Hello everyone! My name is Ryan Weeter and today I’m going to be doing something a little different. Instead of teaching on a specific subject or topic, I’m going to be speaking about a specific chapter in the Bible. Technically, it could be on one general topic but it’s all found in one chapter of the Bible – Romans chapter 3. I was reading through the book of Romans and every single chapter seemed applicable for this world we’re living in. However, Romans chapter 3 just seemed to answer one of the biggest debates in the church. That of salvation by faith or works, and that of grave versus the law.
Romans 3:1 starts out with a question “What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision?” Paul really sets the tone, and it’s a good question to ask. What advantage do those who obey the law have. What’s the benefit of following the law? Paul lets us know that we’re going to be talking about the Law and what its benefits are and what place it holds. It made me actually grin to myself to see that something that is so controversial in the church was going to be directly talked about in the Bible.
It goes on to say in verses 7 and 8, “For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come’?- as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.” Just because we have grace, just because the truth of God and the glory of God is at work in our lives doesn’t mean we have a license to sin. We shouldn’t sin, end of story. Yet, there are so many people who say it’s ok to sin, because we have been saved. That’s just not true! God doesn’t like sin, he never liked sin, and he never will like sin. I also realized that even Paul was dealing with people misquoting him and saying that he said things he never did. Specifically that we was saying it was ok to sin, much like what is said about many ministers today even when they’re not saying that. It’s always been an issue.
From verse 9-18 the sinfulness of man is talked about. It’s laid on pretty thick, and I actually remember thinking “Gosh, just get on with it, I get it, people are bad.” But it paints a picture. These are the people that Jesus died for. I knew the verse that said “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” But these verses really show who he was dying for. The throats that are open tombs and whose tongues lie. Poisonous lip, mouths full of cursing and bitterness, feet swift to shed blood. Full of destruction and misery, total lack of peace, and above all no reverence for God. These are the people Jesus died for. This is us without Jesus. This is our natural man, but verses 19-20 explain the purpose of the law in all this, saying; “Now 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. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Though our natural man is a sinner through the law we come to know what sin is. We know that we were sinners and we know that we were guilty. However, the law doesn’t justify. The law is not what saves us.
This leaves us the question, “Then what is it that saves?” God is way ahead of you my friend. Verse 21-23 tell us “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” It’s faith in Jesus that brings righteousness and justification! It’s not just for the Jew, but for all! Everyone has fallen short of righteousness by his own actions. Nobody is holy enough, nobody is perfect enough. We have all failed to achieve righteousness through our own actions. Verse 24 actually goes on to say “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” You were justified, not through anything you’ve done or “payment” you’ve made, but freely through His grace!
We then come up to the end of the chapter and it is brought full circle. Verse 27 and 28 state it plainly and clearly. “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” This then brings the question that it always does now and that it did in Paul’s time. “Does that mean it doesn’t matter what I do? I can just sin and it doesn’t matter?” As it says earlier in the chapter, no. However, it’s touched on once again in the final verse of the chapter. “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Just because we are saved by faith doesn’t mean that we should ignore the law. It’s a good thing and shows you what good and evil is. It shows you that without Jesus our natural man is evil. Now that we are saved by faith we establish or confirm the law. Now that we are saved by faith we can actually live the righteous life God always wanted us to live! Grace doesn’t enable sin, it enables our victory over sin!
When I read all this I knew that I had to share it! It shocked me that one of the biggest debates in the church nowadays about works or grace is answered plain and simple by God. Go figure, He knew what to put in the Bible. After I read this I actually said out loud “Does anybody read their Bibles?!” So bottom line, your works don’t jutify you or save you, your faith does. That being said, act like a Christian, act like you’re representing God. I encourage you to do just that, walk confidently in your justification and salvation, representing God. Be blessed!