Summary: What a wonderful passage it is that we find in the third chapter of Romans. Atonement, justification and by connection, salvation through the work of Jesus on the cross and by faith in Him. What an awesome truth.
Last week - we spoke about Atonement from the perspective of the Old Testament and the New Testament
This week we will take a look at Justification / Salvation from the very same Scripture
Atonement is the foundation for Justification / Salvation
Romans 3:21-26 (read from the Bible)
Francis Chan - two great lies
“You are a good person”
“Because God is a loving God He will not punish”
If these statements were true atonement / justification / salvation - unnecessary
We wouldn’t even have to give Jesus a sideways glance
Jesus would unnecessary
The cross would be unnecessary
Actually, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary would be a waste
Is the atonement / justification / salvation unnecessary because we are good people?
Is the atonement / justification / salvation unnecessary because God is a loving God and He will not punish?
Let’s look at the Bible!
God IS a loving God
Romans 5:6 NIV
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”
We were powerless to save ourselves. We were ungodly sinners. God is the God of Love demonstrated by His death IN OUR PLACE!
Romans 5:7-8 NIV
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Someone might die on the behalf of a righteous or a good person.
We were neither! We were unrighteous sinners!
Illustration - assassination attempt of President Reagan
I remember when the assassination attempt was made on President Reagan’s life. All of the Secret Service agents throwing themselves into the line of fire in order to protect the POTUS and that’s how it should be.
For a great man, for a great cause, noble individuals will lay down their life to preserve the great person or the great cause. Jesus turned all of that upside down!
We weren’t righteous, we weren’t good, we were sinners but here comes the sinless, perfect Son of God, the Creator of everything and He lays down His life for us! From the human level that’s just crazy.
God’s love for us is indeed on a level which we cannot comprehend!
Yet, at the same time God is just on a level which we cannot comprehend!
What does it mean that God is just? It means when someone sins there is a penalty for that sin and that penalty must be paid by someone.
If God just sat back and allowed sin to go unpunished He would, in essence, be a participant in that sin because He refused to hold the sinner responsible.
If your two year old child slaps you in anger and you do nothing about it you can be sure that they will do it again but with more force next time.
We can see God’s justice in judgment in extreme cases throughout the Bible.
Genesis 6:5 NIV
“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”
Genesis 19:12-13 NIV
“The two men said to Lot, ‘Do you have anyone else here … who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that He has sent us to destroy it.’”
“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
God is indeed just ... but …. God is also merciful!
Romans 3:25-26 NIV
“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood - to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness …
“Because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
What sins did He leave unpunished?
- The sins of those alive at the time of Noah?
NO - the flood
- The sins of those in Sodom and Gomorrah?
NO - cities destroyed
- The sins of those written about in Malachi who were presenting lame and
blind animals as offerings of sacrifice?
NO - blind, crippled, diseased animals for sacrifice
So, what sins did He leave unpunished?
Those who lived by faith in God
Abram - offering Isaac
Job - in all of his testing did not curse God and repented