‘The redemption which in in Christ Jesus’






[Romans 3:23-24]




                Look at Romans 3:23-24: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”  In Romans 1:19-3:8, “all” can be divided into three groups: (1) The Gentiles (1:19-32), (2) Everyone who passes judgement (2:1) -16), (3) The Jews (2:17-3:8).  In conclusion, the Bible says in Romans 3:9-18 that “all” men have sinned.  That is why the Bible says, “all have sinned” in Romans 3:23.  What, then, is the sin committed by “all,” Gentiles, everyone who passes judgment, or Jews?


            First, what were the sins of the Gentiles?


                The Gentiles did not receive the gospel because there was no law and there were no people who preached the gospel.  But the Bible says that even the Gentiles knew God (1:21).  How they knew God is because God made it evident to them (vv. 19-20).  Therefore, they have no excuse (v. 20).  Then, what sins did the Gentiles commit even though they knew God?  Look at Romans 1:21, 23: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  …  and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”  The sins of the Gentiles are that they did not glorify God or give thanks to God, but rather worshiped idols.  Also, their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the women and burned in their desire toward one another (vv. 26-27).  They have committed all unrighteous sins. They are full of wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful (vv. 29-31).  Look at Romans 1:32 – “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”  Even though the Gentiles knew that those who did such things were punishable by death, not only did the Gentiles do it themselves, but they also justified those who practiced such things.  This is the sin of the Gentiles.


            Second, what are the sins of those who passes judgment?


                There are many people in the Gentiles who pass judgment.  A good example of a person who passes judgment is found in Luke 18:9-14.  In this parable of Jesus, two men, the Pharisees and the tax collector, went up to the temple to pray, but the Pharisee stands and prays separately: “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get” (vv. 11-12).  This Pharisee was guilty of judging others.  But the publican stood afar off and did not dare lift up his eyes to look to heaven, but bas beating his breast and pleaded, “God, have mercy on me, for I am a sinner” (v. 13).  This tax collector was justified (v. 14).  What are the sins of those who judge others?  Look at Romans 2:1 – “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” 


            Third and last, what were the sins of the Jews?


                The Jews received the gospel.  The Bible was written by about 40 people.  Among them, only Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts, was a Gentile, and the rest were all Jews.  The sin of the Jews was that they, who boasted in the law, dishonored God by breaking the law (Rom. 2:23).  They, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?  They who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?  They who say that one should not commit adultery, do they commit adultery?  They who abhor idols, do they rob temples?  Do they, who teach others, do not teach themselves?  Do they who proclaim not to steal steal?  Do they who say do not commit adultery commit adultery? (vv. 21-22)  Even among us Christians today, there are those who do not glorify God and dishonor God like the Jews.


                After all, everyone has sinned (Rom. 3:9ff.).  Look at Romans 3:9-10, 12: “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better?  Not at all!  We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.  As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one.  …  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”  Therefore, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (v. 23).  Look at Romans 5:12 – “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”  Because sin entered the world through the transgression of one man, Adam, and death through sin reached all men, the redemption that is in Christ Jesus is necessary (3:24).


                Romans 3:24 says, “…  through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  When people lose a war, they become prisoners of war.  Someone buys one of the prisoners so that he can use that prisoner of war and gives him freedom.  This is what redemption is.  All people (the Gentiles, everyone who passes judgment, the Jews) are slaves to sin, slaves to death, and slaves to Satan.  Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem them.  If we look at the four Gospels (Matthew / Mark / Luke / John), the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John speak about the birth (incarnation) of Jesus, but not the Gospel of Mark.  But the Gospel of Mark has a lot to say about the death of Jesus.  Look at Mark 15:25, 33: “It was the third hour when they crucified Him.  …  When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.”  When Jesus was crucified, darkness fell over the whole land for three hours.  Look at verse 34: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’--which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”  Jesus was crucified at about 9 am and 6 hours later, at 3 pm, he cried out loudly, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, suffered even for being abandoned by God the Father.  The reason is because He suffered this suffering to pay for all our sins by taking our punishment in our place.  His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, suffered even for being abandoned by God the Father.  The reason is because He suffered this suffering to pay for all our sins by taking our punishment in our place.  And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and died (v. 37).  Look at verse 43-45: “Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.  Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died.  When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.”  Joseph of Arimathea asked the governor of Pilate for the body of Jesus.  If Jesus were alive, Mark would have said that he was ‘Jesus’ physical body,’ but since he was already dead, he said “Jesus’ body”.  Obviously, Governor Pilate was familiar with the crucifixion, as he must have seen many people die on the cross.  Mostly, if a weak person was crucified, he would have thought that he would live for at least two days.  And if he was a healthy person, he would have known that he would live for a week or longer.  However, since Jesus was crucified about six hours earlier, around 9 am, he was already dead.  So Joseph asked for “the body of Jesus”, so the governor Pilate was surprised (v. 44).  So, after finding out with the centurion, he gave the Jesus’ body to Joseph (verse 45).  Look at John 19:33-34: “but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”  Jesus suffered all this to redeem and save us because of our sins.