Job 9:2 (ESV)
2 “Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God?

This week, Pastor Chris continued in our Romans series. One of life’s big questions is “how can a person be right before God?” Every major world religion has an answer to this question, but Christianity’s answer is set apart. All other religions require human effort to reach God, but the gospel states we can do nothing to reach God, rather we open our hearts to what God has done for us through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

1. The Righteousness of God

Romans 3:21–22 (ESV)
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:

Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Faith is a belief and trust in God based on evidence but without total proof.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

• FAITH = Forsaking All I Trust Him
• Why faith?
o Faith is based on our relationship with God, not our performance.
o Faith admits we need help to measure up to God’s standards.
o Faith exalts what God has done, not what we do.
o Faith eliminates the pride of human effort.

Romans 3:23 (ESV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

2. The Grace of God

Romans 3:24 (ESV)
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Justified is a legal or forensic term that means to declare righteous.

Galatians 3:11 (ESV)
11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

“This one and firm rock, which we call the doctrine of justification, is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness.” Martin Luther

• GRACE = God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

“If the Pope would concede that God alone by His grace through Christ justifies sinners, we would carry him in our arms, we would kiss his feet.” Martin Luther

Redemption means to pay the necessary ransom to obtain the prisoner or slave’s release.

John 3:16 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

3. The Crucifixion of Christ

Romans 3:25–26 (ESV)
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Propitiation means appeasement or satisfaction.

Exodus 12:13 (ESV)
13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

4. Through Christ Alone

Romans 3:27–28 (ESV)
27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

The five statements that sum up the heart of Christian belief:
• By Grace Alone (Sola Gratia)
• Through Faith Alone (Sola Fide)
• In Christ Alone (Solus Christus)
• According to Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)
• For God’s Glory Alone (Soli Deo Gloria)

Romans 3:29–31 (ESV)
29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Matthew 3:17 (ESV)
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”


Discussion Questions:

  1. Are you the type of person that tends to struggle with striving (this could be for God’s attention, affection, blessing, salvation, ect.)? What are ways you can grow to receive what He’s already given you?
  2. Pastor Chris talked about medicating the guilt of our sin (through distraction, alcohol, ect.). Could you relate to any of these?
  3. For those who have been around the church a while, it’s easy to say we are justified by faith in Jesus, but it’s more difficult to live it out. Are there ways you live as though you are justified by other means?

Application Questions:

  1. This week, in reflection of the sermon and in preparation of Easter weekend take time to read through the Passover story (Exodus 12) and the Crucifixion story (Matthew 27). Send time remembering Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf and His great love for you. Repent of anything that is keeping you from right standing with Him and thank Him for His grace and mercy.


Join us for an in-person service at City Central Church in Tacoma, WA
Sundays at 9am + 11am