Justified Through Faith (Romans 3:29–5:1)
A beloved humanitarian and the lowliest nobody who never lifted a finger in his life to help his fellow man have one thing in common: Without faith, neither of them will see the kingdom of God.
Forgiveness means that God has removed from us the stain of our sin so that He can';t see it anymore. Justification means that He';s made us right before Himself through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Those two things — which are absolutely essential to the one who wants to inherit God';s heavenly, eternal kingdom — are accessed through faith and faith alone.
Faith can be defined simply as taking God at His word. It means that you believe Him when He tells you that He';s taken care of everything it takes for you to be made right with Him. Again, for Jew and Gentile alike, faith is what it takes to be made right before God. As Paul points out, God is the God of all people — Jew and non-Jew alike — and He has made faith the common denominator for everyone to approach Him.
“There is only one God, and there is only one way of being accepted by him. He makes people right with himself only be faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles” (Romans 3:30). And that faith, Paul points out, doesn';t replace the law but in fact fulfills it (Romans 3:31).
The theme of justification through faith is hardly unique to the New Testament. In the book of Genesis, Abraham is said to have believed God and been justified through his faith. Paul cites that passage of Genesis in several other of his epistles to the various churches.
Paul pointed out that Abraham, who was the earthly father of the Jewish people, wasn';t declared righteous through anything he did but because of who he believed: “Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous” (Romans 4:3). Paul tells us that Abraham, while he wasn';t a perfect man, never wavered in his faith. He continued through his life to believe God in all things, and because of that the life of Abraham was a benefit to all of humankind (Romans 4:16–17). It was through Abraham';s people that God brought into the world the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of all humanity.
That is why Paul wrote, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God';s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1). Being made right in God';s sight is a wonderful place to be. It';s a place of forgiveness and justification, and a place of many other benefits.
What part does faith play in personal salvation through Jesus Christ?
What “works” make us worthy in God';s eyes of salvation?