Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #16
Posted: September 23, 2004

A Study of Positional Truths

We continue to study on the righteousness of God declared to us as an inherited benefit of being IN CHRIST.  Our study takes us to Romans 3:25-28: “Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded.  By what law?  Of works?  Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Our text tells us that God the Father set forth the Son.  The word ‘set forth’ means to expose to public view.  He was set forth as a propitiation.  A propitiation is one who satisfies the just demands of the law for another.  The Old Testament word is translated ‘mercy seat’.  The law says that I must die, go to Hell, and pay my own sin debt.  He became my propitiation.  He satisfied the demands of the law of a holy God.  He is my mercy seat.  Mercy is withholding from me what I justly deserve.  The Father did this in public view when He hung the Beloved between heaven and earth on a cross. 

The activation of propitiation is through faith in His blood.  Blood here is the shedding of blood.  The word ‘faith’ is a persuading conviction to rely wholly on Christ.  In our text it would be to rely wholly on the shed blood of Christ.  What is to be gained by a reliance on His shed blood?  The text tells us that there are four great gains to this reliance.

The first is a declaration of righteousness.  The word ‘declare’ is the act of evident proof to say something is so.  The word ‘righteousness’ is equitable in character, innocent, and holy.  Through our faith in His shed blood He says we now have the same character as His Son.  What an unbelievable truth made to be so.  We must give Him the glory for even the faith was His and given to us as an undeserved gift.

The second thing given by reliance in His blood is the remission of sins, especially of those in the past. (Vs. 25) At the cross our Lord remitted our sins (To put away from and out of sight) especially those of the past (ones that previously transpired).  Sin is in the plural, an indication that all my sins were put away. 

We enjoy, thirdly, the forbearance of God. (Vs. 25) The word ‘forbearance’ has the idea of putting up with, to restrain, and hold ones self back.  The Lord is so patient with us when we do not forsake sins that are already remitted and under the blood. 

We see Him, fourthly, as the just and justifier of them which believe in Christ.   He became sin, yet remained just and holy.  He was the sacrificial victim and the one who justifies the ungodly.  He became the sinner while remaining the Savior.  My, my, He is surely all in all. 

Paul is right when He asks in verse 27, “Where is boasting?’  We would surely not want to boast in the deeds of what we have done. 

Paul said that he could only conclude, we are justified (declared to be like Christ) by faith (a gift received from Him) and not by the deeds of what we can do.  In my positional standing before God in Christ, I am holy, spotless, and without sin.  In my practical day by day life, I fall so short.  I can’t wait for one day when my practice will become my position.  Oh, what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see.  And I shall look upon the face of the one who saved me by His grace.