*It also can mean “tomake or render right orjust,” “to set right.”
*Paul likely had more inmind than God’sdeclaring or countingrepentant, forgivensinners as righteous.
*God makes them right,not by indulging their sinbut by overcoming it andgiving them new standingwith Him.
*He enables them to enterright relationship withHim out of which they areto live rightly.
*God gives believers new,right standing with Himby His grace.*Grace is God’sundeserved favor.
*It also can be defined asHis love and goodness inaction for sinners’ good.*It has the sense of God’sactive good will.
*Freely emphasizes rightstanding with God is Hisgift.*We can do nothing toearn it or merit it; it is Hisgracious gift we canreceive through faith.
*People are made rightwith God through theredemption that is inChrist [Messiah] Jesus[Savior].
*Paul borrowed a familiarterm and concept from theslave markets of his dayas an analogy forsalvation.
*Slaves could purchasetheir freedom, orbenefactors couldpurchase it for them.
*Redemption carries theidea of liberation at cost.People’s liberation fromenslavement to sin cameat terrible cost—Christ’svoluntary, atoning death.
*Paul stated that Godpresented Christ as apropitiation.*The word presentedcould indicate purpose(design) or open display.
Propitiation is translated from theGreek hilasterion, meaning "that whichexpiates or propitiates" or "the gift whichprocures propitiation". Theword is also used in the New Testamentfor the place of propitiation, the "mercyseat". Hebrews 9:5. There is frequentsimilar use ofhilasterion in the Septuagint, Exodus 25:18 ff. The mercy seat wassprinkled with atoning blood on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:14),representing that the righteous sentence ofthe Law had been executed, changing ajudgment seat into a mercy seat (Hebrews 9:11-15; compare with "throne of grace" in Hebrews 4:14-16; place of communion, Exodus 25:21-22).
Another Greek word, hilasmos, is used for Christ as our propitiation. 1 John 2:2; 4:10,and for "atonement" in the septuagint (Leviticus 25:9). The thought in the OldTestament sacrifices and in the NewTestament fulfillment, is that Christcompletely satisfied the just demands ofour Holy Father for judgment on sin, byhis death on the Cross of Calvary.God, in view of the cross, is declaredrighteous in having been able to justify sinsin the Old Testament period, as well as inbeing able to forgive sinners under the New Covenant (Romans 3:25,26; cf. Exodus 29:33, note).[original research?
‘...since the wrath of God is being revealedagainst all sin, there can be no way ofsalvation other than the way that dealswith sin, that is, the Gospel’ If, as we have previously shown, the angerof God rests upon all of mankind and,subsequently, the judgment of God iscurrently being poured out upon bothindividuals and groups of men andwomen whether in tribes, cultures ornations, then we need to understand thework of Jesus Christ that satisfies the angerof God and removes His judgment fromus.
The reason for propitiation Our sins Heb 2:17 - ‘...propitiation for the sins of thepeople...’ I John 2:2 - ‘...the propitiation for oursins...’ I John 4:10 - ‘...the propitiation for oursins...’
The reception of propitiation By faith Rom 3:25 - ‘...a propitiation by His blood,to be received by faith...’ It’s not on the basis of mankind’s works, ofour self-effort - we’ve already seen that theinitiative was solely with the Lord. Had Henot decided to do something about thepredicament we’d put ourselves in, wewould forever have been under both God’sanger and judgment, not only in this lifebut in the one to come.
Although Jesus has taken upon Himselfboth the anger and judgment of God, itdoesn’t follow that every person istherefore free from any outpouring ofthem. The work of the cross must be metwith a correct response in an individualand that can only be done by faith to therevelation of the Holy Spirit concerning thework of Christ - not a mere mindknowledge but an active trust andparticipation in His completed work (seethe study on ‘Faith’).
*God designed to makeChrist’s sacrificial self-giving the means ofovercoming the sin barrierbetween people and Him,and to display thatatoning death openly.
*In pagan cultures, theterm propitiation referredto people’s offeringsacrifices to appease theirgods, to ensure their godslooked on them withfavor rather than anger.
*In Hebrews 9:5, itdesignates the mercy seat,the ark’s covering.
The place on Jesus breast is stillvacant, and open to any who arewilling to pay the price ofdeepening intimacy. We arenow, and we will be in thefuture, only as intimate withGod as we really choose to be.
*In the Septuagint (Greektranslation of the HebrewScriptures), the termalmost always refers tothe mercy seat.
*It seems to me, Paul usedthe word to indicate thatin Christ, and specificallyin His atoning death, weencounter God’s mercy.
*God took the initiative toprovide the means bywhich people’s sins couldbe covered.
*Their forgiveness andentrance into rightrelationship with Himcomes through faith inChrist’s blood—by trustin His sacrificial, atoningdeath.
*God presented Christ’sdeath on the cross onsinners’ behalf todemonstrate His [God’s]righteousness.
*In times past, God hadheld back the fulljudgment people’s sinsdeserved.
*He had dealt with theirsins but had exercisedrestraint (forbearance,patience) in temporarilypassing over (letting pass,disregarding) the sinspreviously committed.
*Prior to Christ’s atoningdeath, God had withheldthe full measure of sin’sconsequences.
*Did His doing so meanHe was indifferent to sin,that He exercised easytolerance of people’smissing His design for life?Paul stated forcefully thatat the present time—God’s
appointed or opportuneseason in contrast to thepast—God demonstratedHis righteousness orjustness through Christ’ssacrificial death as themeans of dealing with
people’s sins.*The cross foreverdemonstrates theseriousness with whichGod views sin.
*It uncovers the depths ofpeople’s sin and thelengths to which God inHis love has gone toremove that barrier andoffer relationship withHim—a new standing of
grace.*He is right, and Hemakes right with Him theone who has faith in(trust in and commitmentto) Jesus.
*Jesus fully revealed God’srighteousness anddemonstrated thatrighteousness.*We receive right standingwith God through Him.
*Jesus demonstratesGod’s righteousness.*List examples of God’srighteousness you see inwhat you know aboutJesus.
*Right relationship withGod is open to everyonewho believes.*That is, anyone whotrusts in Christ entersright standing with Godas a gift of grace.
*In verses 5-8, Paulcontrasted righteousness“from the law” (v. 5) to“righteousness that comesfrom faith” (v. 6).
*He pointed out that law-righteousness called forperfect obedience that noone could achieve.
*On the other hand, faith-righteousness was readilyavailable because of God’sprovision.
*Paul adaptedDeuteronomy 30:11-14 toemphasize that Christ haddone everythingnecessary to provide rightrelationship with God.
*Faith is possible becauseof Christ’s atoning work.
*Paul stated clearly “themessage of faith” heproclaimed (v. 8b).*If indicates that whatfollows is a possibility.*People’s being saveddepended on their choices.
*Salvation hinged on tworesponses: confession andbelief.*Paul’s order correspondsto the quote in verse 8 anddoes not indicate definedsequence.
*To be saved, one had toconfess with the mouth(verbally) Jesus’ lordship.*To confess was to say thesame thing about ChristGod said: Jesus was God’sSon (see Mark 1:11).
*The confession “Jesus isLord” acknowledgedJesus’ Deity.*It also openly declaredJesus as the believer’sMaster, his or her absoluteauthority.
*A person seekingsalvation had to believe… that God raised [Jesus]from the dead.
*Belief is much more thanaccepting something asfactual; it is convictionand commitment.
*The heart was viewed asthe center of life thatinvolved the emotions,intellect, and will.
*God’s raising Jesus fromthe dead was irrefutableevidence that Jesus wasHis Son and verifiedeverything Jesus said anddid.
*Inner, decisivecommitment to the truthof the resurrection isessential to salvationbecause only trust in aliving Lord can give newlife—salvation, right
standing with God.*Confession andcommitment result insalvation—deliverancefrom sin.
By Mark A. Rathel The concept of “confession” is an important part of a Christian’s experience. ManyChristians correlate confession with the beginning of the Christian life.The acknowledgment of our status as sinners and our profession ofallegiance to Jesus express integral aspects of Christian conversion.The New Testament, however, does not limit the role of confession to the beginning of the Christian life,when the new believer confesses his or her faith in Christ. This act of confession, a confession that leadsto repentance of sin, is an essentialpart of a believers spiritual life. As Baptist theologian W. T. Connerwrote, “It [repentance] is an attitude that belongs to the Christian life as a whole.
The initial act of repentance is the beginning of a Life of repentance. ”1 The Greek verb for the act of confession is homologeo. This compound word derives from two other Greek words: homo,meaning “like,” and logos, meaning “word” or “thing spoken.” The Greek verb for the act of confession, then, has a range of usages including “promise,” “agree,” “admit,” “confess (sins),” and “publicly declare (that one is something).”
2 Backgrounds of “Confession” The various contexts in which the vocabulary of “confession” occurred in documents written prior to theNew Testament provide understanding in how the readers of Romans would have understood the concept of confession.
Confession functioned as an important concept in legal and religious contexts. The concept of “confession” occurred predominately as a legal term with the connotation of “agree with.” The Greek noun “confession” frequently described a contractual agreement. Numerous Greek papyri discovered in Egypt bear this meaning. 3 A common heading for a last will or testament is “contract and agreement (homologia).” The papyri describe a contract laborer as a “confessor” (homologos). Another of the papyri uses the verb form meaning "to agree with." It is a legal document: “We acknowledge (homologeo) that we divided between ourselves at the present time the vineyard which we hold on lease.”
4 The religious usage of “confession” correlates and builds upon thelegal background. In a manner similar to which one confessed wrongdoing in a court, one acknowledged or confessed sins before a deity. An individual publicly professed allegiance to a deity by means of an oath of confession.
5 The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, contains a unique usage of the idea of confession. The translators of the Septuagint frequently translated the Hebrew word yada, “to confess, to praise, to give thanks,” by means of the verb exomologeo, a related word with the same meaning as homologeo, mentioned above. The Israelites “confessed praise” of God’s majestic power (1 Chron. 29:12), as well as His mighty acts of redemption (Ps. 105:1-6). Frequently, worshipprovided the setting for the confession of praise to Yahweh.
Greek translation of Psalm 100:4provides evidence of “confession”as an act of praise. “Enter into Hiscourts by means of giving thanks (exomologeo), and his courts with hymns; give thanks (exomologeo) and praise his name.”
6 “Confession” in RomansPaul used Greek words for “confess” four times in Romans. Twice heused the term homologeo highlighting public allegiance to Jesus (Rom. 10:9-10). He used exomologeo twice in quotations from the Septuagint in the sense of confessing praise (Rom. 14:11; 15:9). The concept ofconfession in Romans used both the legal and Septuagint background.
Romans 10:9-10—A discussion contrasting two kinds of righteousness supplies the immediate context for Paul’s use of “confession” in Romans 10:9-10. On the one hand, a perfect, unmerited kind of righteousness is available from God through faith. On the other hand, many Jews pursued self-righteousness through works of the law. In Romans 10:1-13, Paul quoted the Old Testament six times to reassure his readers that the Old Testament itself taught that righteousness comes by faith. One of his quotes, Deuteronomy 30:14 (see Rom. 10:8), affirmed that a heart faith brings righteousness.
In Romans 10:9-10, Paul set forth three pairs of related truths in describing how an individual receives salvation. First, Paul linked confessing with the mouth to believing with the heart. Faith and confession involve doctrinal content, namely, the lordship ofChrist. In light of the over six thousand times the Septuagint translates “Lord” for “Yahweh,” an avowal of the lordship of Christ affirms His deity.
The public confession “Jesus is Lord” flows out of an inward heart attitude of trust. Faith inevitably flows outward in a public pledge of allegiance to the person of Christ. Second, Paullinked righteousness with salvation— salvation that originates with a person’s believing with his or her heart. Salvation means that God provides humans with righteousness as a gift through Christ.
Third, Paul linked believing that Jesus is Lord with His being raised from the dead. As it was with the women who finallyrecognized the resurrected Christ at the empty tomb, as it was withJesus’ post-resurrection encounter with Thomas and his subsequentconfession of faith, so it has been for followers of Jesus through the centuries: Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection confirm His lordship.
Romans 14:11—Although we do not see it in the English translations, Paul again used the Greek term homologeo to talk about confessing praise to God. In Romans 14:11, Paul uses the Septuagint version of Isaiah 45:23: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will givepraise to God” (HCSB, emphasis added).
The dispute between “weak” and “strong” Christians differing on the subject of eating meat offered to idols functions as the immediate context for thisOld Testament quote. Paul challenged his readers not to judge each other for two reasons. First, they are brothers despite their differences. Second, all believers will stand before God’s judgment seat (14:10). Isaiah 45 celebrates the nature of God as the world’s only Creator, Savior, and Judge.
The action of bowing the knee depicts submission. The action of the tongue portrays a confessionof praise, even in the context of judgment.
Romans 15:9—Paul’s final reference to confession in Romans occurs in chapter 15. The immediate context is a final plea for unity in the Roman church (vv. 1-13). Since Christ accepted the individual believer, the individual believer should accept other Christians (v. 7). Christ serves the Jews as well as the Gentiles (or nations), the most visible human divide in the first century (v. 8). Paul broughttogether four Old Testament citations to demonstrate that both Jew and Gentile belong to the community of the Messiah.
In Romans 15:9, Paul quoted Psalm 18:49. The psalm described eventsin David’s life and David’s consequent desire to praise God’s name among the Gentiles. The fact that Paul cites this Scripture passage as supportive of a ministry of Christ to Jews and Gentiles indicates that the apostle interpreted this psalm as a prophecy of the Messiah. Paul’s letter to the Roman believers affirms that Jesus, then, is the speaker who confesses praise to God among the Gentiles.7 Implications for Believers Paul’s teaching regarding the act of confessing offers numerous implications for the Christian life.
First, the act of confessing “Jesus is Lord” serves as a public oath of allegiance to the Person of Christ as full Deity. Second, Christianscan disagree about matters nonessential to the gospel and recognize that God alone is the Judge. All Christians will bow in submission to the Creator-Savior-Judge and confess praise. Third, Christ Himself confesses praise among the Gentiles or nations as they glorify God for His mercy. Christ, then, is our Example in praise for the nations coming to salvation. i
1. Walter T. Conner, The Gospel of Redemption (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1945), 199.2. William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, “oJmologevw” in A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2nd ed. rev. (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1979), 568; Dieter Fürst, “Confess” in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, gen. ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1986), 1:344. 3. The term “papyri” describes documents written on writing materials made from the papyrus reed. 4. The entire discussion about “confession” in the Greek papyri comes from James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Illustrated from the Papyri and other Non-Literary Sources (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1952), 449. 5. Fürst, 344. 6. Author’s translation of Psalm 100:4. 7. Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans (GrandRapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996), 878-79.
*In experience, innerconviction andcommitment (belief withthe heart) come first,resulting inrighteousness—a rightrelationship with God,
a new standing of grace.*Coupled with completecommitment is confessionof Christ as Lord,resulting in salvation.
*Faith and confession gotogether; genuine faithexpresses itself in verbalconfession.
*Paul stressed salvationwas open to both Jewsand Gentiles who wouldturn to God in faith (vv.11-13).
*The Jews were wrong intrying to establish theirown standard ofrighteousness instead ofsubmitting to God’sstandard.
*Today, we need tounderstand that we stillare made right with Godonly when we place faithin Christ and confess Himopenly.
*We should not attempt toestablish our ownrighteousness but shouldsubmit to God’s way toright relationship withHim through commitmentto Christ.
Jesus not onlydemonstrates God’srighteousness, He alsodelivers righteousness tothose who trust Him.
*List examples of God’srighteousness Jesus hasestablished in your life.
Biblical Truths• God values justice andrighteousness, and somust we.• Jesus reveals anddemonstrates God’srighteousness.
• We are made right withGod only through faith inChrist.
• Receiving a newstanding of grace withGod requires commitmentat life’s center andconfession of thatcommitment.
Who you are in Christ isbased on who Christ is.
Thank Him for therighteousness He hasdeveloped in your life,and give Him yourpermission and requestto make you morerighteous like the Father.