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Romans 3:22 (conclusion)


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I feel kinda quiet at the moment and don't have much to say.

 

We'll see how long that last though, Father...lol

 

I feel Your presence though and I'm grateful for my relationship with You. Thank You for saving me, and for all that You have done, are doing, and will continue to do with my life.

 

I place my life, into Your hands today, submitting my will to Yours. May Your perfect will be done, and may it glorify You.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

 

The rvbv writes, "Simple faith, then, receives "God's testimony concerning His Son," and rests there. They used to say of Marshall Field in Chicago, "His word is as good as his bond." It was no credit to the merchants that trusted Mr. Field, but it was a great credit to him! It gave him the public honor of his integrity.

 

God's righteousness, moreover, through faith concerning Jesus Christ - Here we must study carefully. The King James Version reads, "by faith of Jesus Christ." "Through faith" is more accurate, as the preposition is, dia, "through," as the Revised Versions, both English and American, read. Concerning the form, "of Jesus Christ," see Mark 11:22, Acts 3:16, Gal. 2:16, Jas. 2:1 where the same Greek construction appears.

 

The expression "faith concerning Jesus Christ," literally, "faith of Jesus Christ" must be regarded either as:

 

1. Faith in the gospel of God concerning Jesus Christ, as set forth at the beginning of the Epistle, involving of course appropriation of Christ with all His benefits for oneself; or,

 

2. Trust in Christ. But Christ has already died for sin, for the world; and trust, here, would mean relying on Christ to do something for the soul; either to put forth power to deliver; or, as they say, to become one's "personal Savior"; or, "to see one through to the end," or the like. This is in accordance with man's gospel: "Jesus Christ will save you if," - rather than in accordance with Paul's gospel of believing God's Word concerning Christ as having accomplished for us a work that was finished once for all on the cross.

 

3. The rendering received by many today in certain circles which would make "the faith of Jesus Christ" mean Christ's own believing on our behalf! which, they explain, is "exercising His own mighty faith," instead of calling upon the strengthless hearts of men to believe. But this avoids our responsibility to believe God. They quote here Mark 11:22: "Have faith in God" as, "Have the faith of God"; a grotesque, unbiblical, impossible meaning! Our Lord said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." He did not say, "I will believe for you." Again He did say, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He [the Father] hath sent" (John 6:20).

 

4. Finally, some have thought to render, "the faith of Jesus Christ" as His faithfulness to us; which is not the meaning of the Greek, is out of place, and is contrary to the apostle's usage.

 

We believe that the first meaning we have indicated - that is, faith in the gospel of God concerning Jesus Christ as set forth at the beginning of the Epistle, is the true one here; for it accords perfectly with this first great expansion in Chapter Three, of the announcement of Chapter 1:1-3, "the gospel of God concerning His Son": the power of which is that "therein is revealed God's righteousness on the principle of faith."

 

Faith is not trust, and must be carefully distinguished therefrom, if we would have a clear conception of the gospel. Faith is simply the acceptance for ourselves of the testimony of God as true. Such faith, indeed, brings one into a life of trust. But faith is not "trusting," or "expecting God to do something," but relying on His testimony concerning the person of Christ as His Son, and the work of Christ for us on the cross. So faith is "the giving substance to things hoped for." After saving faith, the life of trust begins. In a sense that will be readily perceived by the spiritual mind, trust is always looking forward to what God will do; but faith sees that what God says has been done, and believes God's Word, having the conviction that it is true, and true for ourselves.

 

In saving faith, then, you do not trust God to do something for you: He has sent His Son, who has borne sin for you. You do not look to Christ to do something to save you: He has done it at the cross. You simply receive God's testimony as true, setting your seal thereto. You rest in God's Word regarding Christ and His work for you. You rest in Christ's shed blood."

 

It is GOD that justifieth (8:33), as it is God against whom we sinned. And it is God whom we find in Chapter 3:25 setting forth Christ on the cross as a righteous meeting-place (between the sinner and God) through faith in His blood. And again: "To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him [God] that justifieth the ungodly" (on the ground, of course, of the blood of Christ). "Righteousness shall be reckoned unto us who believe on Him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead" (4:5 and 24). This, it seems, is what the Lord meant in His last public message to the Jews, John 12:44: "Jesus cried and said, He that believethon Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me." Faith, indeed lays claim to Christ and possesses Him, but it is through believing the testimony of God the Father concerning His Son.

 

And this seems to me the meaning of the words in Chapter 3:22, "through faith concerning Jesus Christ." Peter also says not only that we have "the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 3:21), but: "through Him [Christ] ye are believers in God, that raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God (I Pet 1:21). Thus also, he says, "Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God" (I Pet. 3:18).

 

We must remember that it is the "gospel of God" (Rom. 1:1) in its general aspect, which we are not studying; and that it is "concerning His Son." Christ says also in John 5:24, "He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me hath everlasting life and cometh not into judgment."

 

Now we believe concerning Jesus Christ: (a ) that He is the Son of God, (b ) that He has put away sin by His blood (as Paul will soon show; and (c ) that He is and has become through simple believing our very own, so that what He has done was really done for us.

 

You may say, this is simply "believing on the Lord Jesus Christ." Yes; but it is believing God concerning Christ. In Chapter Four we find that Abraham believed God, and righteousness was reckoned unto him. We also "believe on Him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification." Here the faith is in God, and is made possible by His raising Christ, upon whom He had placed our sins. Sanday says: "'By faith of Jesus Christ': that is, by faith which has Christ for its object." In the gospel of God concerning Christ, God announces not only Christ's person as Son of David, and Son of God; but also His finished work, that He has been set forth by God as a propitiation, a righteous meeting-place between the sinner and God. It is therefore God whom the sinner believes; and in believing God he appropriates Christ, and His saving work."

 

I like the way he said that..."a righteous meeting-place between the sinner and God". IN Christ is where we are able to meet God...because of Christ's obedience to the will of the Father, we are able to have this relationship with the Father.

 

"There is another question in this 22nd verse which must be answered. The King James Version adds, after "The righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ unto all," the words"and upon all them that believe." The Revised Version omits "and upon all." This, we believe, is the correct reading. The righteousness of God is not put "upon" any one. That is a Romish idea, - still held, alas, among Protestants who cannot escape the conception of righteousness as a something bestowed upon us, rather than a Divine reckoning about us. But the best authorities omit these words "and upon all," as do the oldest manuscripts, and both the English and American Revised Versions. The words, "God's righteousness through faith concerning Jesus Christ unto all them that believe," describe it all, and fully.

 

I know people argue that "unto all" describes the "direction of the blessing"; and "upon all" those who (as they put it) have the blessing actually "conferred upon them." But please notice the present passage is setting forth the fact of a new, present revelation - God's righteousness by faith in Christ, as over against man's legal righteousness. Since we find this righteousness is God's accounting or holding righteous a man who believes, rather than a conferment of a quality upon a man, we must read the passage thus. It sets forth this present by-faith righteousness. It is God accounting a man (even as he is "ungodly" - 4:5) righteous in His sight. Do not destroy the gospel by adding to Romans 3:22 words which evidently have been supplied by some one ignorant of the truth. it is simply "God's righteousness through faith about Jesus Christ."

 

Righteousness is a court word. Righteousness is reckoned by God to them that believe. The faith of the ungodly man who believes is "counted for righteousness" (4:5).

 

The words that close verse 22, "for there is no distinction," should be joined with verse 23, "for all sinned, and are falling short of the glory of God." Pridham well says, "The all-important point to be regarded here is the complete setting aside of the creature-title." That there is no difference as to the fact of sin, between Jews and Gentiles, is, of course, primarily before us in the words "no distinction." Exactly the same expression is found as to the availability of salvation in Chapter 10:12: "no distinction between Jew and Greek." We may well apply it to everybody, as does Pridham in his "no creature title." There is no distinction between sinners - between great offenders and small, with respect to this matter of sinnership. Not the degree of sin, but the fact of sin is looked at here. If you should visit a penitentiary, you would find some imprisoned for terrible crimes, and others for lesser offences, but you would find, in the eyes of the law, no innocent men!

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

As I was finishing up today's study, my mind began to realize that I'm going to be doing this Romans study much longer than I had anticipated. My goal of "15 chapters in 15 weeks" was noble perhaps lol, but not realistic. I have no idea how long this study will take, but I just ask that You cause this study to go forward at the pace You would have it go. There are 464 pages left in this book lol so I am far from being done. Use this time Father, use this commitment that I've made to You in doing this study, to teach me all that You would have me learn. So far, I've gleaned many little things that are deep and important, that I needed to learn, so thank You for that, and thank You for all that You will reveal in the days, weeks, and probably months to come.

 

I love Your Word. I love reading it and experiencing my eyes being open to things I didn't see before. I am so grateful that we have Your Word.

 

Anyway, I just ask for forgiveness for any sin in my life. I ask that You will continue to cause me to grow, changing me along the way. I see these changes You have done so far and they are Godly changes and I kinda like them. I never thought I would want some of them, but these days, I wouldn't be happy without them.

 

I love You Father God...I love Jesus and all that He is...and Your Spirit just gets to me...in His gentleness, tenderness, going about doing Your will in all our lives.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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