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What is the Purpose of Grace?

Paul’s development of the purpose of God's grace/justification in Romans begins by greeting his audience and expresses his wish to visit them in order that he may preach the gospel to them (1:1-15).

Paul then gives us his thesis, which is all about the good news of the deliverance from sin by the Grace of God which came to us through His Son Jesus. All who believe in Him will experience this deliverance. (1:16-17)

Next Paul describes the need for justification because of the plight of sin that began with This is a universal issue that all must face. This is not a Jewish problem or a Gentile problem, it is a human problem. Paul uses specific examples of the sin that plagues the Gentile world, the Jewish world, and then summarizes the guilt of all humanity. Paul in this section breaks down the symptoms of sin each culture in his audience commits to show that these are all symptoms of the underlying force which tries to keep us from God and ultimately define the existence of those who do not believe in Christ. (1:18-3:20)

The next section, Paul gives the hope of how we are to be freed of and overcome this force that tries to separate us from God–God’s justification. The second half of chapter three shows that Christ's sacrificial death was the vehicle that brought humanity justification. However, this justification does not give us license to forget the law, this justification gives us the ability to uphold this law. (3:20-3:31)

Chapter four uses Abraham as an example of great faith. Paul emphasizes God counted Abraham as righteous before he was circumcised, not after. Circumcision was not the prerequisite to faith, rather the confirmation of faith. Therefore, good works are not the prerequisite to justification, but the consequence of justification.

Chapter five outlines the blessings of justification: peace, joy, hope, the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you, along with others. Paul then juxtaposes the life of an unbeliever where sin and death dominate their life, and the life of the believer firmly in Christ, where the blessings listed above define their life.

Chapters six through eight discuss the outcome of justification, which is sanctification, also known as life change. These chapters show that just because we live in the grace of God the purpose of this justification is to live a life that without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit we cannot live. Justification’s goal is to free us from a life of death, which is habitual sin and give us a life full of the blessings listed in chapter five. Chapter eight discusses that we are not perfect therefore, we will fall short, but when we fall short, the love of Christ is still near. Christ's love is not something we have to work to keep, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

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