Summary: This sermon attempts to point out that in justification Jesus pardons all your sins, provides for your righteousness and puts you in a fully pleasing position with the Heavenly Father.
Much of the time, many people feel like God must not love them. Especially if they have trouble or tribulation; if they’re going through tough times or trials are on every hand. Then they cry out to God, “Why me?” Then there are those who on the inside feel ashamed of everything they do or don’t do. They always feel guilty and it doesn’t matter whether others speak good or bad of them, they still feel guilty on the inside. Then still others, deep down are plagued with a fear of failure which acts itself out in perfectionism or avoiding all risks or in anger and resentment, anxiety and fear or pride and depression.
Why do you live like this when Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” You don’t have to please or appease God! Jesus has already pleased and appeased God for you. And He has already credited righteousness to you. Visualize two ledgers if you will. On one is a list of all your sins. On the other is the righteousness of Christ. Now exchange your ledger for Christ’s ledger. That’s one way of picturing what justification is, transferring your win to Christ and His righteousness to you. Furthermore, Paul puts “justified” in the past perfect tense, meaning that something was accomplished in the past and still has a continuing effect in the present. Therefore, if you have trusted in Christ for your salvation you have been justified by Jesus both now and forever.
Today, I want us to focus on the three truths that in justification Jesus has Pardoned Your Sin, Provided for Your Righteousness and Put You in a Fully Pleasing Position with your heavenly Father. The reason we need to focus on this is that most often we’re unaware of how thoroughly Satan has deceived us. He’s led us blindly down a path of destruction, captives of our inability to meet our own standards consistently and slaves to low self-worth. Satan has shackled us in chains that keep us from experiencing the love, freedom and purposes of Christ. A primary deception is that success will bring fulfillment and happiness. So, again and again we try to measure up thinking that if we could meet certain standards, we would feel good about ourselves. But again and again we fail and feel miserable. How can we get off this treadmill of trying, this platform of performance? I suggest it’s by transforming our thinking to the biblically based truth about being “Justified by Jesus.” So, first of all in justification:
I. Jesus Has Pardoned Your Sin Romans 4:25
Justification means that God has forgiven you of your sin. He has released you from the debt of death you owe. The difficulty we deal with is accepting it or forgiving ourselves. But justification carries with it no guilt and has no memory of past offenses. Christ paid for all of your sins at the cross: past, present and future. You’re completely forgiven by God.
However, Satan is the father of lies and he twists and distorts the truth so that his deceptions appear to be more reasonable and attractive than the truth. Remember how he directly questioned God’s truthfulness in Genesis 3:4-5? “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, Knowing good and evil.’” Satan was implying that that Eve could have greater significance apart from God. She went for it and Adam followed in sinful rebellion. Man lost his secure status with God and began to struggle with feelings of arrogance, inadequacy, shame, guilt, despair and valuing the opinions of others more than the truth of God.
And Satan’s lie still thrives today! For example, humanism, the central philosophy of our schools and society says that, “man IS above all else.” That is, man alone is the center of meaning. He has meaning apart from God.” But the truth is, living without God at the center of life, humanity sinks lower and lower in depravity, blindly following a philosophy that intends to raise the dignity of man, but instead lowers him. Just look at Romans 1:18ff. The truth is, apart from Christ man is enslaved to sin and condemned to an eternity in hell, but the good news is that even while we were sinners, Christ died for the ungodly and justified us by giving us a Pardon for our Sin. Have you received that pardon? The second truth in justification is:
II. Jesus Provides For Your Righteousness vss 22-24
As marvelous as it is, justification means more than forgiveness of sin. In the same act of love He also provided for your righteousness: the worthiness to stand in God’s presence. He has given you His righteousness, uprightness, integrity, worthiness, significance, meaning, value and purpose. By imputing righteousness to you, God attributes Christ’s worth to you. Imputing righteousness is extending or applying the quality of Christ’s righteousness to you, putting that inside your spirit. The moment you accept Christ, God no longer sees you as a condemned sinner. He sees you as accepted and makes you acceptable through your faith in Jesus. He sees you as a saint! You are forgiven and you receive Christ’s righteousness.