The Book of Romans – Faith and the Law

Posted on Posted in The Book of Romans

“After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do, we truly fulfill the law.” Romans 3:29-31

Immediately after Paul makes the amazing declaration that faith alone justifies us before God, he wraps up the third chapter emphatically by declaring that faith in no way makes the law ineffective or useless—not the answer we expected in light of what he just said. Paul is telling us that the law is still in effect. “Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.” (Galatians 3:24) The purpose of the law was to lead us to Jesus Christ. To give us a standard that we could follow. Some of the law was fulfilled at the death of Jesus Christ, but the moral law of God that is in the Ten commandments is still in effect.  

The book of Romans is the fifth epistle that Paul wrote, but it is placed first among the epistles because it is of first importance. Romans is of the most primary importance because it is all about the gospel of Jesus Christ. In his other letters, Paul is correcting something that is wrong in a local church. But the majority of the book is an explanation of salvation. Romans is all about teaching us about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ before we have our faith in Him that leads to our salvation. Let’s look at the laws of God so we can see what we are talking about when we talk about the law. The ceremonial law was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ and has passed away. We are no longer bringing animal sacrifices to a priest to offer on our behalf on the Day of Atonement. That sacrificial system is over. The ceremonial law was fulfilled at the cross. The civil law was uniquely to govern Israel in the Promised Land. But the moral law of God is still in effect.

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