The Means Of Righteousness
“Faith In Jesus Christ”
Text: Romans 3:21-5:21
In our first lesson we saw that God does not ask the "Lost" person to clean himself up and behave before he can be saved. Many try this and fail.
What God ask each and everyone of us to do is to "Believe"! Upon that one thing will God give the free gift of life!
Remember the key to the Book of Romans:
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
We cannot be "Justified" until we have "Faith"!
This the truth of the Gospel!
In the second lesson we saw from "God’s Viewpoint" just how hopeless and dismal humanity really is.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
"Justification" does not come from any law of mankind. We cannot "justify" our selves by self-righteous living.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Let us now learn how to attain to the "Righteousness Required of God".
Justification can only come by "Faith"!
This is the "heart" of the Gospel.
The "Truth" is the entire world is guilty before God!
*****Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
"But Now", After we have seen how we have failed we will see that there is a way to escape this misery of sin without death and we will see what God expects!
We will see that what any law could not do, what no amount of works could do, but only what God can do.
The "righteousness of God" is much much more than just "Right-doing".
One of the biggest mistakes made in our way of thinking is that the "Law" still holds some place in God’s righteousness.
The "justification" that can come only from God is based on an entirely different principle.
Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before [for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof].
Remember this is God’s Plan of Salvation and we should not question How God Goes About Doing It!
Those old Laws served their purpose because God is a God of purpose but they are set aside for a New Way.
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
If we do not believe that all history of "Our Sin" ended at the Cross, for even our Old Man died there, then we may try to hold on to some of those old laws of self righteousness.
This why there are many so weak in "Faith" that they still desire a teacher of the law:
1Ti 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
It is because there has never been even one person on this earth that could keep those laws. Remember there was only one chance to get it all right. We would all fail at some point in our life span.
This is why God was so "Gracious" and gave us His Christ to perform all the requirements of the Law for us.
God says that the "Believer" is not under law of any kind but dead to the law:
Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: [nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God], who loved me, and gave himself for me.
"This is a brand New Creature" that had not existed until inviting Jesus Christ to be his Savior!
To try to go back under any of those Old Laws would be trying to put Jesus, Our Lord back under the Law He has fulfilled.
Jesus Christ Himself said:
Mat 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, [but to fulfil]."
This fulfilled law is the "Royal Law" law of Our Lord:
Jas 2:8 If ye fulfil the "royal law" according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
When we show respect for one of God’s children above another we have become a "Judge." God call us to be witnesses and not judges.
A Saint of God that sins after salvation has broken the "Royal Law" of Jesus Christ:
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
We must pray a prayer of repentance to be forgiven and not carry this sin with us.
God showed just how "righteous" He truly is when He would not spare the life of His Son Jesus at the Cross.
Only such a "righteous" God as Jehovah can therefore forgive "Sin"!
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
God is able to come to us now in "Absolute Grace" but only because of Jesus Christ Our Savior! There is no amount of the sin of the believer that this "Grace" cannot cover.
God can then after His forgiveness, declare the believing sinner to be "righteous". Not righteous on his own merits and not because Christ merits have been transferred to him but only because we as sinners place our trust in Him, because God places us inside the Risen Christ.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; [that we might be made the righteousness of God in him].
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh
We should never think of ourselves apart from Jesus Christ!
*****Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
We as human beings always look at "righteousness" as something we lost and want to get back. This is self-righteousness at its worst.
The pure fact of God’s gift allows us all, who are still ungodly, to be reckoned as "righteous". This is the fact of the "Gospel".
Justification is by God Himself and His reckoning a sinner to be "righteous".
Man does not have to change before He is "Justified", Man must certainly believe. Faith is the key that unlocks this mystery. It is the "Shed Blood" of Our Savior and that alone, which has caused God to declare man righteous.
God’s "Grace" is the reason but our own "Faith" is the instrument of Our Salvation!
It is "Faith" that brings mans heart to the light of Jesus:
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
It is the Word of God that we must base our own Salvation and not words of any man, Preacher, or Pastor.
We must prove all things under the light of God’s Word.
We must have "Simple Faith" concerning God’s Own Testimony concerning His Son Jesus!
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
It is not the faith that Christ Jesus had in our salvation but it is "our Faith" in the redeeming work of Our Lord Jesus Christ that brings us to salvation.
This not just believing in Christ! But believing on the finished work of Christ Jesus on the Cross and His Resurrection. It is believing on a God who could cause all these things to happen.
I cannot imagine any religion that placed their faith in any thing that was less powerful than Jehovah God.
God does not simply place His righteousness on the Believer, God accounts righteousness to the Believer through "Faith" in Jesus Christ.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, [his faith is counted for righteousness].
*****Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The phrase "all have sinned" is in the past tense. This sin began with Adam and everyone that came after him.
The phrase "come short of the glory" is in the present tense. Everyone from the time of Adam until the day we live that has sinned and that is everyone, they all have continually fell short of God’s Glory.
This not only means each individual but the entire human race!
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
This means all mankind:
1.) Have failed to meet God’s "Approval":
2.) Have lost all "Spiritual Strength"
3.) Have no ability to stand in God’s "Presence"
We know that to be "justified" by "faith" is to rejoice in the "Hope of Glory of God".
Joh 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Man has found deliverance in the guilt of "SIN" and feel delivered by "SINS" power.
*****Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
This is by far the greatest verse in the Bible on "justification through faith"!
This does not mean man has been made righteous or holy. It does mean that righteousness is placed in our account. Justification is not a change God makes in us BUT IT IS A CHANGE IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!
THIS IS A FREE GIFT UPON OUR "FAITH"!
Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
The "Grace" of God is in fact a God with "no limits" giving His Love with "no limits" because of the Work Christ Jesus did on that Cross.
Because sin, which is described by the law, is no longer a snare we can have eternal and unhindered freedom of it.
Jesus Christ did all the Work and we that believe reap all the Benefits!
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
This word redemption comes from the Greek word "apolutrosis" and always means we have been delivered from the "Wrath of God":
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
We should be looking up right now because we can see all these things coming to pass right now!
Our liberty comes from the ransom that was paid by Jesus Christ.
This is the reason of our "Thanks Giving":
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
This is what we missed out on:
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament,[that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament], they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
We have missed out on that death because of Our Savior!
THIS IS GOD’S FREE GIFT TO THE BELIEVER!
*****Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
This verse plainly states that this was not just last minute decision that God made. God knew all along and He made His preparations. The "Lamb" was foreordained from before the time of "Creation". God created a perfect world but He knew this world would fail not because God’s creation of earth was not perfect but because "Sin" began in Heaven with Lucifer, whom we call Satan.
We must be clear in our thoughts of Our God. God is Holy in His being:
1.) God is righteous in His character.
2.) God’s righteousness appears in His dealings with His Creation.
3.) God will forever be righteous.
4.) God’s "Holiness" is not a word used to describe relationship.
5.) God would be Holy even if there were no creation.
6.) It is God’s Holiness that requires "Propitiation"
7.) It is not that God has hate for the sinner but that God has love for the sinner that required the death of His Son.
8.) God is seeking fellowship with Man, His greatest creation, and no sinful creature can stand before a Holy God and live.
9.) Because of Sin, there will be God’s Wrath against Sin, because of His Holy Nature.
10.) It is death to draw nigh to God, not because He is vindictive, because God is Love. We cannot draw nigh to God because He is Holy and we would die because we are sinful, unclean, and unholy.
11.) This is why Jesus had to die and become our "Propitiation".
12.) Jesus took our place on the cross because we could not do that and live.
If you look back at the Book of Leviticus chapter 16 you can study in "type" this act of "Grace" and "Mercy" that is God’s Plan.
We have no reason to question what God does for our benefit and are foolish to do so!
The fact that the Son of God has come, sent by the God of Love, and has born our sin for us, so that we will miss out on God’s judgment, but draw near to God by the Blood of Christ, REVEALS GOD’S HOLINESS TO US AND FOR OUR OWN SAKES.
The Bible says:
Heb 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Heb 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
The Cross of Jesus stands as a witness to the "Unchanging Character of God"!
*****Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Before we could accept the reality of the "Cross", God had to take the time to show us examples of "His Divine Judgment".
1.) The Worldwide Flood.
2.) The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
3.) The Plagues of Egypt.
4.) The dispersion of Israel
Then and only then did God address the Sin of the individual man at the Cross!
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Old Testament believers looked forward and were forgiven on credit. Today we look backward to the Cross, where Christ Jesus was judged for "OUR SIN".
Our "Faith" must stand on the Work of Christ on the Cross!
The Half Brother of Jesus gave us these words:
Jud 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves [on your most holy faith], praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
If our "Faith" is not Holy, we will not stand before a Holy God.
*****Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
There is no boasting of any law when the law of "Faith", that that is of the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ has been applied!
Judaism and also no other religion has words that come close to what Our Holy God has given to us!
NO OTHER RELIGION CAN BOAST AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD!
IT IS THE LAW OF "FAITH" THAT STANDS ABOVE ALL OTHERS!
THAT "FAITH" THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF GOD!
*****Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
THIS IS GOD’S ANSWER TO ANY BOASTING OF OTHERS!
*****Rom 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
Paul recognized himself as a Jew and a descendant of Abraham in this verse. It was the Jew who had possession of the Old Testament. It was the Jew that had a Divine relationship with God, not any other nation. It was the Jew whose religion stood above all the rest.
And Abraham was the earthly father of the Jew!
Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Paul simply said that if Abraham had done these things on his own then maybe he could have boasted.
Paul simply said that Abraham, the father of the Jew because Abraham had "only believed" what God had told him. Abraham had "Faith"!
The Bible plainly states in the same scriptures the God had given to these Jew:
Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
It was the "faith" of Abraham that was counted for his righteousness and not anything that he had done in himself.
No matter your way in life, we all, rich or poor, have the same standing with God because it is "Faith" that unlocks the "Heart of God".
If we believe in our own hearts that what God says is true and beyond question, we can then begin a "personal relationship" with Our Father in Heaven!
When we turn our hearts away from ourselves and toward God and His promises, then God is free to fulfill those promises. Jesus Christ is our Channel of contact to this Holy God. The Holy Spirit is our Power of contact to this Holy God. It is "Our Faith" that binds it all together.
Because of Abraham’s "Faith" we all have an opportunity to meet our Father in Heaven:
Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
*****Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
The whole world thinks that being good and doing good are merits deserving credit enough to meet the God of "mercy". In fact no amount of works of the lost will gain him any favor with God and that same person will meet God but it will be the God of "wrath".
Righteousness is not based on doing right! When we think that God owes us something for the good things we do then we have failed in understanding the "Mercy and Grace" of God.
That thought is a thought of "wages" or of being paid for our goodness and we have no goodness before we have "Faith".
It seems to many that is declaring ungodly people righteous over those that do good things.
God does not say "godly" people will be saved, God does say "righteous" people will be saved and our righteousness is Jesus Christ.
All people must rely on God to become godly!
Remember what God has already said:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
When we take it on our own selves to judge one lost person above another we have committed an abomination in the eyes of God because even He does not do this!
All must stand by the Shed Blood of Jesus, we have no other ground to stand on and be saved!
*****Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
I.) What "justification" is not:
1.) Justification is not just making the ungodly, godly.
We are all still sinners.
2.) Justification is not a "change of heart".
3.) Justification is not "making an unjust man just" in his behavior.
4.) Justification is not to be confused with "Sanctification".
II.) "Justification" is:
1.) God’s declaration that a man can now stand before Him.
2.) This "justification" can only come through Christ Jesus.
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
3.) The same God that said all the world is guilty, now "justifies" those that are convicted of this guilt and believe God’s means of Salvation.
4.) Justification is the accounting by God to a believing sinner, of the Work Christ Jesus did on the Cross and connecting this believing sinner with the Risen Christ in Glory and giving the sinner the same acceptance before Him as He has Christ Jesus. This sinner from this time on belongs to Jesus Christ until they are delivered to Our Father in Heaven.
In this first verse God does not say to be justified but He does say "having been justified". Once this takes place it will be eternal. What God does last forever!
What have we seen so far?
1.) Chapter three, Christ was set forth as a propitiation.
2.) Chapter four, Christ was raised for our justification.
3.) Chapter five, We have peace with God, through Jesus Christ.
Peace means our war with God is over and God is holding nothing against us.
a.) God judged our sin upon Christ Jesus, who is our substitute.
b.) God is wholly satisfied with Christ’s sacrifice.
c.) God is now at rest with us Forever.
No matter how much we understand. No matter how weak our "faith". No matter how we stumble in our walk with Him. God is looking at us through the Blood of His Son and all He sees is Jesus.
It is Christ Jesus that made this "peace" on the Cross:
Joh 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Now that Jesus is raised from the dead, IT IS JESUS THAT IS OUR PEACE!
This is not the peace of God but the Peace With God.
*****Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Not only do we have "Peace" with God but now in addition, also access to God’s "Grace". These things take place the very moment we "Believe". We are now forever under God’s Grace and not affected by those condemning laws.
We now have a future, not of this world. We have the same promise of entering into the same "Glorified" state as Christ Jesus.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Jesus said to Our Father:
Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Joh 17:24 Father, [I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am]; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
What Christ Jesus ask Our Father to do He will do!
*****Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God’s Love for the unworthy sinner.
1.) Verse six was not in our lesson but this verse says the sinner is helpless against the Devil and his ungodliness.
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sin and ask nothing in return but our "Faith".
2.) Verse seven also not in our lesson, but this verse tells us that you could search the world and you would not find any man willing to do such as to die for a vile sinner though there may be some that would die for a good man.
3.) In our verse God "Commended His Love". While we were in the very act of sinning our worse sin God sent His Son Jesus. "Commend" means God treated every sinner as though they could be worthy. God loved us when we are worthless, full of sin, unable and even unwilling to pay for such "Grace" or to "Obey Him".
God shows His "Grace" in His "Love".
God "SO LOVED" the world.
Verse 10 we did not cover yet it says even though we were His "enemies" God reconciled us to Him by the death of Jesus Christ the Messiah.
What did God buy but we who still fail Him every day!
*****Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
But "Much More" than just sending the Lord Jesus to die for us, God will see to it that now we as believers and accounted "Righteous" by the Blood of Jesus, we shall be saved from the coming "Wrath".
It is the "Shed Blood" that places us on Justifying ground. This is where our security is found!
This not "spilled blood" for to spill is an accident. This is "shed blood" to shed is an intentional act!
This is the message God has given to everyone that has lived and will live before the "Second Coming" of Christ. Jehovah God is our Father in Heaven who wants the absolute best for all His Children.
The "Good News" of the Gospel is not that everyone is lost but THAT EVERY LIVING SOUL CAN BE SAVED!
We can be made "righteous".
We can be forgiven.
Our "SIN" can be covered by the "Blood of Jesus".
This is the "Good News" for all mankind!