Who is God?
Why did Jesus have to die?
To answer that question, I need to give you some background out the Scriptures, the Word of God, from the book of Romans. It might take me several sessions to read through this Scripture and explain it as we walk along.
So follow with me if you have a Bible or I will put it up on the screen. It is Romans 3:21-26 (NIV).
To me, this is one of the most significant passages in the entire Word of God — from Genesis to Revelation.
Let me start reading for you, and I will make some comments as we go along.
“But now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested.”
Now notice, it did not say “contrary to the Law.” There is no conflict between the Law and the righteousness of God or the grace of God.
“But now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.”
Now this is important: the Law is not contrary, but the Law witnesses to the righteousness of God.
And then it says, “even the righteousness of God through faith in Christ.”
Now what we need is that righteousness of God to have a relationship with God. God said He created us; and He has a passion about having a relationship with us.
Then, to have that relationship, we must have the righteousness of God Himself. Now how do we get that righteousness?
It says, “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”
Now this righteousness of God – salvation – is not by faith.
Now if you do not listen to me carefully, you will think I am a heretic.
You cannot be saved by faith. That is heresy. If you could be saved by faith, you would not need Christ. All you would have to do is build up your faith and you would be saved.
How are we saved? We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. We are saved by the grace of God, by grace through faith in Christ.
What Christ did on the cross – His grace: His death on the cross, His burial, resurrection, ascension into heaven, descending of the Holy Spirit. Faith is simply the arm that receives what Jesus did.
If Jesus Chris is not the righteous Son of God, then our faith is in vain. You could have all the faith in the world; and it would not do you any good, because the value of faith is not so much in the one who is believing, but in the one who is believed
This is why the validity of faith depends on the validity of its object. Therefore, it is very important to understand that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Righteous, Holy Son of God who died on the cross for our sins.
And it says “We gain this righteousness of God through faith,” not by faith, “through faith in Jesus.” And if you remove that “in Jesus,” then you would have no salvation or the righteousness of God.
And it says, “for all those who believe.”
In other words, it is a believing faith.
There is no distinction – it does not matter what your racial background, religious background, whatever – we gain the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus.
1. What does Romans 3:21-26 say?
2. Why is this scripture a key passage in the Bible?
3. How does grace fit into salvation?
4. Why cannot we be saved by faith?
5. How can we be saved?
6. What is faith?
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Find resources to live, defend and share your faith in our online store. Our favorite ones for this topic of Resurrection are:
The Resurrection and You Booklet (10-pack) ($29.90) — When Jesus died on the cross and was buried, all seemed lost. But everything changed three days later when he rose from the dead! Then Jesus made some amazing promises. His resurrection would change every aspect of our lives and futures
This 64-page booklet is ideal for initiating conversations with neighbors, friends, and family about the death and resurrection of Christ.
Evidence for the Resurrection ($14.44) — Josh and Sean McDowell will lead you through God’s original intention in creation, how that intention suffered a damaging blow, and his incredible solution for once again restoring relationship with man and woman. They present a thorough but accessible exploration of the many compelling and abundant evidences that Christ conquered death and the grave.
And they challenge you to answer the question: If Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, what does it mean for me today?
Evidence that Demands a Verdict ($22.49) — Bringing historical documentation and the best modern scholarship to bear on the trustworthiness of the Bible and its teachings, this extensive volume has encouraged and strengthened millions. Now, with his son Sean McDowell, PhD, Josh McDowell has updated and expanded this classic resource for a new generation. This is a book that invites readers to bring their doubts and doesn’t shy away from the tough questions.