Summary of Our Salvation Through Faith in Christ
Last week we focused on Paul’s summary of how we may obtain righteousness. God’s solution solved all the problems of getting to heaven that Paul outlined in the earlier chapters of Romans. Which explained why Paul’s summary was long and wordy. Paul put the whole solution out on the table knowing he’s going to explain each part in detail in coming chapters. So let’s run through the summary quickly looking at it as a road-map for where we are going.
First, in verse 21 Paul says the solution is “apart from the Law.” So therefore we can expect Paul to explain more about the relationship between God’s law and our salvation. Since he said salvation is not a part of law. Secondly, Paul says the righteousness we need for heaven is God’s own righteousness, not some repaired version of our own. So we want a better explanation of how we get God’s righteousness. At the end of verse 21, Paul says this plan was promised in the Old Testament by the prophets. So, Paul will need to show us where that is true. And He says the righteousness we receive from God is manifested through our faith in Christ. So, we want more details on how this process of imputing righteousness actually happens through our faith. Paul adds this process is without distinction, so we would like to see how it’s been true for both Jew and Gentile. Then, Paul wrapped up the summary saying this solution arrives at us being declared justified or innocent in God’s court. We need to understand just how innocent we are in God’s eyes and how God is able to remain just in declaring us innocent, though we have our own sin. Because He publicly displayed His Son as a sacrifice for our sake. We want to understand in the end how can one man’s death can save millions of people from judgment and a sin debt that they incurred. And at the same time allow God to remain outside any accusation of being unjust in the process. We have all of that to examine in the upcoming chapters of Romans, explaining faith and salvation. Knowing these things will be very helpful, not just in understanding how you and I came to being a Christian and what that means, but in defending our faith; explaining it to someone who finds some aspect of it incomprehensible or unjust, silly, or whatever. And at the same time maintaining our hope in the face of the schemes of the enemy who may come along at some point later in our walk and try to convince us what we thought we had we didn’t have or it was in jeopardy or something of that sort. The more we know about how we are saved in Christ the less likely we are to doubt it. And the better we can explain to someone else why we will be in Heaven and how they can share that outcome. It is a basic fundamental purpose for being Christian and still being alive on this Earth and not yet being with Christ. It is so that we can understand what we have and to use it as a spring-board to help others. That’s the whole point. Otherwise just take us home now.
So as we move ahead, we’re going to dive into the details of this summary, block by block. The very first of those explanations actually comes at the end of chapter 3 in verses 27-31 after Paul’s summary. As we learned last week, as Paul elaborated on the meaning of “apart from the Law.” He said the fact that the Lord has designed the plan of redemption without works of Law removes any possibility that mankind could claim to play a part. Paul talked of a law of works verses a law of faith. You could replace the word “law” with the word “solution” or “means.” Paul was asking how does God exclude the possibility of us boasting in His plan of salvation? Paul said, He could not have done that if His solution was one of works; a law of works. Because if He made the way to be saved a law of works we would immediately have something we could claim as part of the solution. Might be, we say we had some part of the work to do ourselves. But what He did do instead was, He made a solution dependent on faith. Because faith is not a work. Especially when that faith is itself something that God produces in our heart. And because the solution works through faith and not by works, it is not susceptible to human boasting, but for the same reason it equally available to Jew and Gentile. Because the Jews had the law and the Gentles don’t. But law doesn’t matter. So that distinction doesn’t matter.
Only the Jews had the Law, so if the solution were on the basis of Law, only the Jews could be saved. That’s what many Jews thought, of course, because they misunderstood the role of the Law. But since the solution is based on faith it nullifies that concern. So then salvation is equally available to both Jew and Gentile.
But does a solution of faith nullify the Law? No, Paul says. The fact that the solution requires faith is an acknowledgment that the Law is so demanding we can’t meet it’s terms. So because the Law must be met perfectly, we needed a solution that didn’t depend on us keeping the law in our own effort. We needed someone else do that hard work for us. Which brings us to chapter 4 of Romans, the Old Testament proofs of faith. AUDIO 8:29
** All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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