Paul’s Epistle to the Romans
April 18, 2021
81 My soul longs for your
I hope in your word.
82 My eyes long for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure?[a]
When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;
they do not live according to your law.
86 All your commandments are sure;
they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
87 They have almost made an end of me on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your steadfast love give me life,
that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.
Remember Romans 1:16-17 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Paul moved to different ways that people view themselves as righteous, but now he starts to dig into what is the “righteousness of God.”
Manifested apart from the law – The Greek reads, “But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been manifested.”
This order emphasizes – “apart from the law”
- Separate from our efforts or our own ability to identify righteousness.
- This is pure Gospel (Romans 1:16 – power of God for salvation for the one who believes).
Manifested – caused to be seen, made known.
- Perfect Passive Verb – it happened in the past and the impact continues now.
- This is not something that we know by our natural knowledge.
o 1 Corinthians 2:14 - The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
o Psalm 119 – The Psalmist prays for God to: teach me, open my eyes, do not hide, give me life according to, make me understand, lead me, incline my heart, turn my eyes
o The focus of these requests is God’s: Law (Torah), testimonies, ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, righteous rules.
The Law and the Prophets bear witness to it
- Promises of the Savior/Christ
- Commitment to Forgiveness
- Called by Grace
- Saved by Faith
- God is the Savior (without merit or worthiness of Israel)
The Righteousness of God that is apart from the law is:
- Received through faith in Jesus Christ.
- For all who believe.
o Genesis 12:3 – “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
o Isaiah 42:6 – “I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.”
o Isaiah 60:3 – “All nations shall come to your light.”
o Micah 4:1 & 2 - It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Mic. 4:1-2 ESV)
There is no distinction.
- Formerly Israel was God’s chosen and beloved
- Even this was for the sake of drawing all nations.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- What is sin?
o Greek – archery term – to miss the mark
o Hebrew – go wrong, make a mistake, miss the way
o 1 John 3 – lawlessness
o Anything that violates God’s objective standards of righteousness of God’s law.
§ Isaiah 5:20
§ Heidelberg Disputation Thesis 21: A theology of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theology of the cross calls a thing what it actually is.
o Any deviation from God’s truth – which stands as an objective standard and is also revealed in the Law and the Prophets – a.k.a. God’s Word.
- Fall short – in an active sense this verb means to come too late or miss. In a passive sense (which the text has) it means come short of, or come behind in.
- Glory of God – in this context: the full righteousness and holiness of God.
Taking issue with word order again.
Rom 3:24 – Being justified (Present Passive Participle) freely/without cost/without reason/undeservedly in His grace through the redemption/deliverance/payment of ransom/release that is in Christ Jesus
- This is hammering home that the righteousness of God is something completely alien to us. It is extra nos – apart from us – as well as apart from the Law.
Whom God put forth – this is God’s plan (Gen. 3:15)
As a propitiation – hilasterion – literally a place of forgiveness
- This word is used 2X in the N.T., and 13X in the O.T.
- 14X it means the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. God’s footstool. The place where God and humanity meet, and where humanity finds mercy.
o Exodus 25:22
- God’s purpose is that Jesus’ presence is the place where we meet Him
o In forgiveness.
o In worship.
o In person.
Through faith in His blood.
- The Incarnation
- The Crucifixion
- The Atonement
- The Lord’s Supper
Jesus’ blood covers over our sin.
- Exodus 24:1-8
- Leviticus 16 (esp. 14-15)