The Righteousness of God is Revealed in the Gospel of Christ
Thinking about Romans 1:17.
For in it [the gospel of Christ] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
How is God’s righteousness revealed in the gospel of Christ?
I don’t usually like to jump ahead in our study — but I think it’s important to do so this time so we can understand what Paul is saying in this passage.
Understanding God’s righteousness from Romans 3:21–26
Paul’s point in this passage is very similar to the point he makes in Romans 1:17.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21–26)
Lord willing, we will study more of the details from this passage in Romans 3 when we come to it — but for now, observe that the righteousness of God is demonstrated in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.
The justification of the ungodly must be righteous justifying; it must honor the law of God. We are never to think of the transaction at Calvary as a ruse of God to get around the holy demands of law! — McGuiggan, Romans, 17
The gospel of Christ is not some elaborate plot by God to undermine His law or justice. His righteousness is clearly shown in Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Righteousness of God
The meaning of righteousness includes “fair and equitable dealing, justice” (Mounce).
Also included within the meaning of righteousness is “justification” (Strong’s).
The righteousness of God is fully demonstrated in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus died on the cross to “bear our sins” so that we “might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus’ death on the cross was not God’s way of setting aside justice — His death was God’s justice.
The Holy Spirit will explain this concept more through Paul as we study Romans.
For now, we need to realize that the gospel of Christ demonstrates the righteousness of God in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It’s what God’s righteousness required.
In studying the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will grow in our understanding of the righteousness of God.