Monday, October 10, 2022

2022.10.1008 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 3:23–24

Read Romans 3:23–24

Questions from the Scripture text: What is non-different (the same) about what everyone has done (Romans 3:23)? Against what purpose/duty has this sin fallen short? What did they put into this righteousness (Romans 3:24)? By what, then, were they justified? Through what? In Whom is this redemption? 

If even the works of the law can’t justify us, how can we be righteous before God? Romans 3:23–24 looks forward to the sermon in the midweek prayer meeting. In these two verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that in Jesus Christ, God has offered His own righteousness to sinners.

Righteousness as big as God’s gloryRomans 3:23. It is God’s glory against which we have sinned. It is that glory of which we have fallen short. Who can attain to a righteousness that great? Jesus can! His is the righteousness of God. His is the glory of God. And He is the righteousness that faith gets. Of course, then, if you have Him your righteousness is no less than the most eminent believer, and your righteousness if no more than the least believer. There is no difference!

Righteousness entirely by giftRomans 3:24. “freely” translates a word from the same root as “gift” in Romans 5:16 and Romans 5:17. It means that this being justified—this being counted righteous by the bestowal of a righteous status and state—is entirely by gift. Not only is no payment required; no payment can be given. 

If there is any payment at all, then it would cease to be by grace (cf. Romans 4:4). Grace is the supply of God for the lack of man—blessing for those who deserve only curse, strength for those who have only weakness, goodness for those from whose selves could come only badness. And the righteousness for us in the gospel is entirely by gift, entirely by grace.

Righteousness through redemptionRomans 3:24. This justification is “through the redemption.” The word means release, and particularly release by wat of payment. This can be release from penalty or release from slavery. In this case, it is both. Jesus has paid a ransom, because the wrath of God is revealed against the unrighteousness of men. 

Now (as we will see in Romans 3:25), rather than consuming us, the wrath itself has been consumed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Now, rather than our being held in bondage under the control of our sin—as the law would rightly have demanded that we continue to be given up to a depraved mind—Christ Jesus has purchased our freedom that we instead might be under the ultimate control of His grace!

Righteousness that is in Christ JesusRomans 3:24. Not only has our redemption been purchased for us by Christ Jesus, but that purchased redemption comes to us in the person of Christ Jesus. It is not as if it is transactionally handed over to us. No, it comes to us from our union with Him. Sinners are brought into Christ Jesus by believing in Him, and it is as they are in Him that they receive redemption. 

It is in union with the God-Man that believers are redeemed from the wrath of God. It is in union with the God-Man that believers attain to the very glory of God Himself. It is in union with the God-Man that believers come to be counted righteous with the righteousness of God.

What righteousness can you have? How can’t you get it? Whose is it? How can it come to be yours?

Sample prayer:  Lord, even from Your holy and righteous and good commandments, we could not obtain righteousness. But, in the gospel You have revealed Your righteousness for all who believe! Grant that by Your power, we would have Your salvation, by Your righteousness, in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”

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