Rev. Scott MacDonald, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Meridian, CT, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Romans 3:21-31.
In this second half of chapter 3, the Apostle Paul clarifies that all people — Jew and Gentile — “have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (v. 23) What is God’s answer to this predicament? The long-promised Savior, Jesus Christ! God the Father sent his only Son to be a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the entire world. Righteousness then comes from faith in Jesus. This isn’t a new teaching, even the Law and the Prophets testify to it. What does this mean for the Jew or the Gentile? Can one boast because in how well they keep the Law or in what a good person they are? Paul says no! All people are “justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (v. 28)
Thy Strong Word reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
Thy Strong Word is hosted by Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church of Luverne, MN, and graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation.
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org