top of page
  • Ethos Church


March 9, 2023

“You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.


This is the first appearance of the important word “justification” in this letter. Justification is the act of God whereby he declares the believing sinner righteous in Jesus Christ. Each word here is important. It’s an act of God (not by man’s character or works). God declares the believing sinner righteous (He does not make him righteous). Going further, justification is not simply “forgiveness” (once you have been justified by faith, you are declared “not guilty” and you can never be called guilty again). Finally, God justifies sinners (not “good people”).

In contrast: If we are justified by “works of the law,” we have a lot of work to do. The Jewish rabbis counted 613 laws in the Old Testament. We would need to obey them all without failing at any point. That’s a ridiculous requirement, yet these false teachers believed that’s how God set us right - a little grace from him and a lot of effort from us.


1. The gospel frees. The law binds. When you look at God, what do you feel? If you don’t feel freedom, return to the message of the gospel until you do!

2. Do you rejoice in being justified by faith in Christ alone? Explain.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page