Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 22

This entry is part 22 of 35 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

Continued from Part 21

The “now” is emphatic, in the present case or in the present
dispensation, a plan of righteousness has been manifested, made
known, or brought to light. This plan is distinct from law. And yet the
Jew should not have been astonished at the inauguration of this
new plan of righteousness, for both the Jew and the prophets had
borne witness concerning this plan of righteousness, “being
witnessed by the law and the prophets”

Part 22

Paul does not say that this plan of righteousness was taught
and developed by the law and the prophets, but that they bore
witness, gave their testimony, concerning this plan of
righteousness, which was now, apart from the law, brought to light.
But how witnessed by the law and the prophets? The tabernacle,
with its various services and offerings, was a type of the better
things to come. In speaking of these thing, Paul adds this
explanatory clause, “Which is a figure of the time present”, or for
the present time (Hebrews 9:9). In this way, and also in God’s
promise to Abraham, the law testified, or gave witness, concerning
this plan of righteousness. And the prophets also gave their
testimony concerning this plan of salvation through Christ, this plan
that has now been manifested, or brought into view.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no
difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24).
All, both Jew and Gentile, need the gospel salvation; for all
have sinned – all have come short of the glory of God. This
salvation for all who was according to God’s plan and purpose. No
distinction. God had chosen Abraham and his seed for a special
purpose. The Jew had failed to grasp God’s purpose; they thought
of Jehovah as their God, and no one else’s. In their thinking he was
a tribal, or national, God. It took a special miracle to convince Peter
that Jehovah was the God of any but the Jews. To correct this
deep-seated idea among the Jews, Paul frequently reminded the
Jewish Christians that now there was no distinction between Jews
and Gentiles. Some of the Jewish Christians never did get over that
tribal idea and drifted into different sects; or split from the original
doctrine. It is a pity that some brethren of late years have revived,
slightly modified, perhaps the Jewish idea that Jehovah is the Jews national God. To justify a person is to declare him free from guilt.
Law cannot declare a person just, or free from guilt, if he had
violated it in only one point. Justification by law was impossible, for
all sinned. But apart from the law, a plan of righteousness had been
revealed. The apostle tells us that this justification is free; and he
further emphasizes the fact that it is free by adding that it is by
grace. It is bestowed gratuitously. It is not arrived at by merit but
comes by grace. And it is by faith. By the term “faith” Paul means
all that is implied in accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior, Prophet,
Priest, and King. The justification that is offered apart from the law
is also through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, or by Christ
Jesus. It is by what he did that we have redemption.
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in
his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins.”

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