Righteousness of God

24 October 2021 AM – Romans 1:8-17 – Ro2021 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In Romans 1:8, Paul continues his introduction to the book of Romans. He thanked God for the faith of the Roman believers (v.8). He assured them of his unceasing prayers for them (v.9). He let them know that he was asking God to allow him to visit them (v.10-13). He revealed that he felt indebted to share the Gospel with the entire non-Jewish world and was ready to preach the Gospel in Rome also (v.14-15). Though preaching the Gospel of Christ was not a popular work, and was at times life-threatening, he affirmed that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ (v.16). He believed firmly that it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. With that said, he unveiled the theme of the entire book in v.17 (Read).
Transition: This morning I want to draw your attention to that theme, the Righteousness of God. To understand rightly this great book, we must have a clear understanding of the Righteousness of God.
The Righteousness of God is
  1. Often Misunderstood
a.         To be righteous is to be completely sinless.
1)         It is to be innocent, faultless, freed from guilt and right before God. It is also translated, just, justifieth, justified, or justification. In its various forms, God uses this word is over 50 times in Romans.
2)         God alone is intrinsically righteous (Ro 5:18). By nature, He can only do right. He cannot do wrong. Being holy, He cannot sin. He is the perfect standard of right.
3)         Because God is righteous, His Law is righteous (Ro 2:26). The Bible is the right, righteous, faultless words of God.
4)         Other than Christ the God/Man, no human has ever been born righteous. (Romans 3:10) “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
b.         The only way for a human to become righteous is for God to make him righteous.
1)         No one is able to keep God’s law flawlessly. (Romans 3:20) “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” It simply shows us our sin. Therefore, we cannot earn righteousness by keeping the law.
2)         The only way to become righteous is to receive it from Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30) “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
3)         We cannot earn righteousness by good works; Christ must impute it to us (i.e., He must put it on our account). Christ must take our sin and give us His righteousness. Read what God said of Abraham in Romans 4:21-25.
4)         Notice with me what else God states about our obtaining righteousness or justification.
a)         (Romans 8:33) “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
b)         (Romans 3:24) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
c)         (Romans 3:26) “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
d)         (Romans 5:1) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
e)         (Romans 5:9) “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
The Righteousness of God is
2.        Revealed in the Gospel
a.         The Gospel uncovers God’s righteousness.
1)         The word “therein” in our text (v.17) points us back to the Gospel (v.15-16).
2)         The Gospel assumes that we know that we are sinners accountable to God. (Galatians 3:22) “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin...” (Romans 14:12) “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
3)         It also requires that we understand that being sinners we are condemned to eternal death, separated from God in hell. (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
4)         The GOSPEL is the good news that Jesus, God the Son, being totally righteous, died as our substitute, was buried and rose to life again to pay for our wicked sins, so that He could give us His righteous and reconcile us to God.
5)         Thus, the Gospel reveals or uncovers the righteousness of God and tells us how we can receive it (v.17).
b.         The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
1)         God has chosen to give the Gospel His almighty power to save a human soul from damnation (v.16).
2)         God has chosen to apply that saving power to the account of everyone that believes that the Gospel is his or her only hope of salvation from hell.
3)         This sparks the question, “What does it mean to believe?”
a)         First, we must understand that “believe” is the verb and “faith” is the noun. They both share the same root word. “Faith is the persuasion of the mind that something is true, resulting in complete trust.” SKC
b)         Belief is not just believing in God. The apostle James wrote, (James 2:19) “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
c)         It is believing that God is righteous and that you are an unrighteous sinner.
d)         It is believing that your sin will take you to hell.
e)         It is believing the Gospel (a.4 above) is your only hope. Thus, it is believing on Christ.
f)          It is by faith repenting of your sin and asking Christ to save your sinful soul from hell.
The Righteousness of God is
3.        Received by Faith Alone
a.         No one receives righteousness by doing good.
1)         Paul made this clear in this book of Romans.
a)         (Romans 3:28) “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
b)         (Romans 4:5) “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
2)         Paul wrote the same to the Ephesian church. (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
3)         Again, he wrote repeated it to Titus. (Titus 3:5) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
b.         Righteousness is revealed from faith to faith.
1)         These words in our text verse (v.17) have been interpreted in numerous ways. It literally says “out from faith unto faith”.
2)         Perhaps the best way to understand it is that God reveals His righteousness to sinners based on their faith in His finished work on Calvary and unto a life lived by faith. By faith, we wait for the blessed hope of resurrection and eternal life with Christ. The Christian life is a life of faith from beginning to end. It is a life of trusting God.
3)         Paul then quoted from Habakkuk 2:4, “The just shall live by faith.”
4)         Faith in God requires our dependence on Him for forgiveness of sin, daily victory over sin, and future deliverance from sin.
Conclusion: I trust that you now have a clearer understanding of the Righteousness of God. It depicts God’s plan to make sinners righteous by faith in Christ’s Gospel while maintaining His own righteousness. We need God’s righteousness. Without it, our sin will separate us from God eternally. This leads us to a critical question: Have you received God’s righteousness through faith in Christ’s Gospel? If not, will you do so today? If you have, take time right now to thank God again for taking your sin and giving you His righteousness.
Song: Only Trust Him – 252