glory so therefore
Therefore, the wrath of God is revealed against all mankind, now…in RO 3.26
Slide Romans 2
God demonstrates His righteousness. That is his goodness, His justice, His truth. Demonstrated even though His wrath is revealed. Right alongside of His wrath. One one side the wrath of God, on the other His righteousness, goodness justice, and honesty on the other.
At the present time is this new era of salvation-the new testament time we are living in, no longer under the Old Covenant. And we can really end it there, and it would stand alone. In this new era, God the Father, sacrificed His son Jesus at the cross to show all of humanity, His righteousness, His goodness, and His justice. The cross points to God the Father’s righteousness to all of humanity.
Slide Romans 3
SO AS TO-in order that-or for the purpose of God the Father being BOTH Just and the one who Justifies. God is both-The one who delivers the wrath, and the one who delivers the grace. We talked about God’s righteousness two weeks ago.
God is the God we fear, the one who has wrath against sin, the one who excutes true and honest judgement, and we should fear Him, but now…He is the same God who freely delivers grace and justifies the sinner, He is the same God.
He is the same God who has righteous anger toward sin. Toward those that turn away from him. That same righteous anger of the Old Testament that swallowed up Pharoahs army, with the red sea, the same God that opeend the erth to swallow the Israelites, the same God that killed Uziah when he reached out his hand to take hold of the Ark and David was so afraid that he could not bring the ark back. He is the the just God, AND he is the God who justifies.
He is the same God that took on Flesh, and took that wrath- THAT same just and deserved wrath upon himself, so that he could justify----Whom? Everyone? No just those who have faith in Jesus. To all God the Father is just, but to some- those who have faith in Jesus, He is also the justifier.
God the Father is the one who justifies us. We do not justify ourselves. Yet this is what we do constantly. It is in our everyday life. It is how we answer. It goes way back to the garden, when Adam and Eve first sinned. They knew the wrath of God would come upon them by eating from the tree they were not supposed to eat from, and when God came to confrot them, Or when they were in the court of God, and he laid out the charges against them, they attempted to JUSTIFY themselves, right? Adam said-It was the woman that YOU put there with me, she gave it to me, and Eve said-It was the serpent, it is an attempt to be just in the court of God.
But God is the ONE who justifies, not us. If it were up to us, then when we reached heaven would all stand around shaking hands, saying congratulations you made it welcome, then we hand you a ribbon, and God would be standing there kinda like at a graduation ceremony shaking your hands saying you did it, that is great, you justified yourself.
But that is not the way it works It was Jesus who went the cross, not us. It is God who is both just and the one who justifies. It is God who does it. It is God is the one who brings us into His kingdom. This way God gets the glory-not us. And God is very particular about who gets the glory.
This idea is something that is said over and over again in the Old testament. The prophet Isaiah talked about this very thing. There is a passage from Isaiah chapter 42, that really emphasizes this idea.
This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:
This what God says, and by the way not just any God, the creator of the heavens that big majestic God who makes the earth, and gives breath to his people.
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
Right here it is-Romans 3:26 in the Old testament-It is the I the Lord who calls you into righteousness. God is the one who will take hold of your hand.
to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
It is God who does this to open eyes that are blind, to free the captives. and to release the prisoners.
“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.
I am the Lord! God says. I will not yield my glory to another. God does things for His glory-He does things so that we know He is God. This is an important idea in all of scripture. Why did God rescue the Israelites our of slavery from Egypt, cause they were somehow a better people than everyone else? Nope. He does it to show how good HE is. He does it to show others that HE alone is God, no one else.
I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
Exodus 7.17 by this you shall know that I am the Lord, Ex 8.22 that you may know that I am the Lord. I will leave the other 5 references in Exodus where God says so that you may know that I am the Lord, for some other ones. It is Deuteronomy 29.6, 1 kings 20:13-Behold I will give it into your hand and you shall know that I am the Lord Is 49.26
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
It goes on and on-these are just a few, It goes on an on God saves us so that We will know who he is and that He will get the glory. If we were the ones who justified ourselves, then we wouldn’t need the cross. If we were the ones that justified ourselves, then we could get the glory, and then we could boast, that is why Paul says this.
Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.
Since it is not by the law, but by faith, there is no boasting! We did not do anything, there is nothing of us to boast on, God did it to show that He is just and the one who justifies. Our faith is not reason for boasting.
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
He is God of not just a specific group of people but he has -through the public demonstration of His righteousness at the cross as in verse 21, 26 and 26-made himself known to all-to everyone-everyone has this opportunity BY FAITH to fully justified by the God who is both Just and the one who justifies.
Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
It is not by works that we are justified, and faith is not a work, but faith that saves is faith that works. Our faith in Jesus is a faith that effects the way we live. Our faith causes us to love Jesus and that makes us want to serve Him. We are no longer caught up in our self, and this world because we no longer love this world.
That last verse really concludes this section of God’ justification and Paul will then begin to focus a on the true saving faith that receives justification.But there are important things to consider about this section, because Christians and non-Christians alike often struggle with the facts Paul presented here that God is just and the one who justifies.
This idea is very God focused, today, Christians and non-Christians alike are being misled by placing the emphasis on the person and their behavior. What this is saying is that our works do not justify us, our faith does, then as a result of our faith we have good works.
It is very important to understand this, because misunderstandings on this can result in you not understanding the gospel, or your need for the gospel. The world misses this and a result do not see their need for the gospel. Since in the gospel the glory of God is revealed, missing this causes us to miss the glory of God.
So here are two things we need to understand.
God is just.
God judges justly. God judges with truth and honesty. He judges everyone justly based on their sin in relation to the perfect holiness of God. Remember “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” While it is certainly true that some sins are more serious than other, and certainly true that some people sin more frequently than others, we are all guilty. We all face the just, honest and true judge. There is no privilege that you bring to the cross, there is no right one person has above another. We all bring only our sin to the cross.
Billy Graham once said, ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross”. No one is better than another, no one brings anything to the cross except their sins, and their guilt. We are all fellow prisoners in need of Savior. To think any different is to think too highly of yourself or too lowly of others.
God is just, and he does not wink the other way at sin. There will be judgement for sinners, the only way we can escape the wrath of God is the cross. The enemy tries to diminish this idea. It is the oldest technique, he tries to get us to believe that God does not punish sinners. Today, people will say that anything is ok as long as it not hurting anyone. Or someeven try to deny the existence of Hell. God is just and
God is the one who justifies.
People desperately want to justify themselves. Adam and Eve in the garden, pointed fingers and in Luke 10:29
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
But he wanted to justify himself. We desperately want to justify ourselves. People say things like it is not my fault. I was put here on earth with these temptations it is not my fault. It is ok that I live an immoral life, right? God is love, he would want me to be happy I am in the right. If we justify ourselves, we get the glory not God. Today it is so popular to justify ourselves. Look at all he has come through through, and look at him now. She is really something., mmmhmmm to be born that way and he works so hard. Love can over come all right??
God is just and God is the one who justifies, Him not us. And when we are justified He gets the glory. We need to bring our sin, and our desires to continue to sin to the cross and allow God to justify us, and then by the power of the Holy Spirit we live a life, attempting to uphold the law.
People either think you have to clean up your self before coming to the cross, or they think the cross is unnecessary.
The cross is a place where the justice of God meats our unrighteousness. The cross is where by faith our righteousness is taken by Jesus and at the cross God justifies us by His righteousness.
And when you go the cross by faith, you will never be the same again.
he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.