| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 54 - Page 142 of 210 Index | Zoom | |
The gospel message is very clearly set out in a leaflet written by Stuart Allen (What is
a Christian) many years ago. Among the texts quoted is John 3: 16, and probably this
verse is the first that comes to mind when we are asked to set out our faith. In this article
we are looking at the evidence contained in Paul's letter to the Romans. He points out
that the Jews were under the Law, but the Gentiles were led by conscience. He
concluded that both Jew and Gentile were sinners. In Rom. 3: 10 he quotes from
Psalm 14:, "There is none righteous, no, not one". We will quote from Rom. 3: 21-26:
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by
the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ
unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through
faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,
through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He
might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
As we read the above, we note that our own righteousness is of no avail. "But we are
all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags ..." (Isa. 64: 6).
God's perfect righteousness is offered to all. It is "unto all". Alas, some will not accept
this wonderful offer, so Paul adds "and upon all that believe". Then, note that God
declares His righteousness in forgiving our sins. He is just, and the justifier. Jesus Christ
shed His blood, He paid the price of our redemption, and therefore He is just when He
So, when we `face the facts', we see that however unworthy we are, we have been
justified freely by His grace. His work is finished and complete and we cannot do
anything to make His work more effective. We may not `feel saved' but we must not add
our feelings to the finished work of Christ. The debt that was ours has been paid in full,
so that all that is left for us to do is to "Rejoice in the Lord".
Our debt was in respect of sins that we have committed. But sins are the fruit of the
root cause of our sins. The root cause is sin itself. Eph. 2: 2 refers to the sons of
disobedience, and that disobedience took place in the garden of Eden. The death and
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ cancel both sin (arising from the disobedience of
Adam) and our own individual sins. Paul writes:
"For since by man came death,
by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Cor. 15: 21, 22).
In writing to the Romans (see chapter 5:) Paul states that by one man sin entered into
the world, and sin brought death, so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned. He
argues that as by the offence of one, all are condemned; by the righteousness of one
comes justification of life to all who are believers in Christ.
Paul goes further in showing that we are identified with Christ in His death and
resurrection. If we study the epistle to the Ephesians, we read that we have been