Is there any justification for saying “Keeping God’s law and doing good will make me right with God?” We find the answer in Romans 3:24-31.
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“Law of Faith”
- According to what we know about scripture
- Is there any justification for saying “Keeping God’s law and doing good will make me right with God?”
- Why or why not?
- Can we keep God’s law?
- And is keeping God’s law our goal?
- We’ll ask these questions, among others
- And try to get answers from Romans 3:24-31
- Our theme: “law of faith”
- Before we tackle our text for the day, it would be good to have a look at the context
- The verses leading up to our passage of the day are really helpful to get us oriented
- Let’s read Romans 3:20-23 in particular…
“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. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 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: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
- How many will be justified by the deeds of the law?
- No one!
- What does the law accomplish?
- It gives us knowledge of our sinfulness!
- How does man obtain the righteousness of God?
- By faith in Christ Jesus!
- And there is no difference between us
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
- It is with these declarations in mind that we come to verse 24…
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
- To be justified is to be rendered righteous
- And it says here that we are freely rendered righteous
- We are unreservedly rendered righteous
- Not by works, but by grace
- This grace is a gift we don’t deserve
- It comes from God, through Jesus Christ
- The Redeemer
- Redemption is liberation procured by the payment of ransom
- And He is the One who paid the ransom
- He paid it in full
- There is nothing left over for us to pay
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;
- God set Jesus forth – He put Him forward
- To be a propitiation
- That is a substitute sacrifice
- We should have been the sacrifice
- But He took our place
- We would have died for sins we committed
- But He died without committing sin
- He died for the sins we committed
- One translation restates the verse this way…
“God presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.”
- Or another restatement of the verse…
“Whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”
- It was the blood of animal sacrifice that covered sin for the people of Israel
- But the blood of the perfect lamb of God, Jesus, washed it away
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
- God gave a sign – He declared His righteousness
- Being just, in crushing His son for the sins of the world
- And offering justification through the blood of His son
- This gift is offered to all
- Applied to those who believe
- This is all by His grace
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
- No boasting can come from a salvation obtained by faith
- For it is Christ who has done the work
- Never any man
- Never by the law
- Except by the law of faith
- For it is belief – full trust in Him and Him alone that saves man
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
- This answers the questions we began the outline asking
- Is it ever justified for a man to say keeping God’s law makes him right with God?
- Men are justified by faith
- Without the deeds of the law
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
- Perhaps a case could be made – if salvation were by the law – that He were a God of the Jews alone
- But this is not the case
- He is God over all
- Of Jews and of Gentiles also
- For He is rich in mercy unto all
- And He saves the children of Israel through faith
- And those outside Israel by faith
- The final verse of the passage can be restated this way…
“Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”
- This law of faith is not a destruction of the law
- It upholds the law
- Because of that law, we know we are in need of this salvation
- And this Savior