Romans 3:21-26 -  Justification


Intro Most People I know look forward to payday ! Anticipation & Joy that seems to be associated w/ that particular day !

A) You work hard all week or perhaps for 2 weeks depending on how you are paid - when that day arrives you receive a well earned well deserved Check


B) Now imagine going into your bosses office & getting down on your hands & knees & saying Thank you so much for this undeserved gift

1)  Your boss would wonder what is wrong w/ this guy !   Why?


C) For starters it would be weird - but also because your pay check is not a gift ! You earned it / you deserve it

1)  And you  get to do whatever you want w/ it ! cash it / spend it / save it / invest it / give it /  it is yours to do what ever you want


D) Now some of you guys are thinking / No it is not / it belongs to my wife /  I give it to my wife then I never see it again -

1)  Just pretend for the sake of the analogy ! Your Check is yours to do w/ as you wish /



In the workplace a wage is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due ! That which is earned for the duty or task  Performed 

A) Well in Roman’s ch. 1,2,3 Paul said Here is what you have  earned !


B) Ch. 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,

1)  Ch. 2:5,6 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent

heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

          6  who "will render to each one according to his deeds":


C) And like a Top notch Prosecuting attorney Paul has clearly laid out the universal guilt of Man

1)  In Ch. 1 he indicted  the Heathen the person who acts like God doesn’t exist


D) Paul said he is guilty because creation around him testifies against him that God exist - therefore he is w/ out excuse



In First part of Ch. 2 we saw where Paul turned his attention to the Hypocrite - One who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk /

A)One who judges others for that which he does himself/  Paul says in v. 15 concerning the Hypocrite - that his conscience bears witness against him !


B) Then in the 2nd part of Ch. 2 beginning in v. 17 Paul focuses in on the Hebrew ( The religious person of that day )

1)  Paul points out that the commandments testify against him / because the commandments only make you righteous if do them !


C) Then in Ch.3  v. 9 Paul moves from the Hebrew to Humanity at Large For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

1) Condemned by His character - v.10-12 "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.

12  They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."


D) Also by their Conduct V.13-17 13  "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips";14  "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."15  "Their feet are swift to shed blood;   16  Destruction and misery are in their ways;17  And the way of peace they have not known."


E) The cause     18  "There is no fear of God before their eyes."


Paul sums it up in his closing remarks there in v. 19,20 Where he declares that all the world is guilty before God

A) Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


B) Not a pretty Picture is it ! But that is our earnings - The wages of sin is death !

1)  But Praise the Lord - that is not the end of the story ! / Just think if the only part of the Bible you possessed was Rom. 1:18-3:20  Depressing !


C) But there is more / wonderfully more / beginning in v.21 the tone Changes / ray of hope shines - as Paul begins to discuss the miracle of Justification

1)  In a Jewelry store in order to magnify the brilliance of a Diamond the Jeweler will place the Diamond on a black cloth / velvet shine light


D) The Diamond's Beauty is magnified by that  contrast /And  that is what Paul is doing in the book of Romans .

1)  The Beauty of Gods grace is contrasted w/ the darkness of mans sinful condition !


E) Beginning  in Ch. 3:21 Paul shines the light upon Gods grace as He discusses the miracle of Justification-

1)  Now we will be looking at v.21-31 on Wed but this morning I want to focus in on v.21-26 note   7     things about Justification


21  But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22  even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25  whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

26  to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

1st What is JUSTIFICATION : Justification means being declared righteous as though we never sinned at all !

A) Easy to remember Just as if we never sinned !


An English gentleman bought a Rolls Royce on England. and had it shipped across the English Channel so he could motor through France. In the midst of his tour, however, the Rolls broke down. So the man called the dealer in London and said, The car I bought is broken.' / The dealer replied 'We will  take care of it immediately,' /  within an hour, a team of mechanics flew to France, took the Rolls apart, repaired it, and returned to England. Following the completion of his tour, the Englishman returned home and waited for what was sure to be a hefty bill for the repair of his car. But it never came.

So finally he called the Rolls Royce dealership and said, 'I've been back for several months, but I haven't got a bill for your services.''A bill for what?' asked the voice on the other end.'A bill for the repairs you did in France on my car 'Sir, insisted the dealer, 'we have no record whatsoever of any repairs being done on any Rolls Royce at any time . Thank you.'

That's justification—just as if it never broke down!

A) Once I have faith in Jesus Christ, God looks at me as being justified—as though I never sinned at all.


B) So that is what justification is : Now in the remainder of our time this morning I want us to note 6 things that Paul reveals about Justification

          1) Found in these verses that we just read !


1st Justification is apart from the Law v.21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

A) If you’re trying to relate to God  by keeping some set of rules & regulations you'll never be Justified.


B) The Law cannot justify you. It can only bring you to the realization that you are a sinner in need of a Savior.


2nd Justification is by faith in Jesus Christ /  Paul says in v.22 this   righteousness of God, is only  through faith in Jesus Christ,

A) Faith = to cling to , to trust in & to rely upon

Our Justification comes from our being linked to the Lord Jesus Christ!


B) Some People say well I believe in God - Isn’t that good enough ? Paul would say No that is not enough James did say : The Demons even believe !


C) It's not enough for a person to say, 'I believe in God, I go to church.' No, he must believe ( have faith)  in the Lord Jesus Christ

1)  Must believe in Jesus because the source of our Justification is in His Person & Work . Who He said He was / What He Did !




3rd Justification is for all mankind - Paul says in v.22 it is  for all who believe there is no difference

A) Because all have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God


B) God doesn’t to look at certain individuals & say - he’s a good guy we will make an exception ! He’s smart - she’s pretty -

1)  No the good the bad & the ugly - which sums up all of us / We  have to put our faith in Jesus



4th Justification is by His grace EXCLUSIVELY v 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

A) What is grace? It is unmerited, undeserved. unearned favor. / God has chosen to deal favorably w/ you / me even though we didn’t deserve it


B) God’s Riches at Christ Expense ! - Declared us righteous - not on the basis of what we have done  but on the basis of what He did !


C) Been Justified freely which means that it was w/ out cost - Salvation is a free gift from God - that we just except by faith !

1)  When we put our trust in Christ !



5th thing to note is Justification is a continual action : The Phrase Being Justified is in the Aorist tense which means

A) It is an action which happens continually


B) This is such a great truth - Justification didn't only  take place the day we were saved / day we expressed faith & asked Jesus in our Hearts

1)  No we are being Justified this very moment! Right now  we are being  declared righteous.


C) This is something that many of us constantly forget - we know that we have been saved by God’s grace - Justified in context of salvation by grace

1)  But some how we start thinking that we must perform a certain way to stay in that grace / to stay in that standing of being declared righteous


D) And when our performance doesn’t live up to the standard we have set - we begin to get bummed depressed - condemned

1)  Because we know we should be praying more / reading more / witnessing more / doing more


E) See that is the problem w/ getting focused on my performance - there is always more ! / Robs me of the Joy that God wants me to experience in Him

F) If I am going to try to relate to God on the basis of my performance I will constantly be frustrated

1)  Because  I can never do enough & there will always be areas where I fall

    short / because of the weakness of my flesh.


Example : It's Wed morning - You wake up late / rush to get ready for work

A) In doing so you are short w/ your wife / rude to your kids / as you hurry out the door hoping you won’t be late / No time read or pray


B) You’re speeding down the freeway / when a guy in a semi truck pulls out in front of you - which slows you down - become stuck in traffic

1)  When you finally get the chance to pass the guy in the semi evil thoughts fill your mind as you give him a cold stare


C) At the office your uptight & tense / short w/ those you are working w/ and when the project you are working on gets delayed you explode

1)  Driving home you run into more traffic which gets you more upset !


D) Now how do you feel at the end of a day like that - where you have blown it in more ways than one / given into temptations / blown witness

1)  If you are like me you feel extremely condemned


Then Your wife says Honey we are going  to Church tonight aren’t we ?

Kids say to you, "Dad we want to go to kids club."

A) What is your attitude ? Do You think to yourself - Why bother ?


B) Do you show up thinking I know God wants to bless me tonight - or do you come hoping the building doesn’t collapse because you are there


C) Is there an anticipation in your heart about being able to enter into Worship or do you find yourself thinking - God isn’t going to hear me ! 


D) I think most of us think when we have had days like that  we think we have forfeited our access to God that we once had ! / God is mad/ given up on us 

E) Which thrust us into that mode of thinking the only way I can find favor w/ God again is by Improving my performance ! / Doing More

1)  But that is not the case at all ! He wants us to stop trying to perform to earn His Favor & realize we have it / Jesus Performance


F)  God is waiting to extend His grace / Pour out His love -



See When I have a day like the one I have just described - I find that I am  so thankful that my relationship w/ Him is not based on my Performance

A) See I know that my Performance is going to be consistently lacking - but I also know that when I confess my short comings / failings / my sin/


B) That He is Faithful & just to forgive me of all my sin & to cleanse me from all unrighteousness - My sin is forgiven & forgotten !

1)  Put as far as the east is from the west ! My guilt & condemnation  are removed


C) So when I come before the Lord the next day & say Lord forgive me again for my bad attitude yesterday - He says again- what mean again.

1)It is forgiven & forgotten !  You are Justified -  Just as if you never

     sinned ! WOW SO AWESOME !!!!!!!


D)  I know that He in His grace will help me to do better the next day

1)  Justification is a continual action - a continual declaration of




6th Justification comes at an incredible cost !

A) Now wait a second I thought you said that it was free gift - now you are saying that it is going to cost me something !  No !


B) But it did cost the Lord - look at v. 24 & 25 again being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  25  whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood,


BB) The cost of our redemption was the Perfect sinless blood of Jesus Christ had to be shed !   Peter put it this way in 1Pet.1:18,19

knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,  19  but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.


C) The word redeem means to purchase or to buy back / the concept of redemption was a concept that those living in Paul’s day - understood well

1)  In the center of every Greek city was the AGORA - which means the place of redemption / it is where all buying & selling took place


D) It was also the place where slaves were bought & sold !



Now there were 3 words used in the Greek Language to describe the concept of redemption

A) The First word was 'agorazo' which simply meant to purchase something

  but that is not the word that Paul uses here / deeper meaning B) There's a second word for redemption which the Greek reader of Scripture would readily understand: 'Exagorazo', - carries the idea even further 

1)  'the act of purchasing or redeeming never to return'.


C) You see, oftentimes, a man would buy a slave, use him for a season of harvesting or cultivating, and then return him to be sold again

1)  kind of like what we do with cars. '


D) But Exagorazo' spoke of  purchasing something to be a permanent possession. But that  wasn't the word Paul used in this verse either

The word Paul used was the Greek word 'Lutroo',/ which was  the third Greek word for redemption,

A) Lutroo speaks of a man going into the agora to purchase a slave for the purpose of setting  him totally  and completely free /never to be a slave again


AA) This is what Jesus did for us !


BB) Guys this is so great because our redemption is complete ! we have been purchased by the Lord. It is agarozo

1)  And  it's exagorazo—we'll never be sold again.


C) But it’s even more than that / it's lutroo—we were purchased for the purpose of being set free.

1)  Jesus said in  (John 15:15), 'I no longer call you servants. but friends,' Jesus said this  because He has set us free.



The  story of Hosea is one of the most Beautiful stories in all of scripture that illustrates this point !

A) Hosea was the Prophet who’s wife left him to go & become a harlot !


B) Years of living in this kind of a lifestyle took it’s tool on her / her beauty had faded & she had become a slave

1)  It is at that point the Lord says in Ch. 3 "Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods


C) SO Hosea went and bought her  for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. Not to be a slave but to be his bride again

1)  And Hosea said to her, "You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so, too, will I be toward you."


D) As we Picture this scene we get a good picture of what Christ did in redeeming us

He went down into the Slave Market where we stood exposed to the eyes of all of the universe as slaves to sin lost dead under the curse of God

A) But He bought us w/ the Price of His own Life / He paid for us w/ His own shed blood - not to make us slaves but to set us free / make us His bride


B) So we could look forward to the Joy of being w/ Him forever !

1)  Covers us in His robe of righteousness - beautiful in His sight



Now How do you think Gomer felt ?   My guess is for a long time she felt guilty & condemned

A) I bet it took a long time for her to feel comfortable w/ Hosea’s love because she had failed him so miserably


B) I’m sure it was a while before she really felt forgiven !


C) Guys that is How we feel when we don’t understand Justification!  Because Justification means Just as if I never sinned


D) That means that God has a Unique ability to forgive & forget My sins ! And when He says they are forgotten they are truly forgotten

1)  Because God has chosen to put them out of His memory ! When He says He doesn’t remember he really doesn’t !


E) It Doesn’t mean he tries to put it out of His mind or that He wrestles w/ those thoughts - No it is completely gone !

1)  The sin it self is gone - the guilt is removed & I experience a great freedom when I begin to live in that truth !







Listen some of you here have not come into that place of being Justified


A) You are constantly living under condemnation / Plagued by  guilt



B) Free from sin / guilt / Satan / Fear of Death !

1) Wants you to grasp this truth - freedom in Christ - know Truth

   set free


C) Jesus said I am the way the truth…… come  but by me




OTHERS : Never experienced the miracle of Justification !

A) Because they are leaning on their own effort


B) Still trying to be justified by keeping the Law / or their own set of rules & regulations


C) But you are tired of striving - QUIT STRIVING & GRAB A HOLD OF GOD’S GIFT !