By the Blood of Jesus Christ – Gospel in Life

By the Blood of Jesus Christ

Tim Keller |  March 15, 2009

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  • Justification
  • Redemption
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Romans 3:21-31
RS 312-06


In Romans 3, we have the heart of Paul’s message about what God has done to put the world right in Jesus Christ.

Christianity alone says that God prepares a perfect righteous record through Jesus Christ and gives it freely to you. So you’re saved not by performance—you’re saved by faith. And that faith is not just faith in general—it’s faith in the blood of Christ. But what does that mean?

There are three words that help us grasp the meaning of the blood of Christ. We’re told here 1) what we need, which is redemption, 2) what he does, which is propitiation, and 3) what it means for us, which is demonstration.

Romans 3:21–31

Getting right with God comes from believing in Jesus Christ, not from following rules. This idea is for everyone, both Jews and non-Jews. Believing in the power of Jesus’ sacrifice is described using words like redemption, propitiation, and demonstration. These words point to our need to be set free from guilt and shame, and from things that control us wrongly. Even though some people try to deny guilt and shame, they are important in understanding life and why we need to be redeemed.

2. What he does,

Propitiation, which means calming God’s anger and meeting His justice, is a reaction to wrongs and evil, not because God is irritable. It’s important to know that anger and justice are parts of love and goodness. Forgiveness suggests that when something wrong happens, either the one who did wrong or the one who was wronged must bear the result; in God’s justice, Jesus Christ took on the result through His death on the cross, showing God’s love and redemption, making it different from other religions.

3. What it means for us,

The cross’s power to change hearts is shown in the Old Testament story of Ruth and Boaz, where Boaz acts as a redeemer, similar to how Jesus is our redeemer. The importance of Jesus’ complete obedience to the rules and his sacrifice to calm God’s anger is highlighted, showing the difference between religion based on rules and religion without God, and stating that only love can truly stir up love. The power of this message to change lives is shown through the story of Billy Graham’s sermon at Cambridge University, ending with a prayer for lives filled with passion, honesty, courage, sacrifice, and love.



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