* Rom. 3:21-24 adds to our understanding of imputed righteousness: * "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who BELIEVE.
The Law must precede the gospel. The Law must come first and kill the person so that the gospel can make him alive. The Law must convict the person of his sins so he will want salvation. It is simple.
The presentation of the Law is supposed to show a person that he has a great need by demonstrating that he has violated the will of God and that he is going to have to face the terrible damnation of God on the Day of Wrath (Rom. 2:5).
God presented the Law before He presented the gospel -- for a reason. "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith," (Gal. 3:24). God's Law is holy and righteous: "So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good," (Rom. 7:12). Have you broken God's Holy Law? Have you ever lied, stolen, cheated, or been angry with someone unjustly? If so, then you are a lying, stealing cheating, murderer in the eyes of God because you have committed those sins.
Like it or not, just doing those things a little bit qualifies you for the whole punishment of the Law. "Cursed is every man who does not abide by everything written in the book of the law to perform them," (Gal. 3:10). And also, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 For He who said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not commit murder,"(James 2:10-11). God is holy and righteous and He will in no way stand for anything but absolute perfection and holiness in His presence.
"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment..."(Isaiah 64:6
Therefore, the only way to be "saved" from the wrath of God, is to trust in Christ. This is what it means to be saved. It means to be saved from God's wrath: "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him, (Rom. 5:9).
But that isn't all of it. God is also love (1 John 4:8) which is why He sent His Son, to save us: "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him," (John 3:17).
Then, when he is ready, tell him that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life," (John 3:16). Tell him about how Jesus who is God in flesh (John 1:1,14) was able to live the Law perfectly (1 Pet. 2:22), satisfy the Father in heaven (1 John 2:2), give to us His very righteousness, (Phil. 3:9), and deliver us from the Judgment to come (Rom. 14:10; Heb. 9:27).
Some typical expressions that reveal an underlying presupposition of relativism are comments such as: "That is your truth, not mine;" "It is true for you, but not