Guilty to Justified

Study Guide

Paul spends the first three chapters of Romans explaining that whether you are a Jew or a gentile—whatever your knowledge of God or ability to do the “right” thing—we are all in a position of guilt. But God makes a way for us through Jesus and declares us righteous. To understand our guilt, we have to see ourselves as we truly are. And to understand righteousness, we have to see God for who he really is.
  1. If you are not conscious of and broken by your guilt, then you have not seen yourself as you really are. This might mean you are too distracted with the noise of this world (e.g. the need to justify yourself and always be right, keeping your schedule too full, etc.), What is the noise that distracts you from the fact of your guilt? How can you minimize that noise?

  2. You may not be distracted FROM your guilt but distracted BY your guilt (e.g. busy proving yourself all the time, falling into despair and self-pity when you mess up and seeking to numb and escape with comforts of the world.). What does it look like when you are distracted BY your guilt? How do you move away from self-pity?

  3. In your own words, what does it mean to move from being guilty to justified?

  4. Read Romans 3:25-28. Are we innocent or are we acquitted? What’s the difference, and why does it matter for our salvation?

Key Points
  • We all find ourselves in a place of guilt. Guilt isn’t a feeling, it’s a fact. We are all guilty and without Christ cannot fix our own problem.

  • The law was not given to us so that we could fix our guilt problem by doing the right thing. The law exposes our problem. It shows:

    • The standard of righteousness (reveals sin in comparison to the standard)
    • The boundary of righteousness (exposes transgression of going beyond the boundary)
    • The straight line of righteousness (shows us our brokenness in comparison, or our iniquities)
  • The best we have to bring, compared to the standard, is still inadequate and impure (Isaiah 64:6).

  • No matter who you are or what you’ve done, there is a pathway for you to be made right with God (Romans 3:22).

  • God retains his integrity and maintains his justice. He actually removes the problem of our guilt without glorifying the guilty. He is both just and the Justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:26)

  • Our acquittal is not based on obeying the law but on faith in the person and work of Jesus.

  • If you are not broken over your guilt, you have not seen yourself for who you truly are, and if you don’t first see your guilt, you will never seek a solution for it.

  • We can’t move from consciousness of our guilt to consciousness of our justification and righteousness in God without:

    • Being in the Word.
    • Personal dependence on the Spirit.
    • Preaching the gospel to yourself over and over and over.
  • Quiet our lives -> acknowledge the fact of our guilt -> hear God’s declaration of righteousness -> live in God’s power for his glory.

  • GOS_GuiltyJustified_Bill_Diagram.jpg

Other Scripture References

Topics: Glory, Gospel, Guilt, Righteous