Sunday, January 17, 2010

romans 3

my lifegroup is currently studying romans...plugging along in one of the deepest (and best) books of the Bible. we have each chosen different commentaries to read along with romans, which is cool because different commentaries focus on different things, and when we get together to discuss each week we have different insights.

anyway, i have chosen john calvin's commentary on romans (, and several weeks ago there were some amazing thoughts on romans 3:19-31 that i would like to share here. i'm sure you will see the recurring themes of human depravity, God's righteousness, and God's gift of reconciliation through faith alone. i hope these quotations will get your minds thinking and will humble your hearts over the Savior who sacrificed everything for your (and my) justification.

" be silent before the Lord is to tremble at his majesty, and to stand mute, being astonished at his brightness."

"And these two things - to be justified by works - and to be guilty of transgressions..., are wholly inconsistent the one with the other."

"...whosoever is found to be a sinner, is deprived of righteousness..."

"There is not other way of attaining righteousness; for some cannot be justified in this and others in that way; but all must alike be justified by faith, because all are sinners, and therefore have nothing for which they can glory before God."

"...since there remains nothing for men, as to themselves, but to perish, being smitten by the just judgment of God, they are to be justified freely through his mercy; for Christ comes to the aid of this misery, and communicates himself to believers, so that they find in him alone all those things in which they are wanting. There is, perhaps, no passage in the whole Scripture which illustrates in a more striking manner the efficacy of his righteousness; for it shows that God's mercy is the efficient cause, that Christ with his blood is the meritorious cause, that the formal or the instrumental cause is faith in the word, and that moreover, the final cause is the glory of the divine justice and goodness."

"This is the material, - Christ by his obedience satisfied the Father's justice (judicium - judgment,) and by undertaking our cause he liberated us from the tyranny of death, by which we were held captive; as on account of the sacrifice which he offered is our guilt removed. Here again is fully confuted the gloss of those who make righteousness a quality; for if we are counted righteous before God, because we are redeemed by a price, we certainly derive from another what is not in us."

"...nor is it a small commendation of God's grace that he, of his own good will, sought out a way by which he might remove our curse."

[referring to verse 25] "What Paul especially meant here is no doubt evident from his words; and it was this, - that God, without having regard to Christ, is always angry with us, - and that we are reconciled to him when we are accepted through his righteousness. God does not indeed hate in us his own workmanship, that is, as we are formed men; but he hates our uncleanness, which has extinguished the light of his image. When the washing of Christ cleanses this away, he then loves and embraces us as his own pure workmanship."

"for nothing is more difficult than to persuade man that he ought to disclaim all things as his own, and to ascribe them all to God."

"...God is just, not indeed as one among many, but as one who contains within himself all fullness of righteousness; for complete and full praise, such as is due, is not otherwise given to him, but when he alone obtains the name and the honor of being just, while the whole human race is condemned for injustice..."

"...for God by no means keeps his riches laid up in himself, but pours them forth upon men. Then the righteousness of God shines in us, whenever he justifies us by faith in Christ; for in vain were Christ given us for righteousness, unless there was the fruition of him by faith. It hence follows, that all were unjust and lost in themselves, until a remedy from heaven was offered to them."

"for faith receives all from God, and brings nothing except an humble confession of want."

This blog is a testimony to the work that God is perpetually acting in my life. I am learning that when I think I've given enough of myself, I've barely begun. My prayer is that as God continues to grab hold of my life, not only will He become greater and I become less, but He will become ultimately supreme and I will vanish. This Holy Disappearance will be a lifelong journey in which, by the grace of God, I will become so wrapped up in Him that all of me will disappear and all of Him will SHINE