SYNOPSIS – The “righteousness of God” refers to the faithfulness of God to His promises that is demonstrated in the salvation provided in Jesus.
The second and third chapters of the book of the Romans present the gospel as the Great Leveler – Both Jews and Gentiles have fallen short of the righteousness of God and, therefore, both stand under His “just sentence.” Consequently, Jews and Gentiles alike are destined for “wrath.”
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Paul reminded Timothy of Christ’s resurrection since false teachers were denying the future resurrection.
The resurrection is not a major subject in Paul’s “pastoral” letters, but he does raise the subject when dealing with the problem of false teachers at Ephesus. As he reminded Timothy, “God did not give us a spirit of fear but of a sound mind.” The theme of “sound teaching” is pivotal to the three pastoral letters, and the future resurrection is a prime example of the apostolic doctrines.
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Already, Jesus is “rescuing” his people from the coming “wrath” that will befall the unrighteous when he arrives – 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
From its inception, the congregation at Thessalonica had experienced hostility. Out of concern for their welfare, Paul sent Timothy to determine how the church was faring under persecution. His letter to the Thessalonians begins with his thankfulness for their perseverance, and then he reassures them that Jesus will rescue his people from a far worse fate than any present “tribulation.”
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Paul anchored all that God has done in the past Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which inaugurated the messianic age – Galatians 1:1-5.
In Galatians, Paul declared that his apostleship came from the same God who raised Jesus from the dead, the one who gave his life to “deliver us from this evil age.” This anticipated the defense of his apostolic calling and his disagreement with certain Jewish believers who were operating as if the old era was still in effect.
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