Summary: The Good News of the Gospel tells us that we are justified by faith, crucified with Christ, and we can now live by faith.
GREAT GRACE & FREEDOM #5: CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST; LIVING BY FAITH
INTRO TO TOPIC: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE BY FAITH?
STORY #1: One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."
STORY #2: There is an old story of a father who took his young son out and stood him on the railing of the back porch. He then went down, stood on the lawn, and encouraged the little fellow to jump into his arms. "I'll catch you," the father said confidently. After a lot of coaxing, the little boy finally made the leap. When he did, the father stepped back and let the child fall to the ground. He then picked his son up, dusted him off, and dried his tears.
"Let that be a lesson," he said sternly. "Don't ever trust anyone."
• Depending on what kind of a father you had – or what kind of relationships – can affect your ability to trust others.
• My dad was an alcoholic promise breaker who abandoned our family. That caused me to have a hard time trusting people. Today we want to look at what it means to trust God.
THE BIG IDEA: The Good News of the Gospel tells us that we are justified by faith, crucified with Christ, and we can now live by faith.
1. WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH:
“15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” (Gal. 2:15-18, NKJV).
• Two main things Paul teaches us in this passage:
1. We are not justified by the works of the law.
2. We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ.
• “Justification by faith” was the battle cry of the Protestant Reformation.
• Job said, “But how can a man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2).
• Paul answered that question: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation… For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17).
• The Good News of Christianity tells us that we are justified by faith.
• But – what does it mean to be justified??
• Definition: “Justification is the act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous in Jesus Christ.” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Free).
o The Act: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
o Justification is an act, not process. It happens instantly!
o Someone described Justification like this: “Just as if I’d never sinned.”
o Of God: “It is God who justifies.” (Romans 8:33).
o Whereby He declares: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21).
o QUOTE: “In justification, God declares the believing sinner righteous. He does not make him righteous. (Of course, real justification leads to a changed life). Before the sinner trusts Christ, he stands guilty before God, but the moment he trusts Christ, he is declared not guilty.” (Warren Wiersbe).
o The Great Substitution: When Jesus died on the Cross, He took our sin on Him, and gave us His righteousness. He lived a perfect life, we never did!
o The believing sinner righteous: “Jesus said, “Healthy people don't need a doctor -- sick people do… For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.” (Matt. 9:12-13).
2. WE ARE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST:
“19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...” (Gal. 2:19-20a, NKJV).