This chapter is entitled, “Preach the Gospel to Yourself”. How well do you know the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Problem: “I believe part of the problem is our tendency to give an unbeliever just enough of the gospel to get him or her to pray a prayer to receive Christ. Then we immediately put the gospel on the shelf, so to speak, and go on to the duties of discipleship.”
Solution:� Understand what the Gospel is.� (Romans 3:19-26)
- No one is declared righteous before God by observing the law. – v.19-21
- Righteousness is the rule of obedience that God requires of all human beings.� It includes all of the ethical commands scattered throughout the Bible.
- The standard of obedience required by the law is absolute perfection.� Only perfect obedience is acceptable to God.
- There is a righteousness from God that is apart from the law.� v.21
- Because we cannot attain a sufficient righteousness on our own, God has provided it for us.� The righteousness that is a gift from God is a real righteousness, worked out in a real world, by a real person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed or credited to us forever
- This righteousness from God is received through faith in Jesus Christ. v.22
- Faith itself has no merit.
- By it’s nature faith is self-emptying.
- It involves our complete renunciation of any confidence in our own righteousness and a relying entirely on the perfect righteousness and death of Jesus Christ.
- Faith in Christ and a reliance on ourselves, even to the smallest degree, are mutually exclusive.
- This righteousness is available to everyone on the same basis, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. v.22-23
- The first purpose of God’s method of salvation through Christ’s death is to deliver us from guilt, and though all people are not equally guilty, all are guilty.
- This eliminates any room for comparison of ourselves with others who appear more sinful — or at least less holy — than we are.
- All who put their faith in Jesus Christ are justified freely by God’s grace. v.24
- To be justified is to be absolved from any charge of guilt and to be declared absolutely righteous.
- Two sides of the Justification coin:
- On one side we are declared “not guilty”
- On the other we are positively declared to be “righteous through Christ”
- Justification is a completed work as far as God is concerned.� But it must be received through faith and must be continually renewed in our souls and applied to our consciences every day through faith.
- This justification is “through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”. v.24
- Redemption, as used in v.24, means “deliverance effected by the payment of a ransom…that from which we are redeemed is the wrath of God; the price of our redemption is the blood of Christ.” ~ Charles Hodge
- When our consciences are smiting us because of our sin, it is important to reflect upon the fact that, though our sins are real and inexcusable, nevertheless God’s justice has already been satisfied through the “satisfaction of Christ”, that the penalty has been fully paid by Him.
- God presented [Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. v.25
- The atonement assumes the wrath of God against sin, and our consequent liability to His holy and just wrath.
- Propitiation in the context of salvation means that which appeases the wrath of God against sin.
- There are two important points of this propitiatory act of Christ
- First, God presented Him, or set Him forth as an atoning sacrifice.
- Secondly, this propitiation is appropriated by us as sinners through faith in His blood.
Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.� Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. ~Romans 4:7-8
The Discipline of Grace also has a curriculum that coincides with the book.