Romans 3:21-26


1515 AD - Martin Luther wasn’t sure he was right with God; he didn’t know if he would go to Heaven when he died. The Roman Catholic Church taught that you had to do good works to get in Heaven and they offered alternative methods to win God’s favor. But this didn’t help Martin Luther’s assurance of salvation. What changed that questioning feeling into confidence was reading Romans 3.


  1. Humanity’s Universal Problem (21-23)
    1. Everyone is a sinner. … You. Me. Our families, friends, and even pastors. We’re all sinners. The only way to be right with God is to be morally perfect. But none of us can do that, so we all fall short of that standard. 
    2. God is a just judge. … God doesn’t lower the standard. He doesn’t grade on a curve. As a just judge, He must punish sin; it would be against His character to lower the standard. 
    3. The law can’t save us. … Paul tells us we can’t keep the law enough or be religious enough to earn salvations. No amount of good works can save us. God’s law is good and we should try to follow it, but it can’t save us.
  2. God’s Incredible Solution (24-26)
    1. Justification … We are justified freely by His grace and declared righteous in Christ. How is this just? How do my sins get punished? This is what’s known as The Great Exchange. We have a slate full of sins. Jesus has a blank slate. Our sins are transferred over to Jesus and His righteousness is transferred to us. This makes us right with God, as though we had never sinned and always obeyed, innocent in the eyes of God. 
    2. Redemption … To redeem something is to buy it back. God made us. Then we rebelled and sinned. Jesus came and died and God bought us back with that blood. We are now twice His. He created us and He bought us
    3. Propitiation … God’s wrath was satisfied on the cross. Salvation saves us from suffering God’s wrath. That wrath was poured out onto Jesus when He took our sins and the punishment they warrant.  


For Further Study/Resources Used by the Pastor to Prepare This Message


  • Exalting Jesus in Romans by Tony Merida
  • Teach the Text by Marvin Pate
  • Romans, Preach the Word by Kent Hughes
  • ESV Expository Commentary by Robert Yarbrough
  • Romans for You by Tim Keller
  • The Story of God Commentary by Michael Bird
  • Living Insights by Chuck Swindoll
  • NIV Application Commentary by Doug Moo