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In Grad School one of my professors referred to D.A. Carson as the Michael Jordan of biblical theology. Since then I have read a few of his books. He is pretty cool. So when he comes out with a teaching sermon titled, “The Center of the Whole Bible,” it’s going to get my attention.
The center he proposes is Romans 3:21-26. Carson’s four main points are below. “If you get these four points well and truly absorbed into your way of thinking about the cross you’ll find it transforming.”
1. Paul sets forth the revelation of God’s righteousness in its relationship to the Old Testament. Rom. 3:21
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
2. Paul sets forth the availability of God’s righteousness to all human beings without racial distinction, but on condition of faith. Rom. 3:22-23
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
3. Paul sets forth the source of God’s righteousness in God’s gracious provision of Christ Jesus as the propitiation for our sins. Rom. 3:24-25a
and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.
4. Paul sets forth the demonstration of God’s righteousness in the cross of Christ. Rom. 3:25b-26
This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.