Romans 3:21-26

"But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify" (Rom 3:21, NIV).
  1. Why does Martyn Lloyd-Jones exclaim that "there are no more wonderful words in the whole of Scripture than just these two words 'But now...'" (Rom 3:21a)? Notice also, "But God..." (Eph 2:4).
  2. "Apart from law" suggest a new era of salvation. What does the law in the old era expose about man's spiritual state (Rom 1:18-20; 2:1, 4-5, 23-24; 3:9, 19-20)? How does "the Law and the Prophets testify" to "the righteousness of God" (Rom 4:1-8; Gen 15:6; Ps 32:1-2)?
  3. What is being referred to by the phrase "has been made known" (Rom 3:21-22)? What event helps us to know "the righteousness of God" (Lk 23:47)?
  4. "Righteousness" is having a "right relationship with God." However, John Stott explains "the righteousness of God" (21-22, 25-26; 1:17; Phil 3:9) in three ways as:
    1. An attribute of God: This is a quality--who God is.
    2. An activity of God: This is an action--what God does. (N.T. Wright.)
    3. An achievement of God: This is a gift--what God bestows, confers and accomplishes. (Reformed.)
    • Can you explain each phrase? Can the righteousness of God mean all three?
  5. How does one come to know the righteousness of God (Rom 3:22a, 25a)?
  6. How does Rom 3:22b-23 summarize a main theme in chapters 1-3?
  7. Explain how we are "justified freely by his grace" (Rom 3:24a). What is redemption (Rom 3:24b)?
  8. Explain "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood" (Rom3:25a)?
  9. What sins did God pass over that were previously committed (Rom 3:25b)? How can God be just and still justify those who sin (Rom 3:25b-26)?
The Guts of the Gospel (Rom 3:21-26)
  1. God’s Righteousness Is Revealed In His Word (Rom 3:21).

  2. God’s Righteousness Is Revealed In His Grace (Rom 3:22-24).

  3. God’s Righteousness Is Revealed In His Justice (Rom 3:25-26).

"The Saving Righteousness of God" Tom Schneider

Rom 3:21-26 is about the gospel. It talks about our relationship with God.
  1. God has manifested his saving righteousness in Jesus Christ (Rom 3:21-22). Luther regarded the righteousness of God as God's judgement for sin. So it was not good news to him, until he found that it is the saving righteousness of God. Apart from law, not based on what we do, not based on works. OT also teaches salvation by faith. Abraham, Moses, David were all justified by faith. We are not right with God because of our doing, but because of our believing and our receiving, not because of our merit, but because of our faith (Rom 3:24).
  2. Why we need the saving righteousness of God (Rom 3:23; 1:21; 2:1; 3:9-11, 19-20). The gospel begins with sin. It is a supernatural recognition.
  3. The saving righteousness of God is through redemption (Rom 3:24). Redemption is to be free by paying a price. It is the penal substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Jesus died in our place. Jesus suffered the penalty that we should have suffered. If you feel captive to something, it is liberating to be delivered and freed. True freedom is not to follow our inclinations but to follow Christ. 
  4. The judging righteousness of God (Rom 3:25-26). How could God declare us to be righteous. Does this not violate his holiness? Why is God's righteousness called into question? 
If you're not happy, grateful or thankful, you're forgotten about the gospel. We take for granted the forgiveness of our sins. We take for granted the smile of God and the delight of God over us.