Sermon Notes from "Faith Alone" based on Romans 3:21-26


Review: We are continuing a 5 week study on the 5 Solas. Sola is Latin for alone, the solas were considered the foundational principles of Protestantism which was begun by Martin Luther in 1517 (Sola! Pg 3)

Scripture Alone-One Story, God-Breathed, Useful

Grace Alone from God for us, a gift available to all people for all of life and motivation.

Christ Alone-what Christ did (life, death, resurrection, appeared to many ascension), what we do- The crowd words from John 6:28-29 “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”



What is faith? Video from “What’s in the Bible” (1:55)

§  trust (faith) n. — strong confidence in, and reliance upon, someone or something; often with the object of trust understood.

§  Faith is not about how much faith we have or intensity of our faith, but what our faith is in which is Jesus Christ.

·         faith,” living trust in Christ and all his redemptive work.[1]

Faith & His Righteousness (vs. 21-23)

·         Vs. 21-26 is one long sentence.

·         Vs. 21-But now-Paul is going to show us something different-look at focus of previous verses-law-what does it remind us? We have broken the law and the law helps us know what sin is. The law cannot save us.

·         Vs. 21-Righteousness- Righteousness is fulfillment of the expectations in any relationship, whether with God or other people.[2] We can say for our purposes being “right with God”

o   How do we know this righteousness? By the Law and Prophets—Old Testament

o   But now-this righteousness comes apart from the law. This righteousness is going to come from outside of us-from God.

·         Vs. 22-23-This righteousness comes from God by faith in Christ alone needed by all

o   From God by Faith-The right standing God gives is connected with his faithfulness and that of Christ, and it certainly is linked with the faith of believers in Christ.[3]

o   Vs. 23-It doesn’t matter who you are-Jew or Gentile, Male or Female, Rich or Poor.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  We are all not right with God. But because of what God in Christ has done, we are made right.



Faith & His Justice (vs. 24-26)

·         Vs. 24-25-Through faith in Christ alone, Paul uses three images to help us understand

o   Justification-Defined by many as “just as if I have never sinned and just as if I always obeyed” Image of court of law

§  It is a declaration that, on the basis of Christ’s saving work, believers are right with God. That this is due to no merit of their own[4]

§  Justified freely-as a gift, not earned by his grace-All of Jesus

§  It is by God’s grace that he justifies/renders a favorable verdict for all who put their faith in his Son, Christ Jesus…Justification properly belongs to the last judgment. It is then that God will render his final verdict upon human beings. In the case of those who have believed in his Son it will be a favorable verdict. Paul notes that for believers this is anticipated in the present.[5]

o   Redemption- English words derived from a Latin root meaning “to buy back,”[6] In Greek the root word means “to loose” and so to free.[7] To deliver, To liberate

§  Image from the release of prisoners of war on payment of a price (the “ransom”).[8]

§  What it tells us is that a great price was paid to purchase sinners out of their slavery to sin (7:14), out of their sentence of death (6:23). Now they are to live in freedom[9]

§  While redemption is experienced to a certain extent in the present time, it will be fully realized on the last day and will include the ‘redemption of our bodies’, that is, resurrection to immortality.[10]

o   Propitiation- Turning away of anger by the offering of a gift.

§  Imagery from the averting of wrath.[11]

§  Not a word we use today. But was understood in Paul’s day. The word was often used by the pagans When disaster struck it was often thought that a god was angry and was therefore punishing his worshipers. A well-chosen offering would appease the god and put him in a good mood again. This process was called propitiation…His anger is the settled opposition of his holy nature to everything that is evil. Such opposition to sin cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand. It requires something much more substantial. Jesus’ death on the cross for the sins of mankind put away God’s wrath against his people once and for all.[12]

·         Vs. 25-26-Demonstrate Justice

o   Vs. 25-Justice demands that the guilty be punished just as it demands that the innocent go free. So God might be accused of being unjust. Not any more, says Paul. The cross shows us God’s inflexible righteousness in the very means whereby sin is forgiven.[13]

o   Vs. 26-Jesus is just and the justifier

o   There is no antithesis between God’s justice and his mercy. What Paul is saying is that the cross shows us both. Grace and justice come together in this resounding paradox. God saves in a manner that is right as well as powerful. The claims of justice as well as the claims of mercy are satisfied.[14]

Good News As You Go:

You Are Righteous-21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

You Are Justified-Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

You Are Redeemed- Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)

You Are Saved- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)



All of this in Christ Alone by Grace Alone through Faith Alone as we read in Scripture Alone.



[1] Lenski, R. C. H. (1937). The interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians, to the Ephesians and to the Philippians (p. 422). Columbus, O.: Lutheran Book Concern.
[2] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Righteousness. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1860). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
[3] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 175). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
[4] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (pp. 177–178). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
[5] Kruse, C. G. (2012). Paul’s Letter to the Romans. (D. A. Carson, Ed.) (p. 183). Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos.
[6] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Redeemer, Redemption. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1827). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
[7] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Redeemer, Redemption. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1827). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
[8] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 179). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
[9] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 179). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
[10] Kruse, C. G. (2012). Paul’s Letter to the Romans. (D. A. Carson, Ed.) (p. 185). Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos.
[11] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 173). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
[12] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Propitiation. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1784). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
[13] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 183). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
[14] Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 184). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.

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