Romans 3:21-31

From Romans 1:18 – 3:20 we have the bad news:

• We are all totally unrighteous before God. (Romans 3:1-9) • We are all totally depraved by sin. (Romans 3:10-18) • We are all totally accountable to God. (Romans 3:19) • We are all totally unable to justify/save ourselves. (Romans 3:20)

Definition: Depravity does not mean that people are evil through and through. It means morally we have fallen far from God’s glory, way short of God’s holy standard and our sin has affected our entire personality – mind, will, and emotions. The image if God is effaced in us (but not erased).

”When you want to help people you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” - Thomas Sowell

• Paul doesn’t tell people what they want to hear. He is helping people see their great need for a great Savior.

• Romans 3:21-26 is one long sentance in Greek. It is loaded with Gospel. One Bible scholar called this THE most important paragraph in the Bible.

  1. What God’s righteous solution is.

Romans 3:21 (NASB), But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 but it is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in God’s merciful restraint He let the sins previously committed go unpunished; 26 for the demonstration, that is, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

• Beginning in v. 21, the topic changes from our total depravity and judgement before God to the revelation of our total righteousness and acceptance before God!

• Justification is a HUGE GOSPEL WORD. God is the justifier means, “God declares righteous.” The idea of justification appears 200 times in the NT.

  1. God’s righteous solution is:
  1. A righteousness revealed. (21)
  2. A righteousness witnessed. (21)
  3. A righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. (22)
  4. A righteousness for all. (22)
  5. A righteous gift by His grace. (24)
  6. A righteous redemption through Christ. (24)
  7. A righteous propitiation in Christ’s blood. (25)
  8. A righteousness available at this present time. (26)
  1. God’s righteous solution is not:

Romans 3:27 (NASB), Where then is boasting? It has been excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? Far from it! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

  1. God’s righteous solution is not:
  1. Something we boastfully achieve. (Romans 3:27)
  2. Based on our works or law-keeping. (28)
  3. For some people and not others. (30)
  4. The nullification of God’s law. (31)
  1. How should we respond?

Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: “But the righteous one will live by faith.”