Summary: How can we know that ALL of our sin is paid for?
God’s Declaration of Righteousness
Purpose: To explain what justification means.
Aim: I want the listener to rejoice in God’s salvation and give continual thanks for it.
INTRODUCTION: A few weeks ago we celebrated America’s Declaration of Independence from King George III of England. Our founding fathers decided that they did not want to be subject to the whims of the king of England so they drew up a document and declared that they were free from his authority.
From that moment forward the 13 American colonies considered themselves completely separate from England, even though they had to fight a bloody war to prove it. This is a good illustration of what God’s forgiveness is like. When we place our faith in Christ, God views us as being completely separated from sin, but we will battle with sin the rest of our lives.
The Bible explains that God has issued a declaration of righteousness. He has declared that His followers are without sin. The Bible makes it clear that “God is a righteous judge” (Psalm 7:11 NAU) but there are two things that a good judge will never do. He will never declare a guilty criminal innocent and he will never condemn an innocent person. The Bible is clear that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NAU) so we don’t have to worry that God might condemn the innocent – there aren’t any!
Charles Spurgeon, a famous Baptist preacher in London during the late 1800’s said: “I know that it is to me even to this day the greatest wonder that I ever heard of, that God should ever justify me. I feel myself to be a lump of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin, apart from His almighty love.
“I, who am altogether undeserving, am treated as if I had been deserving. I am loved with as much love as if I had always been godly, whereas before I was ungodly. Who can help being astonished at this?” [All of grace: An earnest word with those who are seeking salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. Published in electronic form in 1996 by Christian Classics Foundation. Index created by Christian Classics Foundation. (electronic ed.) (0). Springdale PA: Whitaker House.]
So here is a mystery, how can a good God forgive guilty sinners like you and me and still be a righteous judge? Or, to put it another way, how can a pure and righteous God allow sinners into His eternal presence? “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?” (Job 8:3 NAU)
If God were to forgive our sin without punishing it, then He would no longer be righteous. Genesis 18:25 “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” (NAU). God cannot allow sin to go unpunished and still be a holy and righteous God. But, the Bible says that there is a way for this to happen: Romans 3:26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, ✔ so that [God] would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (NAU) Job cried out: ✔ Job 9:2 “how can a man be in the right before God?” (NAU)