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Romans 3:21-26

The Roman poet Horace, laying down some lines of guidance for writers of tragedies in his day, criticizes those who resort too readily to the device of a deus ex machina to solve the knotty problems which have developed in the course of the plot. ‘Do not bring a god on to the stage,’ he says, ‘unless the problem is one that deserves a god to solve it’ (nec deus intersit, nisi dignus uindice nodus inciderit).

I love this quote from Bob Deffingbaugh. Paul has spent 3.5 chapters banging on mankind. Gentile and Jew. None is righteous. None can earn righteousness. No ritual justifies you. You may think you are righteous, but you are not, etc.

I can imagine a group in Rome sitting around and reading this letter and getting really depressed. But Paul has been creating that "need", identifying a problem that only God can solve. But How?????

Righteousness Through Faith

God will provide the righteousness. (All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; (Is 64:6a) And God is not taking in dirty laundry. (J. Vernon McGee)

Paul did not invent this concept, it was foretold by Prophets and pointed to by the Law. It is simple idea that had a prolonged and sometimes complex unfolding.

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

It is for the Jew and Gentile - "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Paul develops his teaching about salvation around three themes.

· Justification: an image from the court of law

· Redemption (an image from the slave market)

· Propitiation (an image from the world of religion, appeasing God through sacrifice)

i. Justification solves the problem of man’s guilt before a righteous Judge. Redemption solves the problem of man’s slavery to sin, the world, and the devil. Propitiation solves the problem of offending God our Creator. - David Guzik

vs. 24-25
"..and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." NIV

. Freely is the Greek word dorean. The way this word is used in other New Testament passages helps us understand the word. Matthew 10:8 (Freely you have received, freely give) and Revelation 22:17 (And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely) show that the word means truly free, not just “cheap” or “discounted.” Perhaps the most striking use of the ancient Greek word dorean is in John 15:25: They hated me without a cause (dorean). Even as there was nothing in Jesus deserving of man’s hatred, so there is nothing in us deserving of justification - all the reasons are in God. - David Guzik

Redemption has the idea of buying back something, and involves cost. However, God pays the cost and so we are justified freely.

i. The word redemption had its origin in the release of prisoners of war on payment of a price and was know as the “ransom.” As time went on, it was extended to include the freeing of slaves, again by the payment of a price. - David Guzik

[But Christianity is more than the above. Redemption is not just the paying of debt - the subtracting of sins - that is forgiveness. That would be just restoring one back to the state of "Adam". God's plan is more glorious than that. Justification by faith through the "redemption in Christ" [(KJV)("in is the prefarable translation)] adds on (imputes) the righteousness of Christ. We are now co-heirs to heaven, children of God, saints (set apart). - ME]

The word for "sacrifice of atonement" is Gk. "hilasterion" - propitiation.

Jesus, by His death (by His blood) was a propitiation (substitute sacrifice) for us. As He was judged in our place, the Father could demonstrate His righteousness in judgment against sin, while sparing those who deserved the judgment.

b. Wuest on propitiation: “The word in its classical form was used of the act of appeasing the Greek gods by a sacrifice . . . in other words, the sacrifice was offered to buy off the anger of the god.”

i. The NIV translates propitiation as sacrifice of atonement; the Living Bible has to take the punishment for our sins.

c. The Greek word for propitiation (hilasterion) is also used in the Septuagint for the mercy seat, the lid that covered the ark of the covenant, upon which sacrificial blood was sprinkled as an atonement for sin. While it might be said that this passage is saying “Jesus is our mercy seat,” it probably has more the straightforward idea of propitiation - a substitute sacrifice.

i. At the same time, the “mercy seat” idea should not be neglected as an illustration of that propitiation. Inside the ark of the covenant were the evidence of man’s great sin: the tablets of law; the manna received ungratefully; the budded rod of Aaron, showing man’s rejection of God’s leadership. Up over the ark of the covenant were the symbols of the holy presence of the enthroned God in the beautiful gold cherubim. In between the two stood the mercy seat, and as sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), God’s wrath was averted because a substitute had been slain on behalf of sinners coming by faith. We really can say that Jesus is our “mercy seat,” standing between guilty sinners and the holiness of God. - David Guzik

Vs 25b
"...because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-"

God, in His forbearance, had passed over the sins of those Old Testament saints who trusted in the coming Messiah. At the cross, those sins were no longer passed over, they were paid for.

i. The idea is that through the animal sacrifice of the Old Testament, those who looked in faith to the coming Messiah had their sins “covered” by a sort of an “IOU” or promissory note. That temporary covering was redeemed for full payment at the cross. - David Guzik

" as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." NIV

At the cross, God demonstrated His righteousness by offering man justification (a legal verdict of “not guilty”), while remaining completely just (because the righteous penalty of sin had been paid at the cross).

i. It’s easy to see how God could only be just - simply send every guilty sinner to hell, as a just Judge. It’s easy to see how God could only be the justifier - simply tell every guilty sinner, “I declare a pardon. You are all declared ‘not guilty.’” But only God could find a way to be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

ii. “Here we learn that God designed to give the most evident displays of both his justice and mercy. Of his justice, in requiring a sacrifice, and absolutely refusing to give salvation to a lost world in any other way; and of his mercy, in providing the sacrifice which his justice required.” (Clarke)

Romans 3:27-31


We cannot boast. We did nothing to EARN this rigteousness from God.

vs. 28
"For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law."

No room for boasting! This, of course, is why the natural man hates being justified freely by His grace; it absolutely refuses to recognize his (imagined) merits and gives no place to his pride whatsoever. - David Guzik

"Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law."

This solution of God - justification by faith through the redemption that came by Christ. It does not void the Law - it validates it.

Christ fulfilled the prophecies of Old Testament, Christ was the only one to fully obey the Law - the fianl act of obeidiance was providing the final "innocent" blood sacrifice so that all men could be redeemed. Christ is our kinsman-redeemer.

Romans 4 (Amplified)
For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God).

Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does:
Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried.
Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him.

Of course, we must absolutely receive the gift of righteousness, as we can never earn this on our own.

I pray, therefore, there will be a true, deep, and lasting repentance of sin so we are able to receive the cleansing and righteousness that God promises.

The faith and lives Abraham and David appear to show two sides of justification:

one side of taking away and one side of putting in.

I think of a financial account ledger:
one side shows what money is owed and the other side shows what money is in bank

One side has a debt that must be taken away and removed.
The other side has the amount that must be given.

The “money” of heaven is righteousness, if I can say it like that.

David represents the “debt taken away” side of the accounting.

Romans 4:8 – “Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin THE LORD WILL TAKE NO ACCOUNT NOR RECKON IT AGAINST HIM.”

Abraham represents the “credit given” side of the accounting.

Romans 4:3 – “…Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIS ACCOUNT AS RIGHTEOUSNESS(right living and right standing with God).”

May we truly live our lives on earth like that:

1. Really and truly surrendering to the Lord everything that offends Him and is not pleasing to Him.

2. Really and truly, then, receiving from the Lord His gift to be pleasing to Him.

Only God can make our inability to do what is right to become His gift of His goodness to us!


I do believe that music in church, brings You closer to whorship.
while you are singing if you really listen to the words there is a true message, and praise to the Lord. I have found that God has spoken to me through music.
Have a blessed day' Peggy

I love the pic of the child on his kness before God on the steps - that is how we are to become like little children toward God & how we feel about Him. Here is a great article about such:

"Being Childlike"
by John Paul Jackson
Streams Ministries International

Take A Risk--Lose Control

One of the greatest risks we can take is to become childlike. Especially for those of us who deal with rejection, overly high standards of performance, or low self-esteem--in other words, all of us. It is a daring, dangerous thing to do. It's much like opening your hand and letting everything you hold dear slide through your fingers.

Being childlike is an act of faith...and trust in God.

Children aren't in control of their lives. Making a childlike adjustment can be very hard for adults who have had decades to build up a reservoir of opinion, theology, and self-purpose. We like to be in control. We like to know what's going to happen next...even if we can't have the specifics.

To Be Childlike is To Be Christ-like

Most of us are familiar with the idea of "connecting with your inner child," which basically means letting the "real you" out of the grown-up box you've put yourself in. There are definite benefits to finding out who you are, and what you think about things. But truth be told, the real "real you" is discovered only in God's shadow, not buried somewhere deep in your soul.

Becoming childlike means becoming Christ-like; in part, we take on God's penchant for the simple and the delightful, and we leave worry behind.

Being childlike isn't something we can make up or once again, we must be completely dependent on God...for everything.

When you are completely dependent on Him in a simple, childlike way, your thinking about everything else will be rearranged. It births inside you a gratitude for small things, for great things, and for things you've never even thought of before--the infinity of God that is beyond human comprehension.

Suddenly, you see His hand in everything. Everything becomes something of infinite fascination and value, because you know that the Lover of your soul put it there, so you would see it. He really did.

Experience New Wonder

Children live in a state of perpetual discovery. What is new, is full of wonder. What sparkles, and dances, and teases them is completely captivating. It doesn't take a lot to fascinate a child.

We adults need to experience new wonder in order to worship at the level God is calling us to. But in our "old age," being comfortable usually wins out over being stunned, amazed, and deliciously shocked by what we see and experience.

To deeply worship, we must discover new territories and touch that which is always new and wondrous--the living God. To touch eternity, just for a moment, is full of wonder.

You could never explore and discover all of God. Even with all of eternity at our fingertips, we will never touch anything beyond the outer realms of who He is.

God is that big, that lovely, and that beyond our wildest dreams.

1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11

I could not help notice how temple (church) leadership was appointed and I marvel at the wisdom of choosing by lot which family of Priest, Levites, Gatekeepers and Musicians would serve and when. No one could say how special they were because they served longer or less; no one was given preference so the musician who was still learning his instrument praised God in the sanctuary the same amount of time as the one who was the musician’s musician.

I wonder if we should be doing that in our church’s today there would be no “special” folks, just people serving the Lord and His people. Something to think about.

Grace and peace,

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