Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on Romans 3:21-26

This is called the most significant paragraph ever written.

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 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 to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." - Romans 3:21-26 (ESV)

Everyone is wicked. And God is very angry at them. How does this get resolved? Righteousness.

1. What is righteousness?
It is what is right and good and just. God's righteousness is his absolute rightness, goodness, and justice. God is morally perfect and perpetually does the right thing at the right time for the right reason. He is the only righteous one.

2. Why does righteousness matter?
Mankind is unrighteous in action and essence. Even the best of mankind fall woefully short, compared to God. All fall short of the glory of God.  So God is angry. He must punish all unrighteousness.

3. How do you get righteousness?
There is no way apart from God to get the righteousness of God. Jesus is God become man to make a way. He died for the unrighteous. By means of faith, He gets our punishment, and we get His righteousness. How is this fair? It's not. God is merciful.

If we just got His righteousness, God's character would be comprimised because His wrath would not be satisfied. Jesus had to take our unrighteousness so that God could pour out His wrath on Jesus on the cross. He is both righteous and the one who makes us righteous (just and the justifier).

Effect of the Gospel for the Christian: confidence in the righteousness we have been given. We are just as likely to be expelled from the presence of God as Jesus in all His perfection!

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