GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

… You Can Have It Today!

Romans 3:21-22

(This study is the FOURTH in a series of studies on God’s Righteousness.)

Mankind is guilty before God! This is the condition and predicament of the human race when we were born into this world as the sons of fallen Adam. It is this situation that Paul the Apostle has been rehearsing in our ears and through his Divinely-inspired pen. He gives our minds a clear picture of Heaven’s courtroom where all, without “respect of persons,” are judged “guilty.” The dark clouds of condemnation hang heavy over our race. The judgment is total and complete: “all,” “all,” “all,” “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:9, 12, 19, 23)!

If that is not enough to convict humanity of its sinful condition, God now gives the accused a physical examination. The evaluation and diagnosis from the “throat,” “tongue,” “lips,” “mouth,” “feet,” and “eyes” is sufficient to prove the corrupt Spiritual condition of the soul. Man is corrupt from the inside out.

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:12).

This is proof that the whole world is “guilty before God” (vs. 19). No flesh is “justified in His sight” (vs. 20). Ephesians 2:1-3 describes humanity as “dead,” “disobedient,” “depraved,” and “doomed” (cf., Rom. 3:10-20; Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Mk. 7:21-23; Titus 3:3). Man has no ability to save himself. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to find righteousness from God if any are to be saved.

NOW THE GOOD NEWS

Verse 21 moves our attention from the bad news to the good news; from the realm of Law to Grace; from the doctrine of condemnation to the doctrine of justification; and certainly from the hard way of salvation to the easy way.

With the phrase “but now,” Paul shouts with joy and enthusiasm the news that an acceptable righteousness, provided by God, is available! God furnishes righteousness, without any merit or work on the sinner’s part but by virtue of faith in Christ Jesus alone. Think of it! Just what the guilty sinner needs!

The very Judge Who carefully heard all the evidence and patiently listened to all the pleas; Who handed the verdict, “Guilty! To Hell Sinner!” quietly takes off His judicial robe and …

  • takes the sinner’s place;
  • pays their penalty;
  • suffers their death;
  • comes back to life;
  • and offers to clothe the guilty, Hell-deserving sinner in His own robe of righteousness if he will but trust in His work on their behalf!

This is the doctrine of justification. Justification is a judicial decision wherein the guilty but believing sinner is declared to be absolutely righteous. No wonder Paul is excited!

THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST

Verse 22 tells us why it is easy to be saved. Yes, I said it was easy to be saved. In the past, God had revealed His righteousness through the rituals and ceremonies of the Law. The Law was a hard, arduous and demanding “schoolmaster.” “But not,” because God’s righteousness is revealed independently from the Law, not through the “blood of bulls and goats,” which could never take away sin (Heb. 9:9, 13; 10:4, 8), it is easy to be saved. The Apostle Paul explains that this wonderful change is possible through “the faith OF Jesus Christ.”

The phrase, “the faith of Jesus Christ” is often misunderstood and, therefore, becomes a casualty of the average reader and even of the translators who ignore the context and grammar. The usual interpretation and temptation is to make “the faith of Christ” mean the believer’s faith in Christ. However, it is best to let it stand as it is, and for very good reason (Rom. 3:22; Gal. 2:16, 20, 22; Eph. 3:12; Phil. 3:9; Col. 2:12).

The word “faith” comes from the Greek word pistis and is usually interpreted or understood in three main ways:

  • for the act of believing;
  • For that which is to be believed; and
  • For faithfulness.

Galatians 3:22-26 is a good example how the word pistis is used and must be understood in all three ways.

The faith of Christ, as used in the verses listed above, is to be understood as meaning the “faithfulness” of Christ. Specifically, in the verse of our text, it refers to the faithfulness of Christ Who fully accomplished the work, the plan, and the will of God the Father in justifying sinners (Romans 1:16-17). The righteousness that the sinner needs is both revealed and made available to him because…

  • Jesus Christ was faithful to do all the work to save the lost.
  • He was obedient unto death!”
  • He paid the full penalty!
  •  He was faithful!
  • He was the sinner’s substitute!

Salvation is easy. There is nothing more the sinner needs or to do but to believe that! Salvation is applied by grace “unto all and upon all that believe.”

Dear Reader, the testimony of Romans 1:18 through 3:20 is clear: mankind needs the righteousness of God. God is no respector of persons for He has “concluded them all them that believe: for there is no difference

Question: Do you understand that a wonderful door of opportunity stands open to you if you are not saved? Today everyone has an equal opportunity to avail themselves of God’s grace. No one is shut out except by their own choice. You can be robed in the very righteousness of Christ today!

Oh, the best thing in my life I ever did do!

Oh, the best thing in my life I ever did do!

Was to take off the old robe,

And put on the new.

The old robe was dirty, all tattered and torn,

The new robe was snow white and never been worn.

Oh, the best thing in my life I ever did do!

Oh, the best thing in my life I ever did do!

Was to take off the old robe,

And put on the new!

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