Scripture Reading: Romans 3:9-end
Knowing that a man is not justified by [out of] the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Justified—to render righteous, to be righteous. More than a declaration. A right state before God.
Works of the law—deeds done to fulfill the law. Works prescribed by the law.
Faith of Christ—by Him, He is the object of our faith.
But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:39 And by [in] him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Forgiveness—freedom, pardon, deliverance, release from bondage
Justified from all things—total, complete forgiveness.
Could not be justified by the law—law has no ability to completely forgive all sins. It can’t now and it never could.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before [to] God.20 Therefore by [out of] the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Become guilty—brought under judgment. Fully convicted and liable to condemnation.
Be justified—treated as righteous, because the law treats you as unforgiven and thus condemned. No ability to undo your guilt.
Knowledge of sin—tells you precisely what it is, but cannot remove it.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without deeds of the law.
What does all this mean?
It means Jews weren’t saved by law.
1) because they never really did them
2) it was fleshly impossible to do the law perfectly for complete justification.
3) the law has no ability to fully remove any fault in keeping it. Even sacrifices were just types of Christ’s sacrifice. Blood of bulls and goats does not remove sin.
What Christians have taken it to mean:
--We don’t have to do anything
--Anytime we’re told to do something that’s law
--Legalism is anytime you feel guilt or are told to do something, even if it’s God’s Word making you feel that way.
--Faith is a head game. Justification is God’s view and not a reality for us.
Yet most people who believe these things base their salvation on a form of law keeping! Pharisees were about image, keeping laws so everyone knows—conformity and judging—which is what the majority of the church is today.
--Faith is about following Christ, not following words on a stone, or church hierarchy, or group norms.
--Justification is fulfilled in Christ-likeness. Romans 8:30—whom He justified He glorified.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by [in] the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Am crucified—have been crucified as already done.
Christ liveth in me—He is the fountain of life giving substance in me. Everything now flows from Him.
Life I now live—as opposed to the life I lived before conversion. Is centered on Christ in me, the new life in Him.
In the flesh—in this body.
I live by the faith—in the faith. Faith is the element in which I live now. Not the flesh, the seen and temporal, but in faith not sight.
Justification results in living like Christ, living righteously now because I’m delivered from the flesh and alive in Christ.