Gospel 3- Justification A (audio file)
Before we get started this morning, I just want to say a few words about the new position that I will be starting July 1. First of all, I am incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to be your pastor. It is the next step in a journey that has been a long time in the making, for my family and for this church family. One thing that has stuck out to me is just how intricately it seems God has caused the turn of events that brought us together. I thank the Lord for what he has done in the past 5 years to prepare us for this, and for what he has done in the past month to bring about this new step in our journey. I want you all to know that this will be a learning process for all of us. I will be patient with you, and I ask that you be patient with me as we seek to follow God’s word and his call together. I really cant believe I get to come here and open the Bible to you every week, and that we all get to help one another apply it to our lives.
So, thank you!
Well, here we are at week three of a series of messages on the Gospel. What it is, and what it does. We spent the first week taking a fly over of redemptive history in Romans 1. We saw there that God created the earth to point us to Himself, we responded by worshiping the creation, he then revealed the law to show us our need, and then he revealed His son Jesus to fulfill the law on our behalf. Last week we looked at the miracle of the new birth from Ephesians 2. We saw, if you recall that we all either are, or were spiritually dead, we cannot raise ourselves, and God raises us through Christ to display the riches of his mercy.
So this week, as I said last week, we are turning the diamond of the Gospel, and examining another facet of this beautiful gem that is the centerpiece of all that we are as Christians.
Today we are going to be looking at the amazing gift of Justification.
turn with me in your bibles to Romans 3. If you are using the pew Bible, that is on page___. Before we read this, I want to pose a question to you. How close to God do you feel when you blow it big time? Do feel close, or distant? and Why? How about this, have you ever thought that God was displeased because you didn’t do something you should have? The answer to this question is extremely important. How you answer that question will tell you how you apply the truth of Justification. It doesn’t necessarily tell you if you understand it, but it tells you how practical your theology of justification is.
ok, quick quiz, what word in the first verse of this passage caused a flag to go off in your head as you read it?
THEN. Why does that word cause a bell to go off in your head, or why should it? Because it is the second part of a statement called an “if- then statement”. Why should that spark our curiosity? because whatever he is about to say is based upon what he just said.
so, really quickly, what did he just say?
Well, to put it briefly, he just spent a chapter roasting the Jews for their self righteous adherence to the Law. He begins to make that case that he continues in this chapter that the Law is meant as we learned in chapter 1, to reveal, not our Righteousness, but our Lack of righteousness. he was talking about the outward act of circumcision that made someone a jew by law. Saying that it was not the outward act that made them a jew, but the circumcision of the heart. He is saying in essence, “outward law-keeping, self- sufficient, rule-loving obedience will not bring you into God’s family.” The act of circumcision was meant to be an outward expression of an inward reality. Even in the old testament. In essence, what he is doing as he sets up the next movement in this book is to level the playing field, cutting the legs out from anyone who looks to their external obedience as grounds of their acceptance from God. And he is doing this for a significant reason, he is about to say some pretty heavy things about God, and about His work. he is essentially going to get into these people’s face and say, “God is righteous, we are not, we can be through Christ.”
- God Is Righteous. Chapter 1. Veil in the temple
- He displays it in his perfection. i.e. he created the world. He spoke the world into existence.
- He displays it in our Sin. v.5-7. When you sin, God looks Good. and he puts it on display in his judgment. His character is on display as he punishes sin, just as a judges character is on display as he/she declares a verdict. V. 25b
- We are Not. V.10-18
- Jews and Greeks..
- All of humanity. v. 19
- There is always someone who thinks they are the exception to this.
- Christians are declared righteous through Jesus….How? You ask.
- God Set Him forth. v.25
- As a propitiation. Wrath bearing, sin enduring, body-crushing, weight.
- To make us righteous, through faith. 2 Corinthians 5:21
- The great Exchange.
So, lets get back to our original question? Do you feel distant from God when you have failed? Now, based on this text, is that a legitimate feeling? Lets think about it this way? who has a better standing with God when they walk in the doors of this church: a person who woke up at 3 this morning to pray and read their bible in 5 different translations, has never cussed, drank, or smoked, loves Jesus, and is so grateful to have been saved by him. Or: someone who spent last night battling pride and anger because their children frustrated them all day, they yelled and screamed at their kids, and took it out on their spouse too. They were convicted this morning of their sin, repented to God, and to their family, and walk in knowing they are in need of God’s grace and ready to walk in repentance. Who has better standing with God this morning?
They are both Justified!
We need to see ourselves and others as God sees us and them.