The Gospel of Christ is the “power of God to salvation for everyone who believes;” for Jew and Gentile alike, it is the only means of salvation. Paul makes it clear from the beginning of his letter, righteousness only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Look at Romans 1:17 in the Amplified version “For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.”
In Romans 1:28-32 Paul shows how the Gentiles (non-Jews) have erred by suppressing the truth and have gone into sin. Chapter 2 shows how the Jews, who had the Law (God’s righteous standard), did not keep the Law and are under sin just as the Gentiles. The Jews had a great advantage having the “oracles of God” (See 3:1-2), but “we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). Romans 3:20 says “by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified;” this is true before we have faith in Jesus and after.
Read Romans 3:23-26 one more time out of the New Living Translation:
“23) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24) Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25) For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26) for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.”
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan