Many NT scholars say Romans 3:21-26 is the beating heart of Romans. It is packed full of rich theological truths.
Here are the theological terms that are used in these six verses: righteousness, justified, grace, redemption, atonement, and faith.
Take a moment to see if you can define each one in your own words (a Bible dictionary or theological dictionary may help).
Our objective is to understand and embrace the truth of the Gospel; that through faith in His shed blood Christ has made atonement for our sins and because of this we have been justified freely by His grace. This freedom does not remove struggle from our lives but it is the path to a “God-filled life.”
21 BUT NOW A righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Terry said it is important that “We pursue fuller knowledge of the gospel…not in order to be more theologically ‘smart’ but in order to more fully worship.” Does this statement encourage you? If so, why?
Paul introduces a new section of Romans with the words “But now” (v. 21). What shift in emphasis do these words signal? Think of Terry’s illustration of driving through a scarred landscape that was left from a tornado.
In what ways do we see verse 21 tying together the Old and New Testaments and how does it provide the simple framework for understanding the role of the Law and the gospel?
Verse 22 says, “There is no difference.” Find as many ways as you can in verses 21-26 that illustrate “no difference” between people.
Verse 24 says that we “are justified freely by his grace.” What day-to-day impact does this have on you?
In verse 25-26 the word “atonement” is used, you can find the word “propitiation” used as well. What does this word mean and how is Christ our sacrifice of atonement?
Paul opened his letter to the Romans with three and a half chapters on the topic of sin. What has this contributed to your view of yourself and your view of God?
How might these chapters affect your relationships with other people?
Terry said “Our application is simply this…the gospel is the song…all truth claims otherwise are noise.”
What does that “song” look like in your life? Consider the actionable reality of the gospel in your own life: with regard to your pleasure, pain, fear, possessions, relationships, job, values, and habits.
What will you do with the “song” of the gospel? How will your hear it and move to its music in the midst of all the noise?