Rev. Brady Finnern, pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Sartell, MN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Romans 3:1-8.
As St. Paul preaches that all men are unrighteous, objections arise, but the Apostle will not let any of them stand. If all stand condemned by the Law, Jews questioned the importance of having been a part of God’s people under the covenant of circumcision. The advantage was not in the outward rites apart from faith, but the proclamation of the Word of God that is received in faith. Wherever that Word is proclaimed, God is at work for the forgiveness and salvation of His people. The unfaithfulness of some was not the fault of God, nor does it bring into question His faithfulness. Rather, it points to the need to let God be God and allow Him to judge our sins so that He can judge us innocent for the sake of Christ. Sinners still try to insert themselves into the equation, however, even going so far as to claim credit because their unrighteousness allows God the opportunity to show His righteousness. Such foolishness pushes God off His throne and fails to recognize that sin and unrighteousness leads to death. St. Paul here sets the stage for the far better Gospel he has to proclaim: free salvation from sin and death.
“The Righteousness of God for You” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Human righteousness cannot save, because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Only the righteousness of God can bring life and forgiveness to sinners. This is the righteousness that He has fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. This is the righteousness that is not earned, but is freely given by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
God’s Righteousness Upheld
3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,
“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged.”
5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.