Paul has spent a good amount of time from Romans 1:18 – 3:20 talking about life according to the law. He now transitions to a new thought. Verse 21 starts, “But now…” and it is here that Paul refers to a new era that has begun after the law. We have already looked at some huge topics that I could spend weeks on as we encounter words like redemption, propitiation, manifested and so on. But I don’t want to spend a lot of time delving into these topics which may lead to confusion. Instead I want to focus on two key words… Justification and faith which can be found in verses 22 - 24.
For clarification purposes I would like to define the words justification and faith.
Paul sets the record straight here for both Jews and Gentiles. He is clearly states that we are now in a new era in regards to salvation. Salvation is not on works nor by keeping the law; instead it’s through faith in Jesus Christ and completely by God’s grace. Paul informs the Jew that keeping the law means nothing when it comes to redemption. Paul is releasing the Jew from the law and freeing the Gentile from the idea of works based salvation and introduces both to the truth of justification by grace through faith. Since justification and faith are key to salvation neither Jew nor Gentile has room to boast. They, and we for that matter, have done nothing to merit salvation.
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