Archive for the ‘Righteousness’ Category


Paul Harvey told about a 3-year-old boy who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, “Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask.” She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, “Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all.” So he sat back down.

They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. “Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you that you can’t have any. Now sit down & be quiet.”

Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, “In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?” And everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded.

And, according to Paul Harvey, due to the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies.

In this note, we are going to discover all the boxes of chocolate chip cookies God gives us through His Son, Jesus Christ!

Let’s read Romans 5:1-11 in the Phillips translation, and perhaps we can get a glimpse of all we have through Jesus Christ:

“Since then it is by faith that we are justified, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys – we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us. Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us. And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us. Moreover, if he did that for us while we were sinners, now that we are men justified by the shedding of his blood, what reason have we to fear the wrath of God? If, while we were his enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through his living in us. Nor, I am sure, is this a matter of bare salvation – we may hold our heads high in the light of God’s love because of the reconciliation which Christ has made.

Don’t Overlook the Excitement of Paul. The New Living Translation reveals it in verse 11:

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”

We have a WONDERFUL NEW RELATIONSHIP with God through Jesus!

Martin Luther wrote…In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text!

W E Vine observes that the fifth chapter shows what we have THROUGH CHRIST, while the sixth shows us what we are IN CHRIST. “THROUGH CHRIST” is the keynote of chapter five. Chapter 5 unfolds the subjects of the effects of the death and resurrection of Christ…(as Paul so richly described in Romans 3:21-25). (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson

Romans is a book of supernatural logic which is knitted together with a fine thread of “therefore’s” (term of conclusion)…

  • Therefore of giving over – Ro 1:24
  • Therefore of condemnation Ro 3:20
  • Therefore of justification – Ro 5:1
  • Therefore of no condemnation – Ro 8:1
  • Therefore of dedication – Ro 12:1

Paul reveals the main thrust of Romans in chapter 1, verses 16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the means of our DAILY salvation, whereby the righteousness of God becomes our righteousness!

The Power of God is on Display

Paul began Romans with the Power of God on display, the power to bring sinful man into a right and righteous relationship with God! Romans 5 reveals that this is all TROUGH Jesus Christ and how marvelous the benefits of that Right Relationship are! The result of Chapter 5 is that God now puts His Children of Faith on Display!

The word “therefore” reaches back to the contents of chapter four — therefore being justified (made righteous-the righteousness of God), not by works (1-8), not by rituals (9-12), not by obedience to the law (13-25), but by faith (our belief in the truth of God), we have peace. Your works, your rituals, even your following the law will never bring peace to your heart and soul.

All that follows from the 5th chapter, 1st verse to the end of the 8th chapter describes the fruit or results of justification, the inheritance of those who are justified. Having been justified by faith, that which Paul now discusses, chapters 6, 7 and 8, shall be true of us.

We must fully understand and envision what Christ has done for us if we are to live the Christian life that Paul will detail in Romans 6,7 and 8!

THEREFORE (Through Faith in Jesus Christ):

I. The Reality of Justification by Faith

To begin with, Paul sees justification as an accomplished work, “Therefore being justified,” or “since we are justified.” Justification is not hypothetical, not just a vague possibility, but a present reality for him who trusts in JESUS CHRIST. Justification is:

1. A legal declaration of righteousness. It isn’t that a sinner is merely made to ‘feel’ righteous in a subjective way. Rather, God “declares” the sinner to be objectively righteous in a forensic or judicial sense — regardless of his or her feelings.

2. A genuine righteousness.

  • God doesn’t simply decide to overlook the sinner’s sinfulness and “pretend” that he or she is righteous when that really isn’t the case;
  • He doesn’t simply “cover up” the sinner with the righteousness of Jesus in such a way as to conceal his or her real condition of sinfulness from His eyes — as though simply covering him or her with a “righteousness” coating.
  • When God justifies a sinner, He declares that sinner to be made really, genuinely, completely righteous, because that sinner is “in Christ.”

3. An imputation of righteousness.

  • To “impute” something means to ‘attribute’ it or ‘credit’ it to something or someone else.
  • If, for example, I had a ‘zero’ balance in my checking account, I would draw some money out of my savings account and have it “imputed” or “credited” or “attributed” to my checking account.
  • The only way that the checking account could have cash value is if it is “imputed” into it from another account.
  • When God justifies a sinner, he or she is not made “righteous” on the basis of anything that they do — nor on the basis of anything God enables them to do.
  • God completely “imputes” genuine righteousness to them — “attributing” it to them, or “crediting” it to their account.

4. A righteousness through faith as opposed to works.

  • Sinners are not “justified” on the basis of their faith — or on the basis of any other work they could do, for that matter.
  • They’re declared righteous before God on the basis of two things: that their sins were placed onto Jesus when He died on the cross; and that His perfect obedience and righteousness imputed to them — He became sin for them (and died in their place); and they became the righteousness of God in Him.
  • Faith isn’t the cause of justification;
  • Faith is the means by which the sinner comes into possession of that imputed righteousness.

As it says of Abraham in Gen. 15:6, when God made the promise to him that, even though he was childless, he would one day have as many children as the stars in heaven, “Then he believed the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness

Paul reinforces the proof of justification with three strong propositions:

  • Verse 6, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
  • Verse 8, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • Verse 10, “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.”

II. The Results of Justification by Faith

1.  Peace with God

Romans 5:1 (KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

A sign in front of a church said, “If life is a puzzle, look here for the missing peace” and spelled that last word p-e-a-c-e!

“It means to be in a relationship w/God in which all hostility caused by sin has been removed!”(Shepherds Notes, p 33)

ἔχωμεν- let us have (Word Studies)= let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace (eirene from verb eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common expression of one “having it all together”.

  • “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Ephes. 2:14-15).
  • “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20).
  • harmonized relationship between God and man (Vine’s).

D L Moody..A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it

2.  Continuous Access to God’s Grace (place of privilege)

Romans 5:2a (KJV) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…

It is only through Christ that we have access into this grace. The word “access” (prosagōgēn) means to bring to, to move to, to introduce, to present. The thought is that of being in a royal court and being presented and introduced to the King of kings. Jesus Christ is the One who throws open the door into God’s presence. He is the One who presents us to God, the Sovereign Majesty of the universe. POSB

It can refer to one’s “introduction” into a relationship or it can refer to “ongoing access” in an existing relationship. Paul’s use of the same term in Ephesians 2:18; 3:12 seems to suggest that what is in view in Romans 5:2 is continued access to God, and not so much on the initial introduction into the relationship.

A. Wonderful Grace

He hasn’t merely reconciled us to Himself and then left it up to us to keep ourselves in that state. He has placed us “in Christ”; and in Him, we have been made “the righteousness of God” And being in that state of righteousness, it’s only by His grace that we stay that way!

B. Continuous Access

  • Through Jesus Christ His Son, we “have obtained (place of continuous access to God).
  • We are not left to ourselves to keep from wandering in and out of God’s favor all the time. We’ve been introduced to a state of favor before Him through Christ; and in Christ, it’s in this state of favor that, by being in Christ, we forever “stand”!
  • Paul wrote to the Galatian church about this very issue.
    • The Christians in Galatia were fearful that, even though they were brought into God’s favor by His grace, they needed to keep the old Jewish ceremonies of the Old Testament in order to stay in God’s favor.
    • Paul wrote to them very strongly and urged them not to place themselves under those rules and ceremonies.
    • “Are you so foolish?”, he asked them; “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).
    • “It was for freedom that Christ set you free,” he reminded them; “therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (5:1).

3.  Hope of the Glory of God

Romans 5:2b (KJV) …and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We have a Whole New Outlook.

We now share together with Christ in His glory. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).That prospect comes from being “in Christ”. Jesus Himself prayed to the Father, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (John 17:22-23). It’s not called a “hope” because we merely hope it will happen. Paul’s meaning is that it’s a “hope” in the sense of a certain expectation;

Romans 8:29-30, “whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Those whom God has justified will also be glorified!

I heard about an old, saintly Christian gentleman who said, “I may not be much to look at right now; but one day, I’m goin’ on parade!!”

4.  Rejoicing in Trials

Romans 5:3-5a (KJV) 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation(thilipsis-pressure) worketh patience(endurance, constancy); 4 And patience, experience(dokimos-approved); and experience, hope: 5 And hope(elpis-anticipate with confidence) maketh not ashamed…

Tribulation = word that means to “squeeze” or “press” something; Picture of pressing circumstances or distressing hardships. “It describes distress that is brought on by outward circumstances.” Look at the way God uses the “pressure times” in the life of someone that He has declared “righteous” before Him.

A. Tribulations produce “perseverance” or “patient endurance”.

  • Endurance-constancy
  • They produce the quality of learning to trust in God and wait upon Him, relying upon His strength in the knowledge that He has nothing in mind for us but our good.
  • The capacity to endure calmly, confidently, & w/o complaint.” (J. Sidlow Baxter, Awake My Heart, p. 180)
  • Tribulation is a thorny tree, but it yields sweet fruit.
  • A guitar string only fulfills its purpose when it is removed from its old package, stretched as tight as it will go, & then plucked!
  • When a storm comes at sea, a ship turns to face the tempest. If the vessel allows the storm to hit its side, it will capsize. If it turns its back to the storm, the storm will drive it wherever the wind blows. Only in facing the storm is the ship safe.

God is not punishing us.

  • All our punishment has already gone onto Christ, and He took our punishment for us.
  • And what’s more, His righteousness before God was placed to our account.
  • What a difference between the man who crosses the finish line and the one who drops out of the race ten yards from the tape, between the fighter who fights until the bell rings and the one who throws in the towel

We are Justified with God, so there’s nothing left to think about our troubles and trials but as things that our sovereign God permits to come upon us in order to make us grow into the glorious image of Christ that He has predestined us “in Him” to be.

B. Perseverance produces “proven character.” (Reveals what we really are inside.)

  • Dokimos-approved coinage, approved soldier

The difficult times of life don’t make us into anything different — they just show us to be what we really are. If someone comes out of their trials a bitter person, it’s because, deep within, they were already bitter in the first place — and the circumstance simply proved their true character. If someone comes out of their trials with a sense of confidence in God, giving praise to Him for what He has done, it’s because God developed perseverance in them through the exercise of their faith in Him — and the circumstance simply proved their true character.

C. Proven character produces “hope”.

  • Confident Anticipation that it will be worth it all!
  • This “hope” is the praise we’ll receive from Jesus for having been faithful to Him — even while undergoing a time of trial; His “Well done!”
  • This is a hope that “does not disappoint”, as it says in verse 5, “because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
  • It’s a hope that already has a guarantee of victory to it because He already loves us! All this, because He has declared us righteous in Christ!!
    • The present in no way jeopardizes the future (5:5).
    • Paul’s emphasis here is that in light of justification and the indwelling Spirit, God can actually use our difficult experiences in life to work a deeper hope in us—i.e., a deeper longing for him and desire to experience him.

5.  Confidence in God’s Love for us

Romans 5:5b-8 (KJV) 5 … the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

A.God Loves us the Same as His Son

“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that you sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (17:25-26).

In fact, Jesus even prayed that the extent of God’s great love for us would become clearly known; “… that the world may know,” He prayed, “that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (John 17:23).
How can we help but gasp when we read that — that the Father loves us as much as He loves His own Son Jesus!!

Billy Graham said: “When we preach atonement, it is atonement planned by love, provided by love, given by love, finished by love, necessitated because of love. – When we preach the resurrection of Christ, we are preaching the miracle of love. When we preach the return of Christ, we are preaching the fulfillment of love.”

B. The Love of God is the Hope of the Weak and Powerless

Hope always burns brightly in those whose character has been developed through overcoming trials.

  • Paul is not talking about the objective love of God shown to us in the cross (3:25; 5:8), but rather the subjective apprehension (i.e., in our hearts) of God’s love. For Paul this is primarily an emotional experience with a force greater than the doubt inflicted through trials (cf. Phil 4:6-7).
  • Hope is not the tuition we pay as we enroll in the school of adversity. Rather, it is the diploma awarded to those who by the grace of God do well on the tests.

Priest and poet George Herbert wrote in The Temple (1593-1633), “He who lives in hope dances without music.”

How do we experience this great love as displayed by Jesus? We experience it as the Holy Spirit makes it known in our hearts. He literally “shed’ the love of God into our lives. As we place our faith in the blood of Jesus, the Love of God flows into our hearts and lives.!

  • There is a saying among Italian sculptors, who often miss the chisel and hit their own hands with the hammer: “When the blood flows out, the mastery enters.”
  • It was so with Jesus. It was his death on Calvary that made him the master of our souls. “There is power in the blood.”

6.  A Living Salvation

Romans 5:9-10 (KJV) 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

A. Saved by His Life: we will also be completely saved from sin and death by Christ’s resurrection life and our union with him

Salvation is not a one time thing that happens by our faith in a past action. Salvation is an ongoing process which is undertaken by our LIVING SAVIOR! His live becomes our life! His righteousness becomes our righteousness! Our Salvation will be consummated when our physical bodies are resurrected! Then we can truly say, “O death, where is your sting?”

If He so loved us when we were still sinners — which is the far greater thing; then now that we’ve been declared righteous by Him out of His love for us, He will surely spare us from His wrath against sin — which is the lessor thing. Just as God is gracious and ready to forgive, He is also just and is fully prepared to pour out His wrath on sinners that will not receive His merciful offer, but who continue to defiantly rebel against Him.

B. There Will be A Judgment

He declares His own character to Moses in this way: “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty upunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 34:6-7).

This gives us cause to stop and remember that while He is always and ever ready to forgive any sinner that cries out to Him, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”; He still remains a holy God and will not put up with sin. To those who will not turn from their sins and receive His gracious offer of “justification by faith”, there remains this warning of His wrath.

7.  Friendship with God

Romans 5:11 (KJV) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

A. Our New Life in our Living Savior allows us to offer praise to God

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

B. Our New Life in our Living Savior allows us to Rejoice in our Relationship with God

Revelation 7:15-17; “… they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

C. Our New Life in our Living Savior allows us to enjoy the experience of ever-satisfying, ever-thrilling, ever-expanding fellowship with Him for all eternity.

  • John 10:10 (ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
  • John 17:3 (ESV) And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
  • John 15:14-15 (ESV) 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

The Three Phases of Redemption

In these short eleven verses, Paul gives us the three phases of our redemption:

1. Justification, (freedom from guilt, imputation of righteousness);
2. Sanctification, the operation of righteousness and grace received when justified, which results in Christian growth
3. Glorification – the resurrection of our glorified body to dwell with God for all eternity

  • Justification, the beginning of the Christian experience;
  • Sanctification, the development of the Christian experience;
  • Glorification, the consummation of the Christian experience.

The Pit and the Pendulum

Edgar Allen Poe wrote a horrifying story set in a dungeon during the Spanish Inquisition.He takes us beneath a castle into a horrible dark, rat-infested dungeon. There we find an unnamed man who has been tried and found guilty.The stench of death and human feces is overpowering. He can hear tha rats scampering all around him. He tries to search the dungeon to see if there is a way of escape, but it’s too dark. He stumbles around and nearly falls into a huge pit in the center of the cell. He is knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, he realizes that he is strapped into a torture device that houses a swinging, razor-sharp pendulum. The pendulum gradually lowers closer and closer to his heart. The man goes mad as he watches the pendulum grow near.

He uses his free hand to wipe the remains of his last meal onto the strap that sits between his body and the pendulum. This attracts the rats, and they chew through the strap, freeing him. As soon as he stands, the pendulum is raised and the iron walls— which have been heated to a dangerous level—close in on him. The hero is forced closer to the pit’s opening. Just before he falls, General Lasalle’s French army arrives and rescues him.

Our enemy Satan has thrown mankind into a dark miserable dungeon of sin. He makes us godless, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless, worthless and powerless. He binds us with our sins, he tortures us, and he is constantly pushing us into the pit of his Hell.

We are absolutely powerless to escape, to try to save ourselves. The walls are closing in, and all seems lost,

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. For… God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners…Romans 5:6-8 (NLT)

God has given us so much, so that we can have so much!

III. The Life of Jesus is our Salvation

1 John 5:11-12 “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Because He Lives and through our faith in Him, we know we have:

  1. Peace with God
  2. Continuous Access to God’s Grace
  3. Hope of the Glory of God
  4. Rejoicing in Trials
  5. Confidence in God’s Love for us.
  6. A Living Salvation
  7. Friendship with God

Are you content to hear the swooshing of the pendulum blade as it inches closer and closer to your heart? Do you enjoy the rats of sin? Do you enjoy the stench of death and decay? God wants you to enjoy Him, to enjoy His Love, His peace, His grace, His friendship. And it is all freely given to you through His Son, Jesus Christ! It is all yours by believing in God’s Word! Believe God, and it will be counted to you as Righteousness!

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Miss Armstrong was feeling especially frustrated by the attitudes of her fourth grade class. She felt that they simply thought they were too dumb to learn. SO she thought she would try something different. As she stood at the front of the class, she asked for everyone who thought they were dumb to simply stand up. There was an awkward pause for several moments, and finally little Johnny stood up.

Miss Armstrong asked him if he thought he was dumb.

Little Johnny said “Why, no ma’am.” “I just didn’t want you to be the only dumb person in class.”

None of us would admit we are dumb, but most of us would admit we are sinners. That’s because we are bothered by our sins. They seem to be ever before us. In Romans 3:21-26 and we saw how Jesus Christ revealed the righteousness of God to mankind. He not only revealed it, he made it available as a free gift to all who believe in Him. He did so by three distinct but interconnected things: Jesus was our Propitiation, He is our Redeemer, and as a result, God is our Justifier.

Justify means that God did not merely ignore our sins, He declares we are Righteous, like Him, as if we had never sinned. In order for God to be able to justify us, something had to be done with our sins. Romans 1-5:11 explore all that God has done to deal with our sins. Romans 5:13-8:37 explores how God deals with our sin nature.

It is because in the first section of Romans, it is a question of the sins I have committed before God, which are many and can be enumerated, whereas in the second it is a question of sin as a principle working in me. The first 4 1/2 chapters of Romans deal with our sins and the Salvation we have in Christ. The next 3 1/2 chapters deal with the Law of Sin and how we have Sanctification through Christ.

No matter how many sins I commit, it is always the one sin principle that leads to them. I need forgiveness for my sins, but I need also deliverance from the power of sin. Sins touch my conscience, the principle of sin affects my living. I may receive forgiveness for all my sins, but because of my propensity to sin, I still have no peace of mind.

When the light of God’s Word first shone into my heart, my cry was for forgiveness, for I realized I had committed sins before Him. Once I have been forgiven and born again I make a new discovery, the discovery of a principle or law of sin that drives me to keep sinning, even though I am a new creation. I realize there is something wrong within me. I have an inward inclination to sin, to put myself first, to lean on my own understanding. I still have this nature that desires to sin.

I may seek and receive forgiveness, but then I sin once more. So life goes on in a vicious circle of sinning and being forgiven and then sinning again. I appreciate the blessed fact of God’s forgiveness, but I want something more than that: I want deliverance. I need forgiveness for what I have done, but I need also deliverance from what I am.

The next few weeks we will discover together the means of deliverance, but today we must lay the foundation for that deliverance, and then continue the foundation next week. We need to wrap our hearts around the significance of two things which are found prominently in Romans 4 and 5. The most important truth we must learn this morning is the truth about the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:25-26 (KJV) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:25-26 (Phillips NT) God has appointed him as the means of propitiation, a propitiation accomplished by the shedding of his blood, to be received and made effective in ourselves by faith. God has done this to demonstrate his righteousness both by the wiping out of the sins of the past (the time when he withheld his hand), and by showing in the present time that he is a just God and that he justifies every man who has faith in Jesus Christ.

The Power of the Blood is that it allows God to be both Just and our Justifier

God is both Just and the Justifier. (δίκαιον καὶ δικαιοῦντα)

Just= díkaios; fem. dikaía, neut. díkaion, adj. from díkē  right, just. Righteous, just. Used in the neut. tó díkaion, that which is right, conformable to right, pertaining to right, that which is just.CWSD.

Justifier= dikaióō in the act. voice means to recognize, to set forth as righteous, to declare righteous, to justify as a judicial act.

Only God can justify a sinful man. Only God can declare we are righteous. And the Blood of Jesus allows Him to do just that! But how often do we try to justify ourselves?

This is clear from Luke 10:25 in which a lawyer who came to Jesus asked Him how he could inherit eternal life. “Willing to justify himself” (But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”( Luke 10:29)  The Pharisees to whom the Lord said in Luke 16:15, “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men,” i.e., you have set yourselves forth as righteous, as if there is nothing wrong with you if you were to stand in a court of justice.

No matter what efforts you take to try to justify yourself, God says it is not enough. Only just God has the power to declare you righteous. And only the Blood of Jesus has the Power to allow Righteous God to declare us righteous.

The meaning of that phrase is God righteous and making believers righteous. It is of the essence of divine righteousness to bring men into perfect harmony with Himself. Paul’s object is not to show how God is vindicated, but how man is made right with the righteous God. (Wuest)

God being righteous can look at sinful man and declare him as righteous as He is! And He can still be righteous! In fact He does it because of His righteousness! Now this to me is an impossible task, and worthy of our examination! I wonder “how can this be?”

Consider the heavy indictment against you and me:

  • ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one’ (Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20).
  • ‘Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit’ (Psalm 5:9);
  • ‘the poison of asps is under their lips’ (Psalm 140:3),
  • ‘whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness’ (Psalm 10:7).
  • ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known’ (Isaiah 59:7,8).
  • ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes’ (Psalm 36:1).

The NEED of the Blood of Christ

whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness… Romans 3:25 (ESV)

A.  God put Christ forward

God is the One who “set forth” (proetheto) Christ to be the propitiation for man’s sins. God purposed to “set forth” Christ: God determined, resolved, ordained Christ to be the propitiation or the sacrifice for man’s sins. God set Christ “before” (pro) the world as the propitiation for the world’s sins. The pro in the Greek word proetheto indicates this fact.

  1. God set Christ before Himself,
  2. God set Christ publicly before the world
  3. God set Christ before Satan.

This setting forth revealed Christ as the propitiation for the sins of mankind, the propitiation that satisfied the righteousness of God, and rebuked the accusations of Satan.

B. It is Christ Himself who is the propitiation for man’s sins.

It is not His teachings, power, example, or life that make Christ the propitiation. It is the blood of Christ that God accepts as…

  1. the sacrifice for our sins.
  2. the covering for our sins.
  3. the satisfaction for our sins.
  4. the payment for the penalty of our sins.
  5. the appeasement of His wrath against sin.

C.  Sin is Lawlessness

Romans 1-3 sets forth the sins of mankind, the lawlessness of mankind. Mankind is bedeviled by the disease of lawlessness and sins. Not only is God’s wrath upon man because of his sins, but man’s conscience accuses him, and to top it off Satan himself is man’s accuser.

1.  Hamartia Is Anomia

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 (ESV)

  • For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. Romans 2:12 (ESV)
  • What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, Romans 3:9 (ESV)
  • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 (ESV)

2.  Lawlessness afflicts our conscience:

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them Romans 2:15 (ESV)

By implication, therefore, anomía is sin, iniquity, unrighteousness He who works or does iniquity (anomían) is a worker of iniquity, meaning a wicked, impious person, yet they can think they are being religious and holy, even pleasing to God:

  • (Speaking to Pharisees) So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:28 (ESV)
  • And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:23 (ESV)
  • And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12 (ESV)
  • Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV)
  • who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:14 (ESV)
  • The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42 (ESV)

3.  The Cure for Anomia

“Blessed Are Those Whose Lawless Deeds Have Been Forgiven, And Whose Sins Have Been Covered. “Blessed Is The Man Whose Sin The Lord Will Not Take Into Account.” Romans 4:7-8 (Nasb)

D.   The Blood of Christ Alone Deals with our Sins

  • There is only one thing in this world powerful enough to deal with the sin and lawlessness that we are diseased with!
  • The blood can only be powerful for us if it is powerful for God!

The Blood and the Satisfaction of God

The Blood Is Primarily For God

A.  The Blood is for atonement – Deals with our standing before God.

We need forgiveness for the sins we have committed,for the wrath of God hangs upon us because of our lawlessness. John 3:36 (ESV) Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

We are forgiven, not because God overlooks what we have done but because He sees the Blood. What we need the Holy Spirit to reveal to us is how God sees the Blood of His Son. If I am to appreciate fully the value of the Blood of Christ, I must understand God’s valuation of it.

1.  The Blood is first of all God-ward

Throughout the Old and New Testaments the word ‘blood’ is used in connection with the idea of atonement, over a hundred times, and throughout it is for God. In Leviticus 16 we find that on the Day of Atonement the blood was taken from the sin offering and brought into the Most Holy Place and there sprinkled before the Lord seven times. On that day the sin offering was offered publicly in the court of the tabernacle. Everything was there in full view and could be seen by all. But the Lord commanded that no man should enter the tabernacle itself except the high priest. It was he alone who took the blood and, going into the Most Holy Place, sprinkled it there to make atonement before the Lord.

The high priest was a type of the Lord Jesus in His redemptive work

Hebrews 9:11-12 (ESV) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption

The High Priest/Jesus was the one who did the work. None but he could even draw near to enter in. There the only thing the High Priest did was present the blood of the sacrifice to the unseen God. If God was satisfied with the sacrifice, the Priest lived. If not, he died.

2. The Blood is therefore in the first place for God.

Exodus 12:13 describes the shedding of the blood of the Passover lamb in Egypt for Israel’s redemption. The blood was put on the lintel and on the door-posts, whereas the meat, the flesh of the lamb, was eaten inside the house; God said: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you”

3.  The Blood Satisfies the Righteous Demands of God

It is God’s holiness, God’s righteousness, which demands that a sinless life should be given for man. The sacrifice had to come from that which met God’s strict demands. There is life in the Blood, and that Blood has to be poured out for me, for my sins. God is the One who requires it to be so. God is the One who demands that the Blood be presented, in order to satisfy His own righteousness, and it is He who says: When I see the blood’, I will pass over you.’ The Blood of Christ wholly satisfies God.

B.  We Must See the Value God places on the Blood of Christ

Once we are exposed to the Law of God, and grow in our knowledge of HIs Word, our awakened conscience may have become super sensitive, and this can constitute a real problem to us. The sense of sin and guilt can become so great, so terrible, as almost to cripple us by causing us to lose sight of the true effectiveness of the Blood. At times our sins are so real, and some particular sin may trouble us so many times, that we come to the point where to us our sins loom larger than the Blood of Christ. We try to feel forgiven! It does not work that way! We must accept God’s valuation of the blood by faith! You can’t feel forgiven, you can’t cry yourself forgiven.

We must see God’s valuation of the Blood

1.  Have Faith in God’s Word.

We have to believe that the Blood is precious to God because He says it is so! The Truth will set you free! Only as you learn to walk in the truth that the Blood means you are Righteous and Justified, will you be set free from the guilt of your sins!

2.  His Satisfaction with the Blood means the Just can be our Justifier

To God, the blood means we have been redeemed, our sins have been blotted out, and because there is no more need for His wrath. He can righteously declare that we too are righteous. The blood enables the just to be the justifier!

(knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (ESV)

Know that God is Satisfied for He alone is Just!  If God can accept the Blood as a payment for our sins and as the price of our redemption, then we can rest assured that the debt has been paid. If God is satisfied with the Blood, then the Blood must be acceptable. Only God has the right to say that the Blood is acceptable in His eyes and has fully satisfied Him.

The Blood And The Believer’s Access

The Blood has satisfied God; it must satisfy us also.

A. The Blood is Man-ward in the cleansing of our conscience.

1.  The Blood is the Foundation of our New Covenant

1 Corinthians 11:25 (ESV) In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Ephesians 1:7 (ESV) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Ephesians 2:13 (ESV) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Colossians 1:20 (ESV) and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

As Justified, we are “born again”, and God himself lives in us. We are “new creations” not merely improved versions.  The Blood is the “sign” of our new relationship.

Exodus 12:13 (ESV) The blood shall be a sign (mark, as when Cain received a mark upon his forehead, also a beacon, standard) for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

We are Redeemed from sin, We are forgiven for our sins, We are brought near to God, We are reconciled to God-all because of the Blood of Jesus Christ.

None of this would be possible if the Blood did not satisfy God’s Righteousness.

B.  The Blood is the Means of our Access to God.

We know that the Blood is the means of our forgiveness, but if we do not really see the value of the Blood, we will have difficulty approaching God. The reason is our ongoing sinfulness. God has a means of dealing with our sin nature as we will learn, but until that is done, our conscience will continue to accuse us and keep us from the sweet Joy of realizing how near we are to God’s presence. In fact, if we don’t understand the true power of Christ’s blood, we will live out our Christian lives as cold-hearted, fleshly-living, back-slidden children of God.

1.  The Blood is Sufficient to Cleanse our Conscience.

The blood of Christ is better than any drug that people take to “cope” with their failures! We are to have “hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” (Hebrews 10:22).

Hebrews 9:11-14 (ESV) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Hebrews 10:19-23 (ESV) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

2.  Our sins cloud our Conscience and soul so that we believe there is a barrier between us and God.

3. The Barrier has been removed by the intervention of the Blood of Christ.

4.  Something new has been effected before God which has removed that barrier

5.  God has made that fact known to me in His Word.

6.  When that has been believed in and accepted, my conscience is at once cleared and my sense of guilt removed, and I have no more an evil conscience toward God.

Faith and a clear conscience are interdependent. Your sins will cloud your faith, your ability to see God. As soon as we find our conscience is uneasy our faith leaks away and immediately we find we cannot face God. In order therefore to keep going on with God we must know the value of the Blood. God keeps short accounts, and we are made nigh by the Blood every day, every hour and every minute. It never loses its efficacy as our ground of access if we will but lay hold upon it. When we enter the most Holy Place, on what ground dare we enter but by the Blood?

C.   Our Mistaken Approach to God

1.  The Wrong Basis for Approaching God

We Think it is up to us. ‘Today I have been a little more careful; today I have been doing a little better; this morning I have been reading the Word of God in a richer way, so today I can pray better!’ ‘Today I have had a little difficulty with the family; I began the day feeling very gloomy and moody; I am not feeling too good right now; it seems that there must be something wrong; therefore I cannot approach God.’

What is your basis of approach to God? Your Feelings or your Accomplishments? (which are up and down). The fact of the Blood of Jesus Christ, which alone satisfies God? (Which will never change). The Blood has never changed and never will.

2.  Your approach to God is always in boldness.

  • Ephesians 3:12 (ESV) in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
  • Hebrews 10:19 (ESV) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,

Boldness is yours through the Blood and never through your personal attainment. Whatever be your measure of attainment today or yesterday or the day before, as soon as you make a conscious move into the Most Holy Place, immediately you have to take your stand upon the safe and only ground of the shed Blood. Whether you have had a good day or a bad day, whether you have  consciously sinned or not, your basis of approach is always the same—the Blood of Christ. That is the ground upon which you may enter, and there is no other.

3.  Our Access to God has two phases, an initial and a progressive one.

Our standing with God was secured by the Blood, for we are “made nigh in the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). Our ground of continual access is still by the Blood, for the apostle exhorts us: “Having therefore… boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus… let us draw near” (Heb. 10:19,22). To begin with I was made nigh by the Blood, and to continue in that new relationship I come through the Blood every time.

We Must Be Satisfied with the Blood! It is there and that it is enough. We may be weak, but looking at our weakness will never make us strong. Trying to feel bad and doing penance will not help us to be even a little holier. There is nothing else that will clear our conscience and give us boldness before God. “Lord, I do not know fully what the value of the Blood is, but I know that the Blood has satisfied You; so the Blood is enough for me, and it is my only plea. I see now that whether I have really progressed, whether I have really attained to something or not, is not the point. Whenever I come before You, it is always on the ground of the precious Blood of Christ.”

D.   No conscience can ever be clear apart from the Blood.

“No more conscience of sins”: these are tremendous words of Hebrews 10:2. We are cleansed from every sin; and we may truly echo the words of Paul:“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not reckon sin” (Romans 4:8).

The Blood and Satan

A.  Satan is the accuser of the brethren

Revelation 12:10 (ESV) And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

B.  Jesus Christ Confronts Satan “through his own blood” (Hebrews 9:12).

Hebrews 9:12 (ESV) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Jesus Intercedes for us: Romans 8:34 (ESV) Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Jesus is on Our Side!: Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

C.   The Blood Puts God on the Side of Man against Satan.

The Fall brought something into man which gave Satan a footing within him, with the result that God was compelled to withdraw Himself. Man is now outside the garden—beyond reach of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)—because he is inwardly estranged from God. Because of what man has done, there is something in him which, until it is removed, renders God morally unable to defend him. But the Blood removes that barrier and restores man to God and God to man. Man is in favor now, and because God is on his side he can face Satan without fear.

D.  The Blood Cleanses from Every Sin

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (the blood of Jesus His Son keeps continually cleansing us from every sin.  1 John 1:7 (Wuest)

God is the light, and as we walk in the light with Him everything is exposed and open to that light, so that God can see it all—and yet the Blood is able to cleanse from every sin. What a cleansing! It is not that I have not a profound knowledge of myself, nor that God has not a perfect knowledge of me. It is not that I try to hide something nor that God tries to overlook something.  No, it is that He is in the light and I too am in the light, and that there the precious Blood cleanses me from every sin. The Blood is enough for that!

E.   There is No Sin that is Unforgivable

In our human weakness, we think some sins are so great as to be unforgivable. Our conscience, even Satan continues to accuse us.  God says every sin, big, little, becasue the Blood satisfies Him. Even though He sees them in His perfect light, He can forgive!

F.   What Ground of Accusation Does Satan Have?

Satan may accuse us before Him, but, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31). God points him to the Blood of His dear Son. It is the answer against which Satan has no appeal. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that shall condemn? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:33,34).

G.  We Give Satan Ground When We don’t Realize the Absolute Sufficiency of the Blood

“Christ having come a high priest… through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11,12).

He was Redeemer once. He has been High Priest and Advocate for nearly two thousand years. He stands there in the presence of God, and “he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1,2). Hebrews 9:14: “How much more shall the blood of Christ…” They underline the sufficiency of His ministry. It is enough for God.

What then of our attitude to Satan? This is important, for he accuses us not only before God but in our own conscience also. ‘You have sinned, and you keep on sinning. You are weak, and God can have nothing more to do with you.’ This is his argument. And our temptation is to look within and in self-defense to try to find in ourselves, in our feelings or our behavior, some ground for believing that Satan is wrong.

Alternatively we are tempted to admit our helplessness and, going to the other extreme, to yield to depression and despair. Thus accusation becomes one of the greatest and most effective of Satan’s weapons. He points to our sins and seeks to charge us with them before God, and if we accept his accusations we go down immediately.

Now the reason why we so readily accept his accusations is that we are still hoping to have some righteousness of our own. The ground of our expectation is wrong. Satan has succeeded in making us look in the wrong direction. Look to the BLOOD!

Thereby he wins his point, rendering us ineffective. But if we have learned to put no confidence in the flesh, we shall not wonder if we sin, for the very nature of the flesh is to sin.

H.   God is well able to deal with our sins

God cannot deal with a man under accusation, because such a man is not trusting in the Blood. The Blood speaks in his favor, but he is listening instead to Satan. Christ is our Advocate but we, the accused, side with the accuser. We have not recognized that it is God alone that can answer the accuser, and that in the precious Blood He has already done so. Our salvation lies in looking away to the Lord Jesus and in seeing that the Blood of the Lamb has met the whole situation created by our sins and has answered it. That is the sure foundation on which we stand. Never should we try to answer Satan with our good conduct but always with the Blood. Oh, what an emancipation it would be if we saw more of the value of God’s eyes of the precious Blood of His dear Son!

Do You See the Value of the Blood this Morning? If you do, it will affect the way you think, the way you pray, the way you serve.

I once talked to a teenage girl who dad had an unusual way of disciplining her. She said he kept a stick handy. When she misbehaved to the point of needing discipline, he would get the stick. Her dad would tell her how much it hurt him for her to do wrong. He would then tell her that what she had done deserved to be punished. But he told her he couldn’t stand to punish her, so she would have to give him her punishment.

So he gave the stick to her and then tell her how many times she was to strike him.

I was concerned that that had left psychological scars on the little girl.

Knowing what I was thinking, she smiled, and with a quiver in her voice told me: “I couldn’t stand it when Daddy would make me hit him with the stick.”

He would turn to me with tears in his eyes and reach out his arms to hug me and let me know I was forgiven. I know he loves me. And I’ll never do anything to hurt him if I can help it.”


We celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ each Easter. It certainly is a moving story of the sinless Son of God who is brutally beaten and then murdered by nailing him to a cross and then allowing him to slowly suffocate as he struggles to breath, all the time feeling the pain of those iron spikes, all that is holding his body up.

We know the story of Peter denying that he even knew Jesus, of the diciples running away, of the ladies going early Sunday morning to anoint the body of Jesus, only to find the great stone rolled away and the body missing. We know that the angels said to the women “why do you look for the living among the dead?”, and then how Jesus appears to Mary and then the disciples. We know the story of doubting Thomas and how when Jesus said “Put your finger here and see my hands, and Thomas said “My Lord and My God!

We know the story of the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus, and how they did not recognize the stranger who joined them. When they stopped to eat, and the stranger broke bread, they knew He was Jesus. We also know that after 40 days Jesus was with his disciples one last time. The last thing the disciples said to Jesus was: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:6-11 (ESV)

That is the Power Point Version of the story of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

I don’t want to focus on the story of Easter. You have heard that story many times before. I want to focus on the Revelation of Easter – specifically, what did the Resurrection Reveal?

We have been looking at Romans, with the intent of taking a Journey through the cross. In our Journey so far we have seen that the Power of God is this Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This Gospel Alone is the Power of God unto salvation.

The reason that the Gospel is needed is that man has done three things:

  1. refused to honor God as His God,
  2. refused to allow God into his life by giving Him thanks,
  3. man has become vain or self-centered in his thinking.

As a result, man has been given over to the lusts that lurk in his naturally wicked heart, he has become corrupt in his emotions and behavior, and he has become upside down in his thinking. Bottom line, man is a messed up sinner.

Furthermore, we see from chapter two, that no matter how good man thinks he is, it is not good enough for God. God has declared that we are unrighteous. We are not “right”. Even the Jews, who are blessed by God, Paul writes:

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:9-12 (ESV)

The problem with God’s creation, with man, is that the one thing God made in His own image, you and me, mankind, has become worthless because of sin, because of our disobedience. You may sit there thinking, “I’ve never been one of those ‘corrupt’ sinners. Please realize as Charles Hodge wrote:

“If we have never loved Him supremely, if we have never made it our purpose to do His will, if we have never made His glory the end of our actions, then our lives have been an unbroken series of transgressions. Our sins are not to be numbered by the conscious violations of duty; they are as numerous as the moments of our existence.” Hodge

The Truth is, that ever since Adam and Eve, this world has not been RIGHT! God’s Righteous Creation was corrupted by three things:

  • SATAN
  • SIN
  • DEATH

If God is to set this world RIGHT, Someone must deal with these three corruptors!

The Revelation of Easter

Easter is more than a story, it is The Revealing of the Righteousness of God!

As we will read in a moment, when Jesus stepped through that doorway of his tomb, when he looked up and saw the the sunlight breaking over the horizon, it was more than a miracle, it was more than a triumphal moment for the Son of God. In that moment God revealed something to all of mankind for all of eternity. God revealed His righteousness!

You may say that that is no big deal. If I were to ask each of you, you would tell me you believe in the Righteousness of God. Yet, many of you really have doubts.

We equate righteousness with being right, and many times in our lives we have experienced things or seen things that we feel in our heart are not right, not just, or just not fair. And that  causes us to question this God who is supposed to be righteous, supposed to be loving

When you experience the death of an infant or a child, when you are in a horrible auto accident, or perhaps another kind of accident; when we hear of the tragedies other Christians are experiencing such as torture, rape, and even death, we think “why God”? Is that how you show your righteousness?

When greed is allowed to multiply, when corruption grows, when terrorists do what terrorists do and seem to get away with it, we wonder about the righteousness of God. We even wonder about His power in this world.

Sure, we have heard about His mighty miracles in the past, but why isn’t He doing this in my life? Why is He allowing this torment in my life? Why won’t He set this situation right? After all, you’ve been good, you say your prayers, even read your Bible.

Job

Once there was a man who experienced all sort of tragedies, the death of his children, the theft of everything he owned, the loss of his health. Even his friends turned on him. He questioned the righteousness of God in a huge way. He even pleaded with God for a chance to confront Him, and plead his case that God was wrong. Finally, God appears

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 (ESV)

Instead of pleading and questioning, he repented, he was silent, he was in awe!

We can question God all we want. We can ignore God all we want. But the truth is that God is Righteous, and today we celebrate how He revealed His righteousness – in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

David

David, who was on the run from King Saul for over 10 years, even though he had done nothing wrong, could write:

Ps 71:15: “My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.”

Whatever your questions and doubts about God and what He has done inyour life, one day you will know that He is and has always dealt with you in His righteousness:

Rev 15:4: “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Have You Experienced the Righteousness of God?

We must embrace the truth that God is righteous and His righteousness has been revealed and in fact been made available to us through the resurrection of His Son.

The question I want each of us to answer is this: Have you experienced the Righteousness of God?

In Job 9:2, Job asked: “How should a man be right before God?”

His answer concluded that because God is the kind of God He is, there was no way he could ever approach Him? How can I ever be right with Him? How can I ever get an audience with Him? How can I ever have a relationship with such a God… so mighty, so holy, so powerful? That’s the question. Can a man be right with a God like that? Can a man have a right relationship with that holy, infinite, mighty God? And that is the question answered by our text and the answer is – yes, yes, yes!

Paul makes plain the Revelation of the Resurrection in Romans 3:21-26

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26 (ESV)

What does the Righteousness of God Mean?

Dikaiosúnē, righteousness, meanss conformity to the claims of a higher authority and stands in opposition to anomía, lawlessness. Righteousness describes the character and the quality of God Himself. His character, his conduct, his actions his word, everything that God does, thinks, allows is according to who He is-righteous. His creation, his design,is all consistent with who He is-righteous.

Righteous is a state of being that cannot do wrong, cannot do that which is not righteous.

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5).

Righteousness is God. God is the Definition of Righteousness

But what makes the Resurrection so Powerful, is that while it Revealed to us the Righteousness of God, that revelation was not just for show, it was to reveal something even more awesome than coming back from the dead, it revealed that the Righteousness of God can be ours! We can be Righteous!!!!

When Job asked “How can any man be righteous before God? God answers back – behold the Resurrection!

If you desire, as Job did, an audience with God, if you desire to spend your eternity with God, then you must be as Righteous as God is, otherwise He considers you to be “NOT RIGHT” and lawless!

So the question is not whether you have experienced the Righteousness of God, but is actually Are You as Righteous as God?

If not, then you will not spend eternity with Him. You will continue to be corrupted by Death and Satan for all eternity!

God demands our righteousness if we are to have a relationship of “worth” with Him. God himself is our standard of righteousness, so if we are to be righteous, we must share the very righteousness that belongs to God!

You ask,  Can I Really be Righteous? Ephesians declares that we are to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”.   Ephesians 4:24 (ESV) God says that it is indeed possible to experience His righteousness. Indeed, we can even “put on” a new self, created in true righteousness and holiness based upon God Himself!

So when Jesus tells us in John 6:33 to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” he is telling us that we can indeed experience the righteousness of God!

There are Four Truth’s about becoming Righteous:

1.  It Does Not Come by Legalism

verse 21 says, it’s apart from the law. And here Paul uses the word “law” to refer to legalism, legal effort, law keeping on a human level. It is a part from any works of man. It is apart from any goodness of man, any religiosity, any spiritual ritual, any innate quality of man. It’s apart from any legalism in the sense that you on your own can live up to the law of God and satisfy God.

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. Galatians 3:21 (ESV)

2.  It Comes By Revelation

God reveals it to you. It is witnessed by the Old Testament. The whole Old Testament was to show men that they couldn’t be righteous on their own. Even Jesus when he preached reaffirmed that God’s Standard is righteousness. He even made it harder showing that lust, lieing, stealin is not just an outward act, but it is an inward thing to. Even Jesus wanted His disciples to know that in themselves they could not be righteous.

Jesus wanted them to see that God would bring His righteousness to them. So the way to respond to the Sermon on the Mount is to cry out, I’m unclean, I can’t keep those commands, I need you, I need the power of Your Resurrection in my life.

3.  It Comes By Faith

Verse 22: “This righteousness of God is by faith.” In other words, it doesn’t come by works, it comes by faith. And those two are distinct. Works is something you do, it is an effort that you do embark on. Faith is something God does and you believe it, you accept it, you trust in it. It is done by Him and you accept that He did it and you don’t have to add anything to it.

On the cross Jesus said it is finished. He had accomplished the work of salvation, it was done. And the Bible simply says if you believe, you’re redeemed…. if you believe that He finished the work, if you believe in the significance of what He did, who He was and dying on the cross and rising from the dead, that’s all that’s necessary. He did it all, you need only believe it. It is acquired by faith. “If thou shalt confess Jesus as Lord and believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead,” Romans 10:9 and10, “thou shalt be saved, for with the heart man believeth unto salvation.”

Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord and my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He hath clothedme with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

God makes us Righteous, ONLY GOD!

The Righteousness of God was revealed to us in the Resurrection, it is totally apart from our works, it is built upon revelation, it is acquired by simple faith. The final amazing thing is:

4.  It is a Gift Available to All

Verse 22 says: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ, unto all them, who are believing.” The provision is made for anyone who believes.

DO I REALLY NEED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD? Is it important that we are made righteous like God? It is eternally important:

because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:31 (ESV)

The Resurrection is the Revelation that We can be Righteous!

By raising Christ from the dead, God not only revealed His righteousness to you and me, but He also assured us that we will one day be judged as to whether we were righteous or not! The Resurrection demonstrated to the world that the ONLY righteousness that God will accept is His righteousnesss. And He manifested that Righteousness in the Resurrection of His Son.

How Does the Resurrection Reveal God’s Righteousness to ME?

Paul in just a few short verses uses three distinct pictures to reveal exactly what the Resurrection means to you and me. There are three words that picture what the Resurrection represents to you and me.

The words are Justified or Justification, Redemption and Propitiation. Volumes have been written to define these words, but simply put they picture three things. These three pictures explain how the Righteousness of God can be revealed to your life.

A Courtroom

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:23-24 (ESV)

Picture a courtroom where a man who has committed a heinous crime is about to have his verdict read. The gallery is thinking this is a slam dunk. The devil was the Prosecuting Attorney. He is the one bringing the charges. He believes he has a claim on this man’s soul! The verdict seems simple.There was no evidence offered in his defense. Even his own widowed mother testified that he was a horrible person. The devil had witness after witness that testified to his horrible crimes. The devil is laughing with delight, for he believes another soul is in his grasp!

The judge, even after hearing all the horrible testimonies, announced to the courtroom: NOT GUILTY! You are free to go!

But the judge goes beyond the simple Not Guilty. The Judge declares him to be righteous. He doesn’t simply ignore the evidence, he erases it.

When God justifies us, he doesn’t close His eyes and pretend we are righteous. He makes us righteous. It is a transformation.

The devil immediately stands up and cries “This is a travesty.  He has killed, he has stolen, he has lied” How can you say you are righteous and  declare that this lowlife is righteous like you?

At that point, the courtroom shakes, a huge stone is rolled away, and out steps the Resurrected Jesus Christ!

He walks up to the man, embraces him, and says, “He has my righteousness! He is my brother, he simply put his life in my hands”

The devil shuts up, he has no other accusations. The man walks out, in the arms of His Savior!

The Resurrection brings God’s Righteousness to our hearts simply by our faith in the truth of Jesus Christ. By faith, God makes us righteous. We are no longer condemned men and women. We are actually made righteous. We are transformed into new creations.

If we believe that God is just saying we are righteous when we’re not, then conversion isn’t a transformation it’s just God sort of fooling Himself. But being born again is a true “making righteous”. We are made right with God… an actual acquittal, an actual imputation of righteous nature granted to us. And it is all a gift freely given.

For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (ASV)

JUSTIFY MEANS TO PRONOUNCE AND TREAT AS RIGHTEOUS. It is vastly more than being pardoned; it is a thousand times more than forgiveness. You may wrong me and then come to me; and I may say, “I forgive you.” But I have not justified you. I cannot justify you. But when God justifies a man, He says, “I pronounce you a righteous man. Henceforth I am going to treat you as if you have never committed any sin.” Justification means sin is all past and gone — wiped out — not merely forgiven, not merely pardoned; it means clearing the slate and setting the sinner before God as a righteous man, as if he had never sinned, as if he were as righteous as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Dr. Alva McClain in “Romans, the Gospel of God’s Grace, p. 107

The Resurrection reveals that our Justification and our Rightousness must be totally by Jesus Christ. We cannot stand on anything that we have done, for it is all sin, it is all as filthy rags. We are made righteous only when we place our faith and trust in the Righteous One-Jesus Christ. We are clothed in His righteousness.

The Resurrected Christ has made us Right by transforming us into His Righteousness and freeing us from the claims of Satan

A SLAVE MARKET

and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:24 (ESV)

The only way we can become Righteous as God is through the gift of Redemption by Jesus Christ.

Imagine you had been kidnapped, held in a dungeon. You are being held by none other than Satan himself. He sends for you and declares you to be his slave, on the basis of God’s Word!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (Jn 8:34)

You are a sinner, and because you are a sinner, the wages of your sin are death by becoming his slave for all eternity. As you stand there, bound in the chains of your sins, suddenly the gates of hell are shaken, a huge stone is rolled away, and out steps the Resurrected Jesus Christ.

He points his finger at that old Devil and says Stop! He must go free! Immediately the chains fall off and evaporate into thin air.

The Old Devil Reaches out to Grab you, but Jesus says STOP!

I have paid the price for his sins! Here look at my hands, look at my feet! I have taken his place on the Cruel Cross and I have paid the price of his sins with my own Blood. He has trusted in me with his heart and soul, and he has been redeemed!

That old devil throws a fit, but Jesus takes your hand and together you rise to heaven!

  • Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— Galatians 3:13 (ESV)
  • You were bought with a Price! (I Cor 6:20)
  • who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:14 (NIV)
  • “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:5).
  • “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
  • “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:5-6).

A dignified looking lady once approached the great preacher Dr. G. Campbell Morgan and said,
“Dr. Morgan, I don’t like to hear about the blood. It is repulsive to me and offends my esthetic nature.”
Dr. Morgan replied, “I agree with you that it is repulsive, but the only thing repulsive about it is your sin and mine.”

It is repulsive to man, but it is through His blood that we have redemption. The Resurrected Christ has made us right by freeing us from the chains of sin.

A SACRIFICE

Verse 25 & 26: God has appointed him as the means of propitiation, a propitiation accomplished by the shedding of his blood, to be received and made effective in ourselves by faith. God has done this to demonstrate his righteousness both by the wiping out of the sins of the past (the time when he withheld his hand), and by showing in the present time that he is a just God and that he justifies every man who has faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 3:25-26 (Phillips NT)

The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)

Most of us have seen a movie with the natives believing some god is angry with them. They believe the only way to appease their god is to offer a human sacrifice.

God hates sin. It is not right. It is not righteous. God cannot tolerate anyone who has even one sin. He requires death, he requires a sacrifice. God loves us, but His righteousness means he cannot tolerate sin, in fact, he must prosecute sinners, he must judge them.

That is why he set out a system of sacrifices for the Jewish people. His righteousness demanded a covering of their sin. The Law spelled out in great detail the method of atoning for the sins of Israel. Atoning is a word similar to propitiation.

Jesus became our sacrifice, our propitiation.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John 2:2

Jesus himself become the satisfaction, that’s the word hilasterion, the propitiation. It means “a place where sins are blotted out.” It means that God’s righteous requirements are satisfied because your sins are blotted out.

It was used to refer to the Mercy Seat, when the priest went in the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, and sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat, that was the place where sins were blotted out … and Christ became the place where sins are blotted out. He became the kapporeth, the Mercy Seat. He, by His blood, provided satisfaction. And so we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, a lamb without spot and without blemish.

So picture yourself before God Almighty. You sins have made you wretched before him and His righteousness demands your death. A death that will last for all eternity in Hell. But just before you are to be carried away into eternal torment, an earthquake is felt, the huge stone is rolled away and Jesus Christ appears. He instantly goes to you and takes you in his arms and looks back at God and says, He is mine, his sins are blotted out. God immediately smiles. Instead of the stench of your sins filling his nostrils, there is the aroma of His Son. Where there was rotting sin, there is cleanness, righteousness. He is pleased He can be loving, He can take you to heaven. His righteous demands have been satisfied, because the Blood of Jesus has satisfied the righteous demands of God upon your life.

  • The Resurrected Christ has made us right by freeing us from the wrath of God that demanded our death
  • The Righteousness of God becomes our righteousness because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection is the Proof that Jesus Finished the Job. It is Finished because I have Conquered!

Jesus Christ set everything RIGHT! He satisfied the Righteous Demands of Holy God. He empowered all those who believe to possess the righteousness of God. He covered our sins, satisfying God’s demands, He purchased us from the devil, from death and from sin by His Blood, and He became our righteousness, enabling us to partake of the righteousness of God!

Jesus Made Everything Right so He Could Reveal the Righteousness of God

When Jesus stepped forth from that Tomb, He declared to God and the world that He had set things right again.

  • He is our Propitiation and through His sacrifice made us right with Death.
  • He is our Redeemer and through His blood made us right with Sin
  • He is our Justifier and by His Righteousness becoming ours, he has made us right with Satan.
  • His resurrection revealed the Righteousness of the Father, and freed us from sin, from death and from Satan!

HAVE YOU BEEN MADE RIGHT WITH GOD BY FAITH?

  • In verse 22 we see a little word mentioned: This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, Romans 3:22 (NIV)
  • In verse 25 we see that same little word: whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.
  • In verse 26 we see that little word again: “It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

The Reason the Resurrection can transform you from a sinner bound for Hell into a Righteous Saint bound for heaven is by faith in what Jesus Christ did for you on the Cross. When Jesus said “It is finished” by faith you say “AMEN”

Faith is rest, not toil. It Is Not Your Faith That Saves You. It means you turn away from all you think you need to do to gain God and simply rest in what Jesus did for you.

  • He freed you from the devil’s condemnation in the court room,
  • He freed you from slavery to sin,
  • He freed you from the wrath of death in hell.

There is nothing more you can do to be righteous before God.

Faith is total dependence upon Jesus Christ. Faith enables you to see and lay hold of Him who is invisible!

An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.

Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.

Many voices are calling for our attention. Among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and devotion. -D. C. Egner  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

What do you think of the Resurrection? Is it just a story?

Are you ready to place your life in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ?


The movie “Up in the Air” was about the character played by George Clooney whose job it was to fly around to all these companies that were downsizing, and then personally lay-off all these people. The reactions of the people is sad, sometimes funny, but always filled with emotion. Along comes a whipper-snapper out of college and convinces the President of George Clooney’s company that they can save a lot of money by laying off these people via a computer video-conference.

In one of the trials to see how it would work, the young person tells a 30 year employee that he is laid-off.  The guy goes ballistic, starts yelling, where are you, and starts looking behind the computer monitor and eventually throws it down and storms out of the room. The problem with their plan was that taking someone’s livelihood is a very personal thing. It was better to do it “face-to-face.”

In this digital world, you can talk to your friends instantly via email, Facebook, Twitter, and certainly you can find comfort and strength through digital contact. Churches are even sprouting up that don’t have a building, the Pastor preaches and teaches from his home or an office, people can talk to each other online, they can give donations online. The whole service is online. This world may get more and more impersonal, but there will always be a need for that face to face contact. When you are in a real crisis, or you have an emotional need, you need someone looking at you, being with you, touching you, offering you strength and encouragement.

God wants us to know that He wants to be our “face-to-face” God. He is not some impersonal, unfeeling, lightning bolt tossing God. He has shown His love for us in the face of His Son Jesus Christ.

Face to Face With The Son of God

We must realize our need to see the face of Jesus because we are dealing with the most personal subject of all in Romans 2, our sins. The Psalmist wrote in Ps 27:8 “You have said, “Seek my face.” And he responded, “My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

In Romans 2, God is talking forcefully about something very personal-our sins. You can only have one of two reactions as a result of looking at our verses this morning, you will either turn away from the face of Jesus Christ, or your will humbly turn to His face.

The truth is that we will all have an exit interview when we depart this life. The one conducting that interview will be the one whom this week almost 2000 years ago, was beaten, scourged, and crucified until His face was no longer recognizable. But when you have your exit interview, you will know who He is!

The question before us as we consider the Passion week of Jesus Christ: Are you ready to for your Face to Face Meeting With the Son of God?

Verse 1: Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

1.  We Must Guard Against a Condemning Heart

The world is depraved in practice and debased in their thinking, yet we have no excuse to judge them. Paul uses “krino” – To judge, to form and express a judgment or opinion as to any person or thing, more commonly unfavorable. By implication to condemn. CWSD. Paul is saying to watch our condemning heart. For when our heart condemns others, we reveal that we are guilty as well.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:1-3 (ESV)

When we condemn others we reveal by our heart attitude that we may be guilty of the same sin which led to the behavior we are condemning. Judging hearts reveal that we are guilty of practicing the same thing

Here is how a condemning heart can infect us and make us guilty of the same sin.

“I’ll never be like my father!”

A young man grew up with a scoundrel for a father. He was a drunkard, he cheated on his wife, and he neglected the children. When this young man was thinking about marriage, he said in his heart “I’ll NEVER be like my father!” He certainly wasn’t “like” his father as far as outward actions were concerned. He didn’t drink, he was faithful to his wife, and he was an excellent father to his children. However, his wife started becoming distant. There was obvious trouble in their marriage. One day the wife let lose “You are just like your father!” He was heartbroken. How could that be he asked?

The problem in his life was that when he made his father the “standard of comparison” for his life, and condemned him in his heart, he set up an emotional focus that tainted his heart. Sure, he refused to do the outward things that his father did, but inwardly, his was just like his father! His wife was focusing on his ATTITUDES when she said he was just like his father. She told him you are bitter, proud, selfish and unloving. Only when he confessed his sin, forgave and thanked God for his father was he able to see that destructive emotional focus changed. He began to focus on Jesus Christ! Only by giving his heart to Jesus was a change effected.


Verse 2, 3 & 4: We know that the judgment(decision) of God rightly falls (IS ACCORDING TO Christ’s TRUTH Standard) on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge (condemn) those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment (decision) of God? Or do you presume (look down your nose)on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

2.  We Must Guard Against a Proud Heart

In these verses Paul is addressing the Jew who believes himself to be “Morally Upright”, the gentile who believes he practices the correct “religion”. God says to “Check your heart” – blessings do not guarantee your status with Him. No one will escape the judgment (krimo-meaning decision) of  God. God will examine our hearts and will make a decision (judgment) regarding our eternity, and it is based on The Standard, the Truth that Jesus Christ came to reveal.

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” John 18:37 (ESV)

The Judgment here is (krima),  a decision rendered whether good or bad. (Wuest). Presume (despise in KJV) means to look down one’s nose.  It amounts to contempt of God’s goodness if a man does not know (or ignores) that His goodness does not mean the approval of his sins, but to lead him to repentance. This very ignorance is contempt for God.


Verse 5: But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

3.  Your Heart Determines the Face you Will See

Sin reveals the nature of your heart:

  • Judging others
  • Expecting special treatment
  • Thinking you are better because you are blessed
  • Being Confident in your “stuff”

God says you must Believe in Your Heart

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); Romans 10:8 (ESV)

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)

Faith comes from your heart

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Mark 11:22-23 (ESV)

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (ESV)

The condition of your heart will be the focus of God’s decision about your eternity. The only way your heart can pass the “exit interview” is if it has become NEW. You must be “born again”! If you refuse to honor God, your heart will become hard and unrepentant. Such a hard heart is storing up wrath for the day of judgment, when you see God face to face!

God’s Righteous Judgment Will be Revealed

  • The Day of God’s Wrath is Coming

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:15-17 (ESV)


Verse 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10: He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

4.  Your Works Reveal Your Heart and Determine Your Rewards

This is not a contradiction from being saved by grace. This is a reinforcement of James, as well as a condemnation of those who believe they will be saved by their works. This will be made more apparent as we work through Romans 3.

Our works must proceed from a heart that has been made righteous. Our “well-doing”  is motivated by honor, glory and immortality. Our heart is uncorrupted.

  • Results in eternal life
  • glory, honor and peace
  • Simply having knowledge or feelings but no works is not enough.

If we remain as we normally are, we will be self-seeking, motivated by disobedience of the truth and unrighteousness. We will experience God’s:

  • Wrath and fury
  • tribulation and distress

Paul is simply building his case that we ALL need a Savior. There is none righteous, no not one!


Verse 11 & 12: For God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

5.  God Never Makes Exceptions

God judges each one by the same standards. How often do we hear at funerals: “If anyone is good enough for heaven, it’ll be Uncle Harry.” The truth is that NO ONE is good enough for heaven. There are no exception clauses, no special provisions. God judges each of us the same. There will be no exceptions, no “special cases”!

  • If you are ignorant of God’s Law, God will judge you by your own law
  • If you have God’s Law, God will judge you by that Law

You may think you are the exception, that your righteousness is enough. You will wake up in hell holding your church membership.
You will wake up in hell holding your baptism certificate. You will wake up in hell holding your giving receipt. God is no one to trifle with or ignore. God looks at your heart! God KNOWS your heart!

  • Not how many verses you have memorized
  • He knows the obedience of your heart.
  • He knows the pride of your heart.

Verse 13: For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

6.  Righteousness and Works are Inseparable

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law for all those who accept Him as their RIGHTEOUSNESS!

  • Do you walk the talk
  • Do you Live the Word
  • There is no division of heart and works
  • The justified heart is revealed in righteous works
  • Faith that Works is a real faith
  • Paul is building a case here, which will lead to Jesus Christ in US as the fulfiulment of the Law!

God will declare us righteous or justified on the basis of our heart works. In the case of dikaióō, it means to bring out the fact that a person is righteous. CWSD

Do You Have Both of Your Oars?

1,975 years ago Jesus Christ invited us to “Walk with me. Teach with me. Feed others with me. Wash feet with me. Also feed me. Give me water. Clothe me. Visit me. Follow Me!” He commanded. He Wanted Acts of Faith! No thoughts of faith. No feelings of faith. No commands to intense sincerity or intense convictions of faith (apart from works by themselves.)

It appears that God is not “into” a faith that sits in a pew. He is “into” a faith that acts, a faith that works, not a “faith” that just thinks or feels, no matter how strongly or sincerely.

  • Works will never transport anyone into the Kingdom of God. (Pharisees?)
  • Simply adding works to an existing “faith” (trying to “beef up” or somehow enhance our belief/so-called “faith”) will not please God. (Legalism)
  • The only thing that will please God … righteousness by faith. What kind of righteousness?The kind that doesn’t sit in the pew thinking “how holy I am”, but a righteousness that is evident by the works that it produces.

If you or I are not seeing in our lives the proof of a faith that is alive — the proof being works of faith — the solution is NOT to run around trying to score points with Him by working and serving. That would be the fruitless concentrating on the result:  (like stapling apples to a tree in order to make it an apple tree.) The solution is to drop to our knees and allow our hearts to marinate in His presence daily (the Word, prayer, fellowship, teaching, …) in such a way that we begin to take on His heart … (fertilizing the tree such that it bears fruit) … our heart begins to look like His, to reflect His. THEN, once we begin to share His love of serving, we can be confident that the Holy Spirit is transforming our heart. .


Verse 14 & 15: For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

7.  Face to Face with our Judge, We will have no Excuse

  • Even Ignorant Gentiles have a law written not on stones but on their heart
  • Their conscience bears witness
  • Conflicting thoughts accuse and excuse
  • Mental illness, guilt, depression are all signs of the violation of God’s moral law.

Verse 16: on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

8.  God Will Judge the Secrets of Our Heart by Jesus Christ

God will judge the world through Jesus Christ, as Jesus Himself declared: “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, John 5:22

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31 (ESV)

Paul in verses 17-29 proceeds to take apart any misconception that righteousness and the approval of God has anything  to do with what they are or what they do.

vs 23: They boast in the law but they break the law.

You boast in your belief in God’s Word but you break God’s Word. If you want to be upright before God, it must be because of a changed heart, by the Spirit, not by your effort.

For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. Romans 2:28-29 (ESV)

You are not a Christian because everyone looks at you and says, you are a Christian. You may be faithful, you may pray, you may tithe, you may be the most moral person in the world. But if you do not have a New Heart, If you have not been born again of God’s Holy Spirit, you are simply seeking the praise of man. You are doing instead of BEING!

  • Jesus Christ is our Judge.

Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5 (ESV)

  • Jesus Christ has set the Standard

Do you have the righteousness of Jesus? Can you say you have defeated Satan in every area of your life? Can you say you have never lied, stolen, lusted, coveted in your heart?

God will one day reveal the secrets of your heart.

What Secrets Are You Hiding?

Unless you have the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the wrath of God is upon you even now. You are but a breath away from experiencing the wrath of Almighty God! Pastor, that is cruel! How can you speak to me that way? Don’t you know I give a lot of money to God’s works? Don’t you know that I pray for this church? Don’t you know that I am a good person?

That may be, and we appreciate it, but my concern for each one in this church is that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, and that you realize it is not by any of your works that give you favor with God. It is only because of Jesus Christ that your sins have been forgiven, and you have been born again by your faith in Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to face Jesus Christ? Are you ready to look upon Him? Are you ready to place your fingers in his side, to feel the scars on His hands. Do you want to know what God thinks of your sin, even your self-righteous works?

Look at the face of the Crucified Christ.

  • I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:6-7 (ESV)
  • Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2 (ESV)
  • Just as there were many who were appalled at him– his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness– Isaiah 52:14 (NIV)
  • But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Psalms 22:6-8 (ESV)

You are Face to Face With the Wrath of God!

  • If you want to face the wrath of God, then turn away from Jesus. Turn away from the crucified one. Spit upon him, pull his beard, pound the crown of thorns on his head.
  • Here, take the cat of nine and peel the flesh from his back. Beat him until he is not recognizable.
  • Here, mock him, gamble for his robe. Treat him like the dog you think he is.
  • Perhaps you say I would never do that. I’m, too good.
  • Your good works are as filthy rags to God.
  • If you depend upon any of your efforts to get to heaven, you might as well start whipping Jesus, because you are saying that His crucifixion wasn’t good enough. You need to help Jesus out.

We all have a face to face with Jesus Christ. We will know what God thinks of our self-righteousness when we gaze upon the face of Jesus.

  • He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.   John 3:36 (KJV)
  • For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  Romans 1:18 (KJV)
  • But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.   Romans 2:5 (ESV)
  • For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,   1 Thessalonians 5:9 (ESV)

Are You Ready for Your FACE TO FACE WITH JESUS CHRIST?

Face to face with Christ my Savior,
Face to face, what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ, who died for me?

Chorus
Face to face shall I behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory
I shall see Him by and by!

Face to face! oh, blissful moment!
Face to face to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ, who loves me so.


Abram Had his doubtsAbram behaved as a True Elder Brother when he went after and rescued his nephew Lot. The Elder Brother is to be the responsible one, and protect the family. He spared no expense in rescuing his nephew. Yet after wards, he did a very ‘un-elderly brother’ thing when he refused the loot offered by the King of Sodom. This is what made Abram a Godly Elder Brother – his focus was on his relationship with the Father, not on “stuff”.

But he must have had his doubts. It is hard for Elder Brothers to not think ‘practically’. That is why God appeared to him in Genesis 15:1,

“Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

God never wastes words. He would not have told Abram not to fear if fear was not in his heart. Perhaps he was afraid his following this invisible Jehovah was a waste. After all, Jehovah had still not provided him with an heir. What kind of God is that? So he complained to Jehovah:

“O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.”

Abram the Elder Brother was responsible, obedient and childless. His labors would all be in vain if he had no heir. So fear was in his heart. Do I keep following Jehovah, or return to the gods of my forefathers? After all, Abram began life as an idolater in a foreign land.

milky-wayGod could see the fear and hesitation in his heart, just as He sees the fear and hesitation in every Elder Brothers heart. So Jehovah took Abram outside and showed him the Milky Way. “Your descendants will be as many as the stars!” In that moment, Abram believed Jehovah, and it was counted unto him as righteousness.

A simple display and Word from Jehovah was all it took to dispel the fear in Abrams heart. When fear gripped his heart and he started to lean on his own understanding, he looked to the stars and believed the Word of God!

Abram Believed God

Elder Brothers, if you have doubts and fears about your labors and what good they are, open the Word of God and look for His promises to you. Ask Him for a special Word that will dispel the fear from your heart. Elder Brothers mask their insecurities with hard work, tasks and accomplishments. Yet inwardly we are beset by fear and doubt. Is this all worth while? Will anyone appreciate what I have done when I am gone? Will my children realize all I have sacrificed for them?

Look to the heavens, and hear the Word of Jehovah! His love for you is overwhelming. He is building His Kingdom on the backs of His faithful and hardworking Elder Brothers. We are the ones who must rescue our captured kinsmen.

Father: Open my heart to hearing your assuring voice, open my eyes to see your wondrous power!