The Heart of the Bible

It seems I haven’t talked much about how the Romans study on Sunday mornings are going, just wanted to fill you in a little. We are in Romans 3:25, but before I share some thoughts about that verse I came across as I was studying and preparing for class, I wanted to share where we have been.  We learned that Paul keeps his point going in Romans 2:17-29 with a Q&A session, with an imaginary opponent (Diatribe). He is adamant that we are well aware of who we once were as believers and where many of you might still be as unbelievers. So he shows us our sin in Adam and levels the playing fielding with both the Jews and Greeks in Romans 3:1-8 and writes this in Romans 3 verse 9.

What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; Romans 3:9

Paul then goes on to Quote the Old Testament to show us by literally looking at our bodies piece by piece to show how bad we are Romans 3:10-18. Paul goes on to say in Romans 3 verses 19 and 20 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19, 20

I keep telling the class week after week that… How AMAZING is grace, when we realize that we were once the epitome of Romans 3:10-18, how wretched and awful sinners we were and how amazing is grace now. Paul is ridiculously adamant that BAD news comes first, then grace, law before grace, so here comes the good news…..

We find ourselves in Romans 3:21-26, so many theologians say this is the greatest paragraph in the bible. Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse called this section of Paul’s letter “the heart of the Bible”. Martin Luther called it “the marrow of theology”. Paul has spent 3 whole chapters showing us our sin and how bad we really are, here he begins to show the good news of Jesus Christ.

Justification by Faith

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all means all here in this context, and I love verse 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; and then Romans 3 verse 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. 

a propitiation (hilasterion-hil·as·tay·ree·on) relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation. 1a used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies (Exodus 25:21), which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory. 1b an expiatory sacrifice. 1c a expiatory victim. TDNT, scripture added.

I love this word Propitiation! Why? The Lord Jesus Christ was set forth by God the Father to be the propitiation for all those who believe, and He was willing. All this before the foundation of the world Acts 2:23 We are redeemed with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ, For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 1 Peter 1:18, 19 and 20.

Jesus Christ our Lord was set forth to be the Propitiation for our sins, that people may come to know and trust in Him, you see God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. For me! For you!

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:15-17

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria

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