Romans 3

Paul goes on to teach us about the Justice and Faithfulness of God.  “What good is it to be a Jew? “ he asks.  The Jewish nation were God’s chosen people, and even though many denied Christ and so failed to inherit the salvation which was freely offered, they remained privileged in that they had received the Word of God which led them to the salvation of Jesus Christ.  They received the offer of salvation, but like the gentiles if they do not receive it in faith it is futile and they will die with the rest of the unbelievers.  But some say, that if we sin than God’s righteousness is shown ever in greater amount.  This of course the apostle opposes and points out that the condemnation of unbelievers is just and therefore sin is not to be encouraged.

Paul goes on to describe the nature of man.  Quoting from various passages in the Old Testament, he lets everyone know that Man is totally depraved.  There is no good to be found in man.  This is a hard truth for man to accept.

Many today would have you believe that Man still has some good in him.  That he is able to choose a good thing.  That man can in fact participate in his own salvation by “choosing” Christ.   Paul here unequivocally describes Man’s sinful nature as totally depraved.  Paul demonstrates this in verse 12:

“All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good not even one”

Therefore no matter what we do, we will daily increase our debt towards God.  So by trying to keep the law, we cannot be saved.

The solution, Paul says, is to receive righteousness through Jesus Christ.  Jesus took upon himself the punishment of all sins and paid the debt that God’s justice demanded.   This righteousness comes solely from God.  It does not involve the work of mankind.  Christ died to pay for our sins, and also for the sins of those who passed away in Old Testament times, for God had delayed punishment of those sins until Christ’s time had come.   We see here God’s mercy at work, suffering the sins of his people over all those ages, in order that they may still be saved by the sacrifice of Christ.  Remember that here we also learn that sins are not just wiped away, as if they did not matter.  No they were paid for by the blood and suffering of Christ.

So there is no reason to boast.   We have done nothing to earn our salvation.  It was God’s grace.   We simply have to accept the Gospel message by faith.  And that will lead us to change the way we live.  More and more we will live in accordance to God’s Law, and Will.  And this is a process that will last a life time until we finally reach Heaven and live with Christ in perfection.

THIS IS THE GOSPEL that convinced Luther to question the Roman Catholic theology of being saved by Christ but also by doing penance.  This gospel sets us free from the confines of Man’s limitations to do good, and allows us to look solely to Jesus Christ for our salvation.   It is a gift from God merely out of Grace.  Because He loved us.

THAT IS THE GOOD NEWS OF THE BIBLE.  Available to all who believe.