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Romans 3:9-31: Being Made Right

Sin affects everything

“No one is righteous—
    not even one.
No one is truly wise;
    no one is seeking God.
All have turned away;
    all have become useless.
No one does good,
    not a single one.”
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
    Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“They rush to commit murder.
Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don’t know where to find peace.”
“They have no fear of God at all.”

BUT God shows us the way to be RIGHT with Him

We use the birth of Christ to mark time. BC, Before Christ, and AD Anno Domini (the year of our Lord). And so it is with salvation history, Christ’s coming marks a shift, from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. The Apostle Paul explains the new covenant; God makes us right with Him through faith in Jesus.

But now for the good news: God’s restorative justice has entered the world, independent of the law.

This redeeming justice comes through the faithfulness of Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who makes salvation a reality for all who believe—without the slightest partiality.

You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail. Yet they are now saved and set right by His free gift of grace through the redemption available only in Jesus the Anointed.

When God set Him up to be the sacrifice—the seat of mercy where sins are atoned through faith—His blood became the demonstration of God’s own restorative justice.

All of this confirms His faithfulness to the promise, for over the course of human history God patiently held back as He dealt with the sins being committed. This expression of God’s restorative justice displays in the present that He is just and righteous and that He makes right those who trust and commit themselves to Jesus.

Romans 3:21-26 VOICE

Made righteous, our justification

There are two big concepts in this passage, righteousness and justice. Both of these words have the same root in Greek, Dikē, and have a legal connotation. We are guilty before God, but He acquits us and declares us righteous, justifying us in salvation.

God had revealed His righteousness in many ways before the full revelation of the gospel: His law, His judgments against sin, His appeals through the prophets, His blessing on the obedient. But in the gospel, a new kind of righteousness has been revealed.

Wiersbe Study Bible

Let’s look at three critical truths from this Romans 3:21-26:

  1. God justifies freely, not because of human action but as an act of His will.
  2. There would be no justification without His grace.
  3. Our justification results from faith in Jesus, which is in itself a gift of grace.

The miracle of the gospel is that the same act—the death of Jesus—is God’s judgment on sin and God’s saving justification at the same time.

NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible

Our song!

O the power of love divine!
Who its heights and depths can tell –
Tell Jehovah’s grand design,
To redeem our souls from hell?

Mystery of redemption this:
All my sins on Christ were laid;
My offense was reckoned his;
He the great atonement made!

Fully I am justified;
Free from sin, and more than free;
Guiltless, since for me he died;
Righteous, since he lived for me.

Jesus, now to thee I bow;
Let thy praise my tongue employ.
Saved unto the utmost now,
Who can speak my heartfelt joy?

John Bradford, 1750-1805
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