Key terms in Romans

5. Define the terms righteousness, faith, and justification as used by Paul in Romans. Using these definitions, explain how Paul presents the gospel in Romans. How are humans trapped in a hopeless predicament? How has God acted to rescue people from the power of sin and death?

Righteousness – In Romans, righteousness is actually dependent on God where He declares the believer righteous in his eyes, free of all sin. Enns’ describes this as “ Righteousness that is credited to the believer by God”  (Kostenberger 2009, 543)

Faith – Paul uses faith as a term to show how believers are able to become righteous through faith. Not by any working of their own but because they trust God to do what He has declared to do such as Abraham trusting God to make Abraham a father of many nations.

Justification – Paul uses the term justification to describe how God used Christ to take the punishment of sin for the entire world at the cross and declare men righteous. This is in essence a legal term where God declares men “’ not guilty’ because of Christ’s sacrificial death.”  (Kostenberger 2009, 549)

Humans are trapped under the power of sin and death from the time of Adam because of the inability for man to justify oneself and are therefore under the judgement of God. However, “apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:21-22) Ultimately it is God’s working that has freed mankind to be justified and be in His presence.


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