lesson five the saving righteousness of God Romans 3:21 31

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1 lesson five the saving righteousness of God Romans 3:21 31 Memory Verse: 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. Romans 3:23 24, NIV Background: We have endured the darkness of the first three chapters of Romans, and now it is time for a glimpse of the shining light of hope. Having proven that no one can be righteous before God by keeping the Law, Paul now explains that right standing with God comes only through faith in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. God s saving righteousness has been manifested in the death of Jesus Christ, so that God s justice and love are reconciled in the cross. Paul boldly proclaims that both Jews and Gentiles (everyone of faith) obtain a right standing with God through faith alone. Reflection: How is the Good News of Christ s payment for your sins reflected in your daily life? The Four Tenses of Salvation Salvation [Greek soteria deliverance, preservation, salvation] and savior [Greek soter deliverer, savior] are derived from the root word save [Greek sozo to save, deliver, protect, heal, preserve, do well, be made whole; variations are used 13x in Romans]. Save is used frequently in the New Testament with a variety of meanings, determined by context, to refer to: The physical deliverance from danger, suffering, or sickness (James 5:15; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5) The spiritual and eternal salvation granted immediately by God to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31; Romans 8:24; Ephesians 2:5; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Peter 1:1) The present experiences of God s power to deliver from the bondage of sin (Romans 5:10; Hebrews 7:25; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:9; 3:21) The individual believer who, though losing his reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, will not lose his salvation (1 Corinthians 3:15; 5:5) The numerous precious promises and blessings bestowed presently by God on believers in Christ through the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 5:9; 1 Peter 1:9 10; 2 Peter 1:11) The future deliverance of believers at the Rapture when Christ returns for His saints, delivering them from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9; 1 Peter 1:5) The future deliverance of Israel by Christ s Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation when all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25 27) God s amazing plan of salvation originated in eternity past with His election and will continue throughout eternity future with our glorification. continued on next page... 45

2 The Four Tenses Of Salvation The Time The Description The Doctrine First Eternity Past Those whom God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [Romans 8:29 30; John 6:44, 65; Philippians 1:6] Election Second Our Past When we trust Christ we are free from sin s penalty [John 3:16; Romans 3:21 24; 6:3 7] Justification Third Our Present As we walk in the Spirit we are free from sin s power [Romans 8:2 14; Philippians 2:12 13] Sanctification Fourth Our Future When we receive our new body we are free from sin s presence [Romans 8:22 25; 29 30; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 18] Glorification Salvation begins when we trust in Christ s work on the cross alone as the complete payment of our sins. 1 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13) Salvation results in assurance, peace, abundant life, and security. Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 9) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 8:38 39) These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13) God s sovereign, loving involvement in the life of each of His children, and the responsibility of each believer to faithfully persevere, are beautifully intertwined in this word picture. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved! 1 For additional clarification, see appendix F, The Gospel: The Good News of Christ s Offer of Salvation. 46

3 day one read Romans 3:21 22 The Bible clearly demonstrates and confirms that nobody will ever be made right with God by something one does. No one is going to escape judgment and enter into blessing by his or her own effort. If we are to find a way to be right with God, it is not going to originate within us. Only God determines the way, as He is the One who has been offended. And He has determined that the way is only through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the Good News of the Gospel. It is a free gift for all who will accept it. 1. Paul begins Romans 3:21 with the word but; what kind of word is this, and why is this little word so significant? 2. Why does Paul make such a distinction between the righteousness of God apart from the Law of Moses? 3. What does Paul say the Law and the Prophets (the Old Testament writings) bear witness to? What additional insights do Romans 1:2 and Luke 24:25 27 bring? 4. How is a right standing before God available to all (Jews and Gentiles)? What do they have to believe? 5. Re-read the Word Box on The Four Tenses of Salvation at the beginning of this lesson. How has your understanding of salvation deepened? 6. What can we learn about God s righteousness from Romans 1:17, 3:22; Isaiah 45:8; Philippians 3:8 9; Daniel 9:24; and Psalm 119:142? Digging Deeper: Read Job 9:1 35. What is the question Job asks in 9:2? Use the rest of the chapter to describe how Job views God and himself as a man, and then describe from the passage God s relationship with man. How does Job 9:33 35 point to the necessity of Christ? 47

4 day two read Romans 3:23 24 By paying the penalty of sin through His death, Jesus can free people from their sin and transfer His righteousness to those who believe in Him. Therefore all are justified, declared not guilty but righteous by the divine Judge, only by God s grace (unmerited favor). 1. How does Romans 1:20 21 illustrate how all have fallen short of the glory of God? 2. Read Galatians 2:16. What is the meaning of the word justified in this context? How are we justified before God? 3. How does Paul describe God s grace given to us in Romans 3:24, Ephesians 1:7 8, and Colossians 1:13 14? 4. Read Exodus How does the exodus out of Egypt point forward to the redemption provided by Christ? 5. In Exodus 15:13, what is promised to God s people who are redeemed? How does Christ fulfill this promise? 6. Sharing: Do you believe that you are justified by God through your faith in Jesus Christ? How does this knowledge affect your day-to-day living? Memory Verse: 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. Romans 3:23 24, NIV 48

5 day three read Romans 3:25 26 By His death, Christ fully satisfied the justice of the Holy God. He perfectly fulfilled the Law of Moses and perfectly paid the penalty of sin on our behalf. God made His Son the propitiation (appeaser) for our sins. Because of Christ s death, God does not compromise His holiness when He forgives a sinner. 1. Why does God need to be appeased before sins can be forgiven? How does the cross of Christ demonstrate God s holiness and love at the same time? 2. How do Luke 18:13 14, 1 John 2:2, and 1 John 4:10 describe God as being merciful to us? 3. What reasons does Paul give as to why the righteousness of God is displayed in the past and in the present through Christ s death? 4. What answer does Paul give as to why God tolerated human sin in Old Testament times without inflicting full punishment on human beings immediately? Digging Deeper: Describe how propitiation (the complete satisfaction of the wrath of God) is symbolically foreshadowed in the incidents found in Exodus 32:7 14 and Joshua 7:

6 day four read Romans 3:27 29 Both Jews and Gentiles obtain a right standing before God by faith alone. 1. Since salvation comes through faith, can anyone boast about themselves? Why or why not? 2. Paul introduces a new law apart from the Law of works. What is this new law, and what does it mean? What is required according to John 6:28 29? 3. How does Paul silence the Jews who were boasting in the Law of works? Re-read Romans 2:17, Describe salvation through faith alone. Preview Romans 4: Why is God the only One who should be praised? 5. By mentioning the Gentiles, how does Paul prove that faith in God is the way of justification before God? Memory Verse: 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. Romans 3:23 24, NIV 50

7 day five read Romans 3:30 31 The Jewish people were known in Bible times as the circumcised while the Gentiles were the uncircumcised. Justification by faith does not render the Law of Moses obsolete, but establishes it. The Law itself pointed to the fact that human obedience to the Law could not save and that righteousness could only be achieved through faith in Jesus Christ. 1. Paul says that God will justify (declare righteous) all believers by what? 2. Why does Paul ask if we should discard the Law of Moses now that faith in Jesus Christ saves us? 3. What does the Law of Moses show us about the sinful human condition? Were people able to keep it perfectly? 4. What did Jesus say about the Law in Matthew 5:17, and how does that make Him the perfect sacrifice for sins? 5. What else do you learn about the purpose of the Mosaic Law from appendix B, The Nature and Purpose of the Mosaic Law? 51

8 personal response to God Read and meditate on God s Word from Colossians 2 and the poem below, and then spend some time reflecting on all that Jesus Christ provides for us through the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Write your own words of truth and gratitude for your Savior. Colossians 2:13 14 (NIV): When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. The cross of Christ, grand sacrifice, for us the deal was made To place our sins upon Himself as spotless Lamb was slain. But no one else could do the work that Christ our Lord would do And no one righteous but the Son, Christ Jesus made us new. The wrath of God thus satisfied, His justice finally done Propitiation for our sins, In Christ the victory won. Christ met the price to set us free from our captivity; Sin paid in full, our ransom made, for all eternity. And now we stand as justified before the Father s throne, The righteousness of Christ applied to us forevermore! written by Vanessa van Dyck Memory Verse: 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. Romans 3:23 24, NIV 52

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