The Argument of the book of Romans: Salvation–justification

Since man was in rebellion against God, God reached out to man and provided salvation for him. Only God can provide the righteousness needed to obtain a right standing with a holy God. This righteousness is obtained through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and man receives this righteousness through faith. This faith does not cancel out the Law, rather it satisfies the legal requirements of it (Romans 3:31).

Faith justification is the only kind possible because it removes any natural advantages (3:27–31). This is not a new teaching, because the Old Testament even teaches faith justification. Abraham was not justified by his works (4:1–8), or by circumcision (4:9–12), or even by the Law (4:13–17). One can only be justified by faith, just as Abraham was (4:1–17).

Justification has many benefits (5:1–11). The one who is justified now has peace with God and a hope in God. Also, he now has a right standing before God (5:1–2). The one who is justified can boast in many things (5:2-11). He can boast in the hope of God’s glory. He can also boast in troubles, because those troubles will bring about perseverance, proven character, and hope (5:3–5). Since God demonstrated his love to a world that was in rebellion against him by sending his unique Son to die for the ungodly (5:6–10), the justified can boast in God, because he is now in a right relationship with God (5:11). Thankfully, since God sent his Son, man’s sin problem is now solved (5:12–21).

I Want That

In Joshua 7 it is seen how Israel was defeated at Ai because of one man’s sin of coveting. This one sin committed by Achan brought defeat and discouragement to Israel. This city was placed under a ban from God. That means that everything in that city belongs to God. God wanted all of the silver and gold to be placed in the treasury of the Lord. (Josh 6:19) Achan disobeyed and stole some of the booty that was the Lord’s. After Israel’s defeat, Joshua asked the Lord why they had lost. When the sin of Achan was revealed, he confessed that he seen it, coveted it, and then he took it. Achan knew that the booty was the Lord’s, but it seems that he continued to look at it and maybe ponder if he could get away with it. This is the first step in the road of sin. As he looked at it, he should have remembered that it was not his and that should have been the end of it. But instead, he began to want and covet it for himself. At this point sin began to give birth. Once he coveted it, his own evil desires began to take over and he acted on his desires. (James 1:14–15)

This one sin of coveting kept an entire nation from having victory in battle (v.21). Achan confessed that he seen the spoil, coveted it, then took it. They went into battle relying on the number of men they sent, instead of relying on God. Since Achan sinned privately it cost the lives of thirty-six men, the nation Israel could not stand before their enemies’ victorious, and Achan and his entire family was stoned to death.

It is easily seen how the progress of sin begins with the eyes. Like Achan, as he began to look around at the silver and gold that was not his. He began to covet and want it. Once desire and lust set in his heart, he acted on his own evil desires. Believers must be careful what they allow their eyes to see. The progress of sin begins with the eyes. If the believer continues to look at something with the desire to have it, this simple look could turn to a harmful sin that will affect him and/or her and their loved ones.

An Unique Birth

The virgin birth is foundational to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. This is what makes it possible for him to be 100% God and 100 % man. Genesis chapter three is the first prophecy of the virgin birth of the Messiah (“her seed”). Isaiah 7:14 (NASB) says, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (meaning, “God is with us”).” When Gabriel told Mary that she was pregnant with this promised child, she questioned him by asking, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34) Mary did not even understand how this would be possible. She knew that it takes a man and a woman to have a child. Gabriel answered and said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

With the virgin birth, Jesus was able to have a sinless human nature that was tempted in all ways like other men, yet he did not give in. He was also able to overcome Satan, empathize with man as his high priest, and to be our unblemished lamb that was able to die on the cross for our sins.