What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar… (3:3-4).
Paul begins to lay out God’s case: no human being is righteous; not even one. No human can adhere to or maintain His righteous standards established in His Law. And by God’s decree, His Righteousness is revealed and established in Him, Found True.
…as it is written,
“That You may be justified in Your words,
And prevail when You are judged,” (3:4).
Consider Him Who Is Found True
God’s Law. Impossible to keep. We are all guilty at the outset. And some argue, that is not fair! How can we be judged when we don’t even have the slightest chance of maintaining our innocence?
And this is the argument Paul addresses in this chapter. God is Righteous. And we are not; all are guilty and will be judged. His Law, impossible to keep, demonstrates our condition.
But God Who is Righteous, is perfectly just; and He is compassionate, gracious and merciful. And He, and He alone has made the way to escape His wrath without compromising His Word and His Law. He made the way through One Who would accept the judgment all humanity has earned; if only they would accept, by faith, His payment on their behalf.
- He is Found True in His Righteous Judgment of the world.
- But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? (3:5-6).
- He is Found True in His Righteous Ruling over the human race.
- as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
17 And the path of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes,” (3:10-18).
- as it is written,
- He is Found True in His Righteous Revelation of the sinful condition of mankind.
- Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin, (3:19-20).
- He is Found True in His Righteous Redemption accomplished in His Son.
- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (3:23-24).
- He is Found True as our Righteous Propitiation satisfying His wrath.
- whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; (3:25).
- He is Found True as the Righteous Justifier of the one who has faith.
- for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus, (3:26).
- He is Found True in His Righteous Justification by faith.
- For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law, (3:28).
- He is Found True in His Righteous Law, established forever.
- Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law, (3:31).
How do we respond to Him Who Is Found True?
Because of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, not one Word of His Law would fail. Not one iota of His Holiness would be compromised. Sin must be judged, for He is a Righteous Judge. And in Jesus Christ, our sin is judged, and when we place our faith in Him as our Perfect Propitiation we are justified.
whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness… (3:25).
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith… (3:25 NIV).
When God called His people out of Egypt and delivered them from the bondage of slavery, He was calling them to enter into a covenant relationship. But in order to even dare to approach Holy God, let alone enter into a relationship with Him, a resolution for the sinful condition of man was required.
And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness, (Hebrews 9:22).
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement,” (Leviticus 17:11).
From NIV Study Bible:
“The blood shed in the sacrifices was sacred. It epitomized the life of the sacrificial victim.”
The blood of a spotless animal provided only a temporary covering, enabling one to come near to God by means of the atoning sacrifice. The Old Testament animal sacrifices revealed both God’s judgment and mercy. Sin is serious and will be judged. And the punishment for sin is death.
For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23).
And in the animal sacrifice, His mercy is reveled in providing an atonement for sins and pointed to the day He would send His Son as the perfect sacrifice for atonement, the Perfect Propitiation, Who would forever satisfy the wrath of Holy God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
Today, let us take time to seriously consider Him Who Is Found True as our Perfect Propitiation.
From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
2435. ἱλαστήριος hilastḗrios; gen. hilastēríou, adj. from hiláskomai (2433), to propitiate, expiate. Propitiatory, expiatory, merciful. Mercy seat…
The lid or covering of the ark of the covenant made of pure gold, on and before which the high priest was to sprinkle the blood of the expiatory sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, and where the Lord promised to meet His people (Ex. 25:17, 22; Lev. 16:2, 14, 15). Paul, by applying this name to Christ in Rom. 3:25, assures us that Christ was the true mercy seat, the reality typified by the cover on the ark of the covenant (Heb. 9:5). Therefore, it means a place of conciliation, of expiation, what the ancients called thusiastḗrion (2379), altar or place of sacrifice. It does not refer to the expiatory sacrifices themselves. Jesus Christ is designated as hilastḗrion in Rom. 3:25 and Heb. 9:5 because He is designated not only as the place where the sinner deposits his sin, but He Himself is the means of expiation. He is not like the high priest of the OT whose expiation of the people was accomplished through the blood of something other than himself (Heb. 9:25).
When we place our faith in the payment for our sins through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, we can be assured of our eternity with Him. For He has promised, therefore we know we can trust Him Who Is Found True.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged…” (John 3:16-18).
“I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one,” (John 10:28-29).
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me, (John 14:6).
Let us seek Him daily in His Word, for as we intently set our hearts and minds on His Truth, He is faithful to strengthen us and convince us of our secure and eternal union with Him Who Is Found True.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:38-39).