The miracle of the atonement is that there is a way for God to be both just and the one who justifies sinners (to paraphrase Romans 3:26). Mercy and justice met when the sinless Son of God was, impossibly, sacrificed on our behalf. Our forgiveness as Christians is profoundly supernatural.
– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 44
The same apostle who said that we are justified (Romans 3-5) and have already been buried and raised with Christ in newness of life (Romans 6) goes on to relate his own experience of persistent failures in the Christian life (Romans 7). Only when he takes his eyes off of himself and gives his ear again to Christ and his Word is the apostle once again cheered (Romans 8)
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 107
In Romans 3:9-20 Paul summarized his argument thus far: The law condemns everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, shutting every mouth before God’s tribunal. The righteousness of God leaves no one standing. Everyone is guilt. One may not be guilty before a human court, or before the court of public opinion, or in the eyes of neighbors, souses or friends. One may not be convicted in one’s own sight. Nevertheless, the only verdict that really matters is God’s, and it is unambiguous. If the only revelation that we had were that which is gleaned from our natural knowledge of God’s existence, power and righteousness, we would have no hope.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 62
Surely God will judge the world on the basis of whether we have done our best with the light we have been given. But Paul’s whole point in these first three chapters (of Romans) is to convince us that regardless of how much light we have been given, we always do the same thing with it. We suppress the truth, whether it is the light of nature (God’s existence and moral will known to unbelieving Gentiles) or the light of grace (God’s revelation of the gospel in the Scriptures). There is enough revelation to render a guilty verdict. Regardless of our own evaluation before God’s bar no one is good and no one seeks God.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 59-60
Just as Romans 3:19-26 is the classic passage of Scripture about salvation from the penalty of sin, so Romans 6:1-14 is the primary passage of Scripture about freedom from the dominion of sin. In this section of Scripture we learn what God has done for us through Christ to enable us to deal with sin, even persistent sin in our lives. We will see in Romans 6 that the gospel is far more than “fire insurance” from eternal punishment in hell.
– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 61-62
As we look over this statement of the gospel (Romans 3:19-26), we can see seven truths that we need to clearly understand.
- No one is declared righteous before God by observing the law (verses 19-21)
- There is a righteousness from God that is apart from law (verse 21)
- This righteousness from God is received through faith in Jesus Christ (verse 22)
- This righteousness is available to everyone on the same basis, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (verses 22-23)
- All who put their faith in Jesus Christ are justified freely by God’s grace (verse 24)
- This justification is “through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (verse 24)
- “God presented [Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood” (verse 25)
– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 47-57
The single passage in all of the Bible that most clearly and completely explains the gospel is Romans 3:19-23.
– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 46
Apart from Christ, the Bible is a closed book. Read with him at the center, it is the greatest story ever told. The Bible is trivialized when it is reduced to life’s instruction manual. What is the point of the historical books, the Psalms, the wisdom literature and the Prophets? According to the apostles – and Jesus himself – the Bible is an unfolding drama with Jesus Christ as its central character (Romans 3:21).
– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 142
However, the Good News concerning Christ is not a stepping stone to something greater and more relevant. Whether we realize it or not, there is nothing in the universe more relevant to us as guilty image-bearers of God than the news that he has found a way to be “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). It is the “power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16), not only for the beginning, but for the middle and end as well – the only thing that creates the kind of new world to which our new obedience corresponds as a reasonable response.
– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 22
Every person since Adam is a sinner, both by nature and by choice (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Romans 3:23). Everyone (except Jesus Christ) is, from conception, sinful by nature and corrupted to the very core of his or her being and therefore incapable of doing anything that pleases God (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-18; 8:7-8). Thus everyone, except Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15), sins (I John 1:8) by breaking God’s holy laws (Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10; I John 3:4), because they are sinners in their hearts (Proverbs 4:23; 17:19; 20:9; Matthew 6:21; Luke 6:45). Therefore the question is not whether people will sin against one another, but rather how they will deal with that sin.
– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 165