God’s Righteousness Through Faith
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
The law of God (the Ten Commandments) and all of the prophets of God pointed to this event in time. When Jesus would reveal Himself to all for their salvation as the final propitiation – the full and final payment – for all that would turn to Him in faith, believe on Him, and surrender their lives to His service. Throughout the old testament we see the promises of God – in Genesis to Eve (Genesis 3:15), and to Noah (Genesis 8:20-22; 9:1-17), and to Abraham (Genesis 15), and to Jacob (Genesis 28:12-15). Then we read about the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 20:1-17; 19:5-6; 31:12-17; 34:28) in which we get the Ten Commandments and the civil and ceremonial laws that will rule over the people for the next 1400 years, and the Israeli Covenant (Deuteronomy 29; 30:1-10 which is His covenant with the people of Israel (as stated before these are not merely the physical decendants of Abraham but those who will honor God by their faith in Him). As we continue through we see the promise to David (2 Samuel 7:1-17) and eventually through the prophet Jeremiah we learn about the new covenant of Jesus (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:4-13;12:18-24;13:20). This promise is that God Himself would send someone who would be our Savior – who would bring payment for our sins debt against God and the faith that brings salvation was, before Jesus came, simply that our trust was in God alone to save us. Now that we have Jesus here with us, our faith is in Him, that His words were true, that His sacrifice was sufficient, and that He is who He says He is. All of this work, from the promises in our past to the guarantee of the Holy Spirit we see today – all of this is based on the work of God alone. Nowhere do we see God asking us to come part way and that He’ll meet us, or that He’ll only do part of the work but that we need to do all the rest. Our salvation is secured on the work of God alone and no one can subvert or deny the work that God has already done for us on our behalf. Not us, nor a president, nor a religious leader, nor even the pope himself. All of the work was performed by Jesus on the cross to God’s eternal glory.
Why? So we can’t boast against God! If we boast against God, what we’re doing is we’re saying that God OWES us something. We’re His creation! We live on His planet, drink His water, and breathe His air. We eat His plants and His animals – sure, we may plant them and we may raise them, but where did they come from to begin with? This whole universe and everything contained therein is owned by the God who created it. God is the God of everyone and everything. So, if our faith is what determines our relationship to Him, is the law then made null and void? No! Yesterday, we learned that the law of God exists to stop the mouth of the proud – to show them that they are guilty before God and to silence their objections against it (Romans 3:19). It also exists to bring knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), help those who are not saved to realize their true condition (Romans 7:7), and to be used as a schoolmaster to bring us to the cross of our Lord (Galatians 3:24). The law exists not only for those who are not yet Christians, but also for those who have been saved by God.