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Scripture Reading: Romans 3:19-26
The Righteousness of God
1. In considering human redemption the question arises: How does the God of all righteousness accept into His fellowship sinners? How do sinners escape punishment and God remain just?
2. The answer is revealed in the gospel, Rom 1:16-17. The gospel is God’s power to save sinners. To accomplish this, it reveals “the righteousness of God”:
a. “From faith to faith”: The objective system of faith (gospel) produces personal faith. (Rom 10:17)
b. “The just (righteous) shall live by faith”, Hab 2:4.
3. Justification (acquitted of the guilt of sin; pronounced “not guilty”) is equated with “live” in Gal 3:11.
4. The “righteousness of God” speaks of the means by which God declares sinful man righteous or just, thus having spiritual life.
I. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD: HOW WILL GOD COUNT MAN RIGHTEOUS?
A. God, by His Very Nature, is Totally Righteous, Psa 48:10; 50:6; 71:15-16.
1. This is not the reference in Rom 1:17; 3:21; et al.
2. Enters this study to this extent: How can the righteous God remain righteous and not immediately punish all sin?
3. God demonstrated His righteousness in setting forth Christ Jesus as the appeasement of His wrath against sin, Rom 3:25-26; 1:18.
B. Man, in His Sins, is Unrighteous and under Wrath, Rom 1:18; 3:9, 19; 3:23.
1. Dilemma: How can unholy sinners approach the holy God without immediate condemnation?
2. The answer is given in the gospel: “The righteousness of God” (Rom 3:21-22) is the “redemption that is in Christ Jesus”, Rom 3:24-26. (cf. God’s mercy, Rom 11:32).
II. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IS HOW GOD ACQUITS SINNERS, Rom 1:16-17; 3:19-26.
A. How Does the Righteous God Count Sinful Man Righteous? (How does God redeem sinners from their sin without imposing righteous judgment?)
1. Not by the works of the Law, Rom 3:21 (9,12,23); Phil 3:9.
2. Why is this so?
a. If by the law: Faith is void and the promise is of no effect, Rom 4:14.
b. The law brings wrath! Rom 4:15
3. Through faith in Christ, Phil 3:9; Gal 2:16; Acts 13:38-39.
4. The faith (gospel) reveals what is needed to bring sinners to personal faith so that they may live, Rom 1:17.
B. The “Righteousness of God” is Equivalent to Justification by Grace through Faith, Rom 3:22-24; 4:16 (Gal 2:16, 21; 3:11-14).
1. Illus. Abraham, Rom 3:27-28; 4:1-8.
a. Not justified by works (of law), 4:1-2, 4 (3:20).
b. By faith, 4:3, 5-8.
2. Illus. Salvation of Israel, Rom 10:1-4.
a. Righteousness which is of the deeds of the law is not the righteousness of God, Rom 10:5 (3:27-30).
b. Righteousness of faith is revealed in the word of faith (gospel), 10:6-8.
3. Gospel is preached to produce faith leading to salvation, Rom 10:8-10 (17-21); 6:17-18; Mk 16:15-16.
4. Personal faith is accounted for righteousness, Rom 4:5-8.
a. “From faith (gospel) unto faith (personal)”, Rom 1:17.
b. No boasting, Eph 2:9 (Rom 3:27-28).
III. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS FROM GOD BY FAITH, Phil 3:8-11.
A. Without it You Cannot Be “In” Christ, 3:9 (Gal 3:26-27).
B. Without it You Cannot “Know” Him, 3:10 (Rom 5:1-2).
1. Power of His resurrection (over sin and death) Jno 11:25-26
2. Fellowship of his sufferings, Benefit and participation.
3. Conformed to the image of His death, cf. Rom 6:4-5.
C. Without it, You Cannot Attain to Resurrection from the Dead (unto Eternal Life), 3:11 (Rom 6:23).
-cf. Crown of righteousness, 2 Tim 4:8.
1. You can obtain life by faith; no other way (Rom 1:17).
2. Faith that saves is faith that obeys, Heb 11:6.
3. God will justify you by faith; Obey the gospel of Christ!