“God’s Righteousness Questioned” (Pt. 1)
March 5, 2017
This week several of us attended the Shepherds’ Conference. Over four days, we listened to 16-18 sermons. And all the sermons were around the theme, “We Preach Christ.” It might seem remarkable to listen to so many sermons on that one theme. How can you say so much about that one topic? And then this morning you come to church and we are having yet another sermon on the topic of justification from Romans 3 — and it maybe it seems like we’ve been talking about sin and salvation entirely too much.
But when you read Romans, you understand that Paul never tired of the wonder of his salvation. And the truth of his justification through Christ constantly overwhelmed him. This morning we similarly want to consider again the great significance of this justifying work of Christ.
The title of this morning’s sermon is “God’s Righteousness Questioned.” A better title might even be, “God’s Righteousness Objected.” In the previous section (vv. 21-26) we saw the glories of “God’s Righteousness Revealed” — i.e., the wonders of the gift of God’s justification were opened and revealed to mankind in those verses. And now, Paul again takes up an argument against someone who might object to what he has said about justification, and he poses a series of five questions that this opponent might propose. Those questions really are akin to a series of objections that might be raised in a law court. They get to the heart of the opposition that the Jews had against Christ and the principle of justification by faith.
These questions also appropriately prepare us for communion as we see again the gift of God’s salvation for us through Jesus Christ. And these questions lead into Paul’s great declaration that became one of the rallying cries of the Reformation — sola fide — salvation is by faith alone.
What does Paul say in these verses? He teaches that:
Justification is received only through faith alone.
These five questions can be summarized into three essential questions about justification:
- If Justification is by Faith, Where is Boasting? (v. 27-28)
- If Justification is by Faith, Is God the God of Jews Only? (v. 29-30)
- If Justification is by Faith, Isn’t the Law Obsolete? (v. 31)
Download the rest of this sermon from Romans 3:27-28.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.