JESUS, THE JUSTIFIER: Romans 3:21-26

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SCRIPTURE

Romans 3:21-26
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

BIG IDEA

We need Jesus’ righteousness because, on our own, we stand before God unrighteous, unjustified, guilty of cosmic treason. We can get Jesus’ righteousness because He became “a propitiation by His blood.” Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, God can justify sinners without compromising His holy character. God justifies us by grace through faith, “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

DISCUSSION

1. Read Romans 3:21-26 and discuss what stands out to you. 

C.S. Lewis wrote, “A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it…” 

2. Have you seen this in your own life—the harder you try to be good, the clearer you see your badness? 

3. What do you think Paul means in verse 23? Is Paul’s view here different than that of the worlds? If so, how? 

4. What does it mean that Jesus was “put forward as a propitiation by his blood”? How does Jesus in the garden of gethsemane shed light on propitiation? *see Ezekiel 23:32-34, Isaiah 51:22, and Revelation 16:19. 

5. What do you think Paul mean when He says, “It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus“?

6. How is Justification different than Forgiveness? How does being “Justified by His grace as a gift” change the way you think, live, and hope? 

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