God has made all those who are in Christ to be righteous. The law proclaims God's righteous standards and convicts us of our sin. However, as much as it demands righteousness, it cannot produce righteousness in us. But what the law could not do, God did! He put his son to death so that we could be declared righteous through his death and made holy by giving us the Holy Spirit. Christians are those who walk according to the spirit.
Paul turns in Romans 8 to consider the amazing privileges of the justification that he has spelled out in the preceding chapters. The sinner's cry for deliverance at the end of Romans 7 is answered in this: in Christ there is no condemnation. We review the nature of our sin and guilt, the wonderful goodness of God in providing propitiation and reconciliation for us, and finally how this comes about—through our union with Christ.
All men are born in Adam and inherit original sin which brings enmity with God. How does one become right with God? We cannot make ourselves righteous. By faith in Christ, we are imputed the righteousness of Christ. Adam's sin was imputed to all men, those who have faith in Christ have their sin imputed to Christ and Christ's righteousness imputed to them.
Some kinds of doubt – self-doubt – are healthy. But it is unhealthy for us to doubt God and his promises; we end up hedging our bets and trusting in things less secure. Not only that, but our doubting God is sin, unbelief. In this passage, Paul presents one of his strongest logical arguments for our assurance of God's saving us and keeping us. Paul anchors our assurance in the objective work of justification and reconciliation that Jesus accomplished at the cross. He has accomplished the most difficult thing in bringing us justification and reconciliation through his death. We can be confident that the one who declared "It is finished." will continue to preserve us! As a result, we rejoice, and we boast in Christ; we do this by looking backward on what he has done for us, by looking forward with confidence in his faithfulness and promises, and by living today in light of our certain hope.
Paul argues and shows from Scripture that we are justified only by faith in Jesus, not by anything we do. How can it be otherwise? After all, there is no boasting before God, and the only wages that our works could possibly earn for us is death. We see that Abraham was justified by faith and not by works, and furthermore that he was justified long before he was circumcised. Neither works nor rituals can save us; instead, we come to God as ungodly sinners, trusting only in him to receive justification as a free gift. Because of this, we can come to God today, now. And so the life we live is one of humility, recognizing our sin and guilt; but also grateful celebration, recognizing the magnitude of the gift God has given to us.
Jesus is the sacrificial propitiation for our sins. Propitiation is the turning away of another's wrath. In Jesus's propitiating sacrifice, we see demonstrated our sin, God's just wrath against sin, our alienation from God, and the one perfect offering of sufficient worth to remove our guilt. Jesus demonstrates God's perfect justice in bearing the punishment for our sin, and he demonstrates God's perfect love in making a way for us to be reconciled to him in spite of our sin. How good of God!
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Our works only condemn us; instead, we are justified by God's grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.