Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

2021.03.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 3:21–4:8

Read Romans 3:21–4:8

Questions from the Scripture text: What is revealed apart from what (Romans 3:21)? By what is that righteousness witnessed? Whose righteousness is it (Romans 3:22)? Through what in Whom? To whom and on whom? How many of them? Why (end of verse 22)? What two other things are true of all, and all who believe (Romans 3:23)? What happens to believers (Romans 3:24)? At how much cost? By what? Through what? In Whom is this redemption? Who set forth (exhibited) Him (Romans 3:25)? As what? By His what? Through what? To demonstrate what? What had God previously done? What does the justification at the present time demonstrate (Romans 3:26)? What two things is God here? Whom does He justify? What does this do to boasting (Romans 3:27)? What forces this exclusion? By what is a man justified (Romans 3:28)? Apart from what? Of whom does this make God the covenant God (Romans 3:29)? How are each of the two groups in Romans 3:30 justified? What question does Romans 3:31 ask? What is its answer? What question does Romans 4:1 ask? What would give Abraham something to boast about (Romans 4:2)? Even if so, before Whom would he still not be able to boast? What question does Romans 4:3 ask? What is its answer? As what are wages counted (Romans 4:4)? What does the person in Romans 4:5 not do? What does he do? Upon Whom does he believe? Whom does God justify? As what is faith in this God counted? Who else talks about his (Romans 4:6)? Whom does he describe as blessed? Apart from what does God impute righteousness? Who are blessed in Romans 4:7a? Who in verse 7b? Who in Romans 4:8?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Romans 3:21–4:8, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Just as I Am, without One Plea

One of the great corrections that the Reformation made to Roman Catholic theology is that the righteousness with which a believer is right/just before God is not at all righteousness that he has worked, but only Christ Himself (and all the righteousness that Christ worked). We see that truth throughout this passage. 

It is “the righteousness of God” (Romans 3:21). It is “apart from the law” (verse 21). It is “the righteousness of God” (Romans 3:22). It is “through faith in Jesus Christ” (verse 22). It is “on all who believe” (verse 22). Among these righteous “there is no difference” (verse 22). All of them “have sinned” (Romans 3:23). All of them “fall short” (verse 23). The standard of which they fall short is “the glory of God” (verse 23). Believers are “justified freely” (Romans 3:24). Believers are “justified by His grace” (verse 24). Their redemption “is in Christ Jesus” (verse 24). Boasting is “excluded” (Romans 3:27). A man is justified not only “by faith” but very specifically “apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). It is “by faith” and “through faith” that God justifies both the circumcised and uncircumcised (Romans 3:30). Abraham was justified not by indebting God for wages through works (Romans 4:1–2Romans 4:4), but rather by grace (v4) through believing (Romans 4:3, cf. Genesis 15:6). Justification is “to him who does not work” (Romans 4:5). God is the One “who justifies the ungodly” (verse 5). The believer’s “faith is accounted for righteousness” (verse 5). The blessedness of Psalm 32 is for those “to whom God imputes righteousness” (Romans 4:6). This imputation is “apart from works” (verse 6). This blessing is for those who have contributed “lawless deeds” that they would be “forgiven” (Romans 4:7). This blessing is for those who have contributed “sins” that would be “covered” (verse 7). This blessing is for those who have contributed “sin” which the Lord does not “impute” to him (Romans 4:8).

Behold how many times, and how many ways, the Holy Spirit here demands that we see that justification is not at all, not even a particle, upon the ground of what any of us has done! It is true that the verdict on the last day will have an accord with what else God has done in us by grace—producing from Christ, by His Spirit, His own character in our lives (cf. Romans 2:6; Revelation 20:12–15). But these works that He re-creates us to walk in are not even the smallest part of the ground of our worthiness.

This is why we must reject all Roman Catholicism and Arminianism—not to mention our own false ideas that we must reform ourselves a little bit before we come to God in repentance. How can we? Surely, we must come repenting and not clinging to our sin.  But it is only the righteousness of God in Christ that can be counted for us in our justification. And again in sanctification—that process by which those who are already justified are made more and more holy—it is only the power of God that can do it, and it is only the righteousness of Christ from which it can be produced. 

He doesn’t accept us the way we are. He accepts us the way that Christ is! For, He accepts us on the basis of making Christ ours, and making us Christ’s. And He doesn’t leave us as we are. He makes us like Christ. But we mustn’t think that any of this means that we must get the slightest bit better before we come to Him. Indeed, we cannot do so, and the idea that we can is a lie of the devil to keep us from Him.

For what do you need to come to Christ? Of what do you need to repent? What is keeping you from coming to Him?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH453 “Just as I Am, without One Plea”


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