Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Monday, October 17, 2022

2022.10.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 3:25–26

Read Romans 3:25–26

Questions from the Scripture text: Who set forth Whom (Romans 3:25)? As what? By what? Through what is this propitiation applied? To demonstrate what? What attribute of God had necessitated this demonstration? What had He done in His forbearance? Which sins had He passed over? At what time did demonstration occur (Romans 3:26)? What was demonstrated? What two things was He in this righteousness? Of whom? 

What was being exhibited at the cross? Romans 3:25–26 looks forward to the sermon in the midweek prayer meeting. In these two verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that in Christ’s fully atoning work, God displayed the greatness of His righteousness, the very righteousness that is accounted to those who believe in Jesus.

The gospel is, in some respects, a matter of “Show and Tell.” We read back in Romans 1:17 that in it the righteousness of God is revealed. And then more recently in Romans 3:21, we read that “now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed.” In the two verses now before us, the Spirit emphasizes three aspects of God’s glorious righteousness that is revealed and offered to us in the gospel: Christ Jesus, Propitiation, and Justness.

Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24) is the One Whom God “set forth as a propitiation.” This word means that Jesus has completely satisfied the wrath of God so that all that is left is the favor of God. He has made God entirely propitious toward all Who are in Him. The phrase “set forth” is borrowed from the language of the judicial trial and refers to exhibiting something as evidence. In this case, it is Christ Who is exhibited as a propitiation.

But what does His propitiating demonstrate about Him? That He is as valuable as the glory of God. It is the glory of God against which man has sinned in unrighteousness and ungodliness. And it is this sin against God’s glory against which His wrath has been revealed (Romans 3:18)? What could atone for offense that is as great as the glory of God? The answer is that Christ Jesus can. By His full atonement (propitiation), Christ Jesus is exhibited to be as glorious as God. For He is, of course, God. 

Propitiation itself is a display of God’s righteousness because He had exercised forbearance and not poured out His wrath against the sins of believers previously committed. But those who had believed (“through faith,” Romans 3:25) have now been fully atoned for by Jesus’s blood. God has not compromised His justice at all. The righteousness of God that we get in the gospel is an absolute, perfect, uncompromised righteousness.

Finally, God demonstrates His righteousness not only with respect to past believers but also at the present time. When one believes in Jesus now, he knows that God is just, for He has demanded and executed already full punishment of sin. A believer knows that this justice means that, apart from Christ, God would display that justness by punishing Him forever in Hell. But a believer also knows that the justness of God is also demonstrated by declaring to be righteous whoever has faith in Jesus. And it is this very justness of God, this very righteousness of God, that is counted as one’s own when he believes in Jesus.

How do you respond, in your life, to the glory of Jesus? How does God’s righteousness at the cross encourage you about your standing before Him? Who should not be encouraged by it?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for displaying Christ, Your uncompromised justness at the cross, and Your justness in justifying those who believe in Christ. Grant that we would do so and thus know ourselves to be reckoned as having Your perfect righteousness, which we ask in Christ’s own Name, AMEN!

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

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