Pastor’s Class Notes
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Introduction: In these verses Paul again emphasizes the main doctrine of the Bible, justification by faith. It is a theme Paul repeated often. He knew it would be a hard teaching for men to accept. Hence, he kept repeating himself. “Thank God that he came down to the level of our stupidity” (Lloyd-Jones).
Romans 3:29 “Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not
also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles
There is only one God. He is the God of all races and places. He loves men in every clime all the time. He treats all the same whate’er their name. Robert Moffat served as a missionary to Africa for 54 years (1816 to 1870). One of his daughters married David Livingstone. One of Moffat’s most memorable events occurred right at the outset of his African ministry. On his first journey into the interior, he found lodging in the home of a white settler. The host asked Moffat to speak from the Word of God. The missionary readily agreed. Soon all the family was headed out to the big barn.
Natives were to be seen everywhere on this plantation. Moffat assumed they would be attending the service. Hence, he delayed beginning, awaiting their arrival. Suddenly the host asked, “What are you waiting for? Why don’t you begin?”
Moffat replied, “May not your servants come, too?”
The master flew into a rage and screamed, “Servants! Are you mad to think of preaching to them? Go to the mountains and preach to the baboons; or, if you like, I’ll fetch my dogs, and you may preach to them!”
Young Moffat was overwhelmed. It was too much for his tender spirit to bear. Tears trickled down his face. The scene was quite an embarrassment to everyone.
Finally, the master relented. Soon the barn was filled with natives eagerly waiting to hear from this stranger who cared for them. This was the first sermon Dr. Moffat ever preached to the African natives. It was an evening he never forgot.
There is only one God, and He loves all equally.
Romans 3:30 “Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the
circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision
Since God loves all equally, He treats them all equally. He has provided a salvation which is accessible to all. Everyone has equal footing when it comes to salvation. Faith is the only way.
Salvation stands on its own apart from sects or nations. One does not have to be a Baptist, be an American, get rich, or be good before getting saved. No one has an unfair advantage over anyone else.
Everyone has to come the same way. The fact that there is only one way of salvation makes it possible for us to make a universal offer. The message can be taken to anyone, anywhere. It can be proclaimed to every human being on earth.
Realize, however, that it is the offer that is universal, not the salvation experience itself. Not everyone is saved. There are those who want us to be ecumenical to the extreme. They want us to accept as legitimate the religious beliefs of everyone. They want us to confess that Christians, Buddhists, Mormons, Hindus, members of Judaism, and Moslems all worship the same God.
Such thinkers view God as sitting on a summit with all the various world religions approaching Him from different slopes. In other words, we are coming on different paths from opposite directions, but headed to the same palace. “Let’s stop criticizing one another. No one is all right; no one is all wrong.” This fairly well expresses the modern attitude.
The main problem which such thinking is that it reveals absolute ignorance of what the Scriptures teach. It is a complete denial of the Christian message. There is only one God, and one way to Him–through Jesus.
There are not “many” ways to reach Heaven. There is only one. Every man, whether Jew or Gentile, must come to Christ before ever coming to God. Until Jesus is received by faith, a man is lost.
If through a surge of sentimentality we try to accommodate all religions and by-pass Calvary, we have denied the greatest manifestation of the love of God. To say a man can go to God apart from Christ is tantamount to trampling under foot the blood of Jesus.
If you truly love people, tell them about the blood. It is their only hope for salvation.
Some try to equate this type of preaching with anti-semitism and repressivism. That is untrue! Baptists have traditionally been among the strongest advocates of liberty for all and the equality of man before the law.
We make no national or ethnic distinctions. All men are sinners in need of a Savior. Our message applies equally to Gentiles as well as Jews, whites as well as blacks, Baptists as well as Catholics, Americans as well as Russians.
There is only one way! God has made us equal in that regard. Whosoever will may come! Whosoever won’t shall perish!
Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith?
God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
Salvation is by faith, but do not discard the Law. Justification by faith contradicts nothing in the Law, but rather establishes it, returning it to its proper function.
Those who place their confidence in Law for salvation distort the Law’s real purpose. God never intended it to be used that way. It is not the means of salvation, but rather that which proves the need for salvation. When viewed as the instrument through which God reveals to men their sinfulness, Law is returned to its proper function.
The Law diagnoses sin as our illness. Justification by faith is the prescribed cure. Law and faith belong together. They are wedded together. Their union is well illustrated in four ways:
1. Law, when broken, requires penalty. It must be satisfied in some way. Its demands must be kept by the sinner or a substitute. Justification by faith answers this requirement. The sinner is covered by the death of a Substitute. Jesus took upon Himself the punishment for our sin as demanded by the Law.
2.Law requires perfection in the Substitute. Justification by faith satisfies this need by offering Jesus as the sinner’s substitute. Christ obeyed the Law explicitly. He lived entirely free from sin. Only He could dare ask, “Which of you convinceth Me of sin?” Only He could honestly say, “the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me” (JN 8:46 and JN 14:30).
3.Law requires blood from the Substitute. “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood: and without shedding of blood is no remission” (HB 9:22). Justification by faith meets this demand adequately. The blood of grace’s Substitute was not that of goats, sheep, or even of men, but rather of God.
4.Law requires holiness. Justification by faith even helps establish law here. Justification by faith is not unfavorable to the cause of morality. It actually tends to strengthen and promote it by exalting its motives. Grace helps us to want to obey. Law becomes an aid to our desire to please God.
Justification by faith will make a man want to be good because of love for God. A mark of spiritual maturity is realized when one thinks of sin more as breaking God’s heart than as breaking God’s law.
Sin hurts God. That makes it doubly terrible. We have no right to bring agony to God. He has redeemed us, set us free, given us life. It should be our desire, yea even our delight, to live every moment for Him.