WEEK 3 IMPUTATION OF SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS ROMANS 3:21-4:25

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1 1 WEEK 3 IMPUTATION OF SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS

2 Justification: a legal sentence or declaration issued by God in which He pronounces the person in question free from any fault or guilt and acceptable in His sight. The person is declared to have met all the requirements of God s holy law and to possess a perfect righteousness. If a person is found to be guilty of any sin or lacking in righteousness in the least degree, he falls under the sentence of condemnation. 2

3 There are two methods of justification set forth in the Scriptures: Justification by Works The Legal Method. This method requires that men perfectly obey God s law. Justification by Faith - The Gospel Method. Under this method men are justified by faith. 3

4 3: The gospel method of justification is explained. 3:21-22 The Old Testament Scriptures testify to the fact that God gives righteousness to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Outside of the gospel, we must develop our own righteousness. This is the uniqueness of the Christian gospel which reverses what every other religion, worldview, and human heart believe. 3:23 All men are sinful and cannot be justified on the basis of their own personal righteousness or obedience. 4

5 3:24 Sinners are justified by the gift of God s grace. Martin Lloyd-Jones sums it up: The man who has faith is the man who is no longer looking at himself, and no longer looking to himself. He no longer looks at anything he once was. He does not look at what he is now. He does not look at what he hopes to be. He looks entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work and he rests on that alone. Romans 1-7 For You, Tim Keller, Page 82 5

6 3:25-26 The sacrificial death of Christ has satisfied the demands of justice; therefore God can righteously justify all who believe in Jesus Christ. Righteousness summary 3:22 It comes through faith in Jesus Christ 3:23 It cannot come through our own actions or efforts 3:24 It is given freely 3:25 It is received by faith in Christ s work on the cross The cross is a demonstration both of God s justice and His justifying love. 6

7 3:27-31 The results of the gospel method of justification: 3:27,28 The gospel method of justification excludes boasting 3:29,30 It presents God as the God of all who believe 3:31 It upholds the just demands of the law. 7

8 4:1-25 The case of Abraham is cited as an illustration and proof of the gospel method of Justification by Faith apart from works. 4:1-5 Abraham was justified by faith apart from works, faith that was credited to him as righteousness. Justification by works requires men earn their salvation by doing good. Justification by faith is the result of God imputing righteousness as a free gift to those who believe in Him. A Christian stops working to be saved and trusts God to save us apart from our efforts. 8

9 4:6-8 Paul uses David s words to show that righteousness is imputed to the believer apart from his works and shows that the believer s sins are not reckoned to him because they were imputed to Christ. Remember that David was three things: An Adulterer A Murderer A Man after God s heart Being in a state of credited righteousness means your sin is not counted against you. Though you sin, your sin won t condemn you. Knowing the blessing of credited righteousness is the only way to be liberated to view yourself truly. 9

10 Imputed: To impute something to a person means to make it legally his. Our sins are imputed to Christ, the reason He died on the cross. Christ s righteousness is imputed to believers the moment they believe. This does not change the believer s nature but it does affect his legal standing before God. The means by which the sinner receives the benefits of Christ s saving work is faith in Him. Note that faith itself does not save the sinner, but brings him to Christ, who saves him. 10

11 4:9-12 Abraham is the father of all who believe, whether Jew (circumcised) or Gentile (uncircumcised). Abraham had righteousness reckoned to him (Gen 15:6) before he was circumcised Gen 17:24). The reason Abraham received righteousness through faith before he was circumcised was to make him the father of all who believe. Paul s logic is, if Abraham was saved by faith without circumcision then uncircumcised non- Jewish people will also be saved by that same faith, without circumcision. 11

12 4:13 The promise to Abraham and to his (spiritual) descendants (all true believers) that they would inherit the world did not rest on the law the law came 500 years later. It rested on imputed righteousness which is received by faith. The law cannot save sinners, it only shows them where they fall short brings wrath to them. 4:16 Because saving faith is trusting in the promises of God, salvation comes to us guaranteed, since it relies on God s promise, not our obedience. 12

13 4:18-25 Abraham s faith illustrates the gospel method of Justification by Faith. What does it mean to believe God? Abraham shows us it is to do three things: 4:19 To know that reality is greater than how we feel or how things appear Abraham s body was as good as dead. Sarah s womb was also dead. Faith is going on something despite our weakness, feelings or perceptions. 4:20,21 To focus on facts about God. Faith is not the absence of thinking, but rather, a profound insistence on acting out of measured reflection instead of just reacting to circumstances. 4:21 To trust the word of God. 13

14 4:18 - The object of Abraham s faith was God s promise that he would be father of many nations. 4:19,20 - The strength of his faith is seen in that he believed God s promise, though it seemed impossible. 4:21 - The ground of his faith was the ability and faithfulness of God to do what He promised. 4:22 - The result of his faith was that he was justified. 14

15 4: The record of his faith was given to us to teach us that those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ are counted righteous and therefore justified. Abraham s faith was in the promise of a descendent. Our faith is in what God says one of Abraham s descendents has achieved. 15

16 PRACTICAL LESSONS FROM ROMANS 3:21-4:25 3:21-25 The evangelical doctrine of justification by faith is the doctrine of the Old, no less than of the New Testament. Justification is pronouncing one to be just, and treating him accordingly on the ground that the demands of the law have been satisfied concerning him. The ground of justification is not our own merit, nor faith, nor evangelical obedience; not the work of Christ in us, but His work for us, i.e. his obedience unto death. - Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Charles Hodge, Pages 102,103 16

17 PRACTICAL LESSONS FROM ROMANS 3:21-4:25 3: The doctrine of atonement produces in us its proper effect, when it leads us to see and feel that God is just; that He is infinitely gracious; that we are deprived of all ground of boasting; that the way of salvation, which is open for us, is open for all men; and that the motives to all duty, instead of being weakened, are enforced and multiplied. - Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Charles Hodge, Page

18 PRACTICAL LESSONS FROM ROMANS 3:21-4:25 4:6 Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven whose sins are covered. The reference to David is certainly apt, for if ever a man received righteous standing with God without having earned it, it was David. But because of the sovereign grace of his God his sins were forgiven, blotted out. Moreover, as Ps. 32 proves, that same blessing is bestowed upon every truly penitent sinner. New Testament Commentary, Romans, William Hendriksen, Page

19 PRACTICAL LESSONS FROM ROMANS 3:21-4:25 4:20-25 It is as possible for faith to be strong when the thing promised is most improbable, as when it is probable. Abraham s faith should serve as an example and admonition to us. He believed that a Savior would be born from his family, when his having a son was an apparent impossibility. We are only called upon to believe that the Savior has been born, has suffered, and risen again from the dead facts established on the strongest historical, miraculous, and spiritual evidence. - Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Charles Hodge, Page

20 PRACTICAL LESSONS FROM ROMANS 3:21-4:25 4:19 The true way to have our faith strengthened is not to consider the difficulties in the way of the thing promised, but the character and resources of God, who has made the promise. New Testament Commentary, Romans, William Hendriksen, Page

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