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THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD
Rom 3:21-25

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,

Introduction
Many people think they have to find a way to get their sins forgiven. Many think they are beyond forgiveness. But when we discover the way God make a person righteous we realize all of us can be forgiven as we discover the righteousness of God.


1. The Righteousness of God . . Revealed. 3:21-23

A. Revealed Through the . . Scriptures. 3:21
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

        1.     Scriptures . . Manifested In The Law. 3:21a
                1.    But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed,

Dt 18:18-19 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. NKJV

Lk 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." NKJV

Jn 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. NKJV

        2. Scriptures . . Manifested In The Prophets. 3:21b
            ". . . being witnessed by the law and the prophets;"

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. NKJV

Lk 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." NKJV

B. Revealed Through the . . Savior. 3:22

        1.    Revealed . . Uniquely Through The Savior. 3:22:a            
                22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ. . ."

        2. Revealed . . Universally Through The Savior. 3:22:a
            ". . . unto all and upon all them that believe: For there is no difference;"

C.     Revealed Through the . . Sinfulness Of Mankind. 3:23
            23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

        1.    Revealed In The . . Sinfulness Of Sin. 3:23a
                23 For all have sinned, . . ."
        2.    Revealed In The . . Supremacy Of The Savior. 3:23a            
                ". . . and come short of the glory of God;"

Illustration:
Two men went to the recruiting office in London England to join a guards regiment. The require height for guardsmen is 6'-0". Neither of these men were that tall so they were refused the opportunity to apply. They both were angry, one man argued that is was not fair, the other reasoned about how good they were. The recruiter simply said, "you don't meet the height requirement." (From John Phillips' Book Exploring Romans)

Application:

Rom 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

It does not matter that you have performed deeds for humanity.

It does not matter how smart or wise you think you are.

It does not matter how much money you have.

        YOU HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF GOD'S REQUIREMENT.


2. The Righteousness of God . . Redeems. 3:24

A. Redeems . . Freely. 3:24a

24 Being justified freely by his grace . . ."

B. Redeems . . Flawlessly. 3:24b
        ". . . through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"

        1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. NKJV

        Rev 7:14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me,"These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. NKJV

        Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. NKJV

Illustration
Because I served as a Trustee representing the Missouri Baptist Convention at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary I made two trips every year to Mill Valley California. I receive frequent Flyer Miles that enabled me to make some free flights to other places. On one occasion I wanted to fly down to see my daughter in Florida and use some of my frequent flyer miles.

As I remember it took 750 points to fly from St. Louis, Missouri to Orlando Fla. I only had 650 miles so I offered to pay so much for the shortage in miles. They would not accept any payment of money to go along with the frequent flyer miles.

So I check with the airport in Little Rock Ark. On how many miles it took to go to Orlando and it was 650. So I flew from Little Rock and redeemed 650 of my frequent flyer miles.

Application

Note I did not pay any money, I did not do any works, I simply accepted the free gift given to me through my frequent flyer miles.

If the song, "I'll Fly Away," Is A Reality For, You Will Only Do It By The Grace Of God.

ALL OF HIS CHILDREN HAVE BEEN REDEEMED!



3. The Righteousness of God . . Relates. 3:25-26
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. NKJV

A. Relates Showing The . . Propitiation of God. 3:25a
    25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, . . ."

    Ro 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. NKJV   

    Read the statements made in Barnhouse's Romans, page 123.

Illustration
Recently in Southern Baptist Life there has been an experience that illustrates this concept of appeasement. A man named John Burleson was censored by the Foreign Mission Board because he violated the rules of the Board. He was stripped of his privileges as a Trustee. One condition for reinstatement was that he apologize for his actions to the Board. He went before the Board and admitted his wrongsbut never apologized, or said he was sorry.

He was not reinstated, because his admission was not an apology. He did not appease the Board; He did not meet their requirement for reinstatement. A "Propitiation" meets the requirements of the one offended. The cross meets God's standard for appeasement.

Jn 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. NKJV

Ac 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." NKJV

B. Relates Recognizing the . . Patience of God. 3:25b
        ". . . because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

Explanation Strongs Number NT:3930
pa/resi paresis (par'-es-is); from NT:2935; praefermission, i.e. toleration: KJV - remission.

The only time this exact GREEK word is used in N T.

A late word from parieemi , to let go, to relax.. . . distinct from afesis (remission). (Robertson's Word Pictures)

It cannot be said that God passed over the sins of the world before Christ without penalty, for that is plainly contradicted by Rom. 1:18-32; but He did pass them over in the sense that He did not apply, but held back the redeeming agency of God manifest in the flesh until the "fulness of time."

Paul, . . . says: God set forth Christ as the world's "mercy-seat," for the showing forth of His righteousness, because previously He had given no such manifestation of His righteousness, but had held it back, passing over, with the temporary institution of sacrifices, the sin at the roots of which He finally struck in the sacrifice of Christ. (Vincent's Word Studies)

In my research I think it would be best translated, "Temporarily suspended."

". . . because in His forbearance God "Temporarily suspended." the full, and complete punishment of the sins that were previously committed,

McBeth says this refers to the sins of the redeemed before the cross. As through faith they were forgiven but the punishment of their sins did not take place until the cross.

Ex 12:7, 13 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.  13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. NKJV

Illustration
On occasions I have heard people say, "well I think God is a loving God who will not punish sin." God gave me the wisdom on those occasions to say, "look at the cross and you will see God punishes sin." View the movie "the Passion," and you will appreciate more the fact that Christ suffered for our sins.

Illustration
Suppose a young lady charged a very large credit card debt at the department store. She really over spent, and then lost her job and did not find another. The finance department of the store decided to sue this lady. The suit placed her in a very uncomfortable predicament. While waiting for the trial she started dating a young man and they began to talk about marriage. He asked her to marry him, and she said, "only after I tell you something about me." He said okay and she told him about her debt. He then told her, "well I have something to tell you, my father owns the department store."

She thought he was teasing her but discovered he really was the owners son. Do you know what happened to her debt? It was cancelled because she became part of the family.  (From John Phillips' Book Exploring Romans)

Application

I want to tell you every one of us has a sin debt we cannot pay. Jesus is willing to cancel that sin debt, and take us into the family. By faith you can have your sins forgiven.

Jn 1:11-12 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

Some Day Everyone In Christ Can Sing, "I'll Fly Away!"