The gospel that brings about righteousness
The entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:19-24
Paul argues from the text that we are all guilty because we are all under the power of sin. It is by God’s grace revealed through Jesus Christ and demonstrated at His death on the cross that we could be reconciled with God. It is by the gospel or the Good News that we experience the power of God and the gift of God. But the gospel also reveals the wrath of God. God is just and impartial and He will not tolerate sin. We are all accountable to God. But also God is faithful. God is the faithful one who calls people into the family of God through Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:25), who enables and strengthens Christians in times of testing (1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:3), who says “yes” to humanity in the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:18). The righteousness of God is revealed out of faith, and the faith is God’s not ours. It is by faith in Jesus Christ and not by our good works we are made righteous before God. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life” (Romans 1:17). The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s revelation of the righteousness of God and He alone is the source of salvation for all humanity. He is the only one who matters in “justification,” or “making righteous.” Salvation is assured by God, not by us. Salvation is an objective reality, because of what God has done. We must appropriate it by responding in faith and obedience. The possibility and assurance of salvation does not depend on our action, it depends in God’s working in us and through us.