"Excuse me, sir but there is a gaping hole in God's righteousness."
We're back in the courtroom where Paul is defense lawyer for God. The
prosecution is Man and he's trying to prove how God is unrighteous.
"You say that God is righteous in that he justifies the sinner…but he
did nothing to the sinner's mind!"
In our discussion of Romans, I haves submitted to you that the book
is divided in four major defense points?or movements if you like the
term. Something stunning in the beginning of this movement (which I
believe starts in 5:12) is that we're back to the problem of sin…but
from a very different angle. We see a pattern then: the first line of
defense dealt with a problem of sin and God's right to judge it and
then offered a solution which still leaves God righteous in it's
implementation. The second line of defense deals with a problem of sin
in the person's mind and God's justice standing in these sinful
creatures. This movement will culminate in a solution of God's
enablement of the justified sinner. Both of these first two lines of
defense conclude with statements on the love of God.
And yet, practically speaking we know that a person saved on a
Wednesday wakes up on Thursday realizing that he still wants to do all
those sinful things he did yesterday. He knows he's saved…now what?
God's righteousness in the Law (that is, precept plus punishment) is
established in that there is a method outside of law by which guilty
and sinful men can be declared righteous…but how do you fix their
Is this section then dealing with how all of mankind is condemned? I
will submit that it's dealing with how all of mankind is ruined. The
first section dealt with the blameworthy condemnation this section
deals with the thing in man's nature that makes him lean towards that
depravity. This section is not dealing with the basis of men's
condemnation and subsequent justification but rather the basis of men's
ruination and subsequent sanctification culminating in glorification.
Death, Paul begins, came into the world through the sin of one man and
this is evident in the fact that all men presently sin. Before the law
was given there was no accounting of sin. This isn't to say that there
was no sin before the giving of the Mosaic Law?men still died and
suffered the consequences of sin. Rather that there is no reckoning or
accounting of sin without the Law.
For example: A man, not realizing it, is in a room full and decides to
smoke a cigarette. The building explodes and many are injured or die
and all agree that it was the man's fault but he wasn't blameworthy. If
on the other hand, the man knew there was gas in the building and
tossed a lit cigarette into it he would be found culpable and that can
be reckoned against him.
Adam, a type of Christ Jesus, was the one who transgressed and
plunged the human race into ruin…but how much different is Christ's
gift! It's almost parallelism, because the result of Adam's sin wasn't
a gift at all?rather a curse. Yet Christ's gift is over and above the
power of Adam's curse?not less potent in the least.
If the many died through the one sin, how much more will live by the
freely given gift by the grace of God and the Man-God Jesus-Christ
offered to the many. Judgment came from one sin and led to condemnation
but God's gift given after mankind's constant failures led to
justification. If the entire human race was ruined by that one sin of
one man, how much more will those people who receive God's grace reign
in life! Then, to make matters worse, the law came in so that that
sinful propensity may be multiplied so that men may realize that it is
hopeless of their own accord and God's grace will reign all the more.
So Paul sets up the groundwork for God's multiplicitous grace,
which began on the cross by removing the condemnation, opens up a
tremendous flood-gate of God's outpoured grace, love and enablement.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great
love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made
us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and
raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places
in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding
riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:4-7
Other articles in this series?specifically the first movement: God's Righteousness Defended in His Right To Judge Sin.
Introduction: Romans, where God, the Defendant, is Justified. Overview of the main theme of the book.
Slave of Christ (pt 2) A bit about the Author, the mouth of the Defense.
Son of God with Power: The Defense's Pre-amble. Reading the text with understanding.
Living by Faith: The Defense's Main Point in justifying God introduced
and reading the text by looking at the historical reference of the
Progression of Rejection: God's wrath on the unrighteous heathen
defended and reading the text by looking at the progression of thought.
Being a Good Person: God's wrath on the moralist defended while examining the progressive nature of the argument
The Jews' Treachery: God's wrath on the Jew and looking at how a text can be misappropriated
Crime and Poetry: God's right to judge defended and an introduction to the exegesis of poetic passages.
To Rhyme or Not To Rhyme: Poetic passages and the danger of
interpreting them as not being poetry simultaneously damning infants to
hell and God being glorified for it.
Man's Doom and God's Answer: The Defense's summation of God's right to
judge sinful man and the introduction to the working power of salvation
for men reflecting God's righteousness defended when he justifies
- Case Law: Established case of God declaring righteous through faith instead of by works
Belief: The Defense's culmination of the first line of defense. God's
right to judge stands as does his love in declaring a sinner
You can also do a personal study…check
some of David's notes (in the comments) for this chapter. Although my
breakdown is slightly different than his, I belief they are both