Summary: Justified. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Romans chapter 3 verses 21-31.
There was a man, approaching middle age:
• Whose life was comfortable, but he felt an emptiness inside, a longing.
• So he decide to join a monastery.
The head monk told him that the road ahead would be difficult,
• He would have to give up all earthly possessions, pray constantly,
• And he would have to be totally silent.
• In fact, he could not speak at all, to anyone.
• He would only be allowed only to say two words every five years.
So the man joins and becomes “brother John” a silent monk,
• Five long years goes by,
• And he is sent for, and is interviewed by the senior brother,
• The senior brother looked at brother John and asked; "So, how is everything?"
• Brother John replied; "Bed hard".
• The senior brother responds, "Oh, I’m so sorry, we didn’t know”
• “We’ll take care of that right away”. And the bed is fixed.
Another five years goes by:
• Brother John is remains true to his vow and silent all this time:
• Then the senior brother sends for Brother John for his five year interview:
• He again asks "How are you, my son, is all OK?"
• Brother John replies, "Food cold",
The senior brother responds:
• "Oh, that is no good, we will take care of that problem right away”.
• And true to his word there is no more cold food."
Again, five more years goes by:
• Brother John is the ideal monk, he prays, he is silent.
• Again its time for Brother John’s five yearly interview.
• The senior brother asks him "How are you, are you OK?”
• To which Brother John replies "No, I quit".
The senior brother, shook his head and says:
• “This comes as no surprise,
• You’ve been here for fifteen years and all you’ve ever done is complain!"
Now I have been given license tonight:
• I can speak on the whole passage.
• Or I can choose one phrase or word and speak on that.
• So I am goining to be sparing with my language,
• And just choose one word
• The word I have chosen is “Justified”.
• You find it in verse 24, 26, 28, 30 of chapter 3.
• It also both starts off chapter 4 (verse 2).
• And finishes the chapeter (verse 25).
• The word also plays a key part in understanding chapter 5,
• Verse 1, 9.
Justified or justification is a thread woven through the next three chapters.
Question: What does it mean to be justified ?
Answer: By way of an illustration:
In a court of law there will come a time in the proceedings:
• Especially if it is a serious case and there is a jury involved,
• There comes a point towards the end of the trial,
• When the foreman of the jury is asked a question,
• He or she is asked, "Is the prisoner guilty or not guilty"
• If the foreman of the jury says not guilty:
• What that man or woman is doing is, justifying the person in the dock.
That’s precisely what the word ’justify’ or ’justified’ means:
• It is to tell out, to declare that;
• A person is not guilty, that the person who has been on trial is innocent.
• The foreman of the jury declares we have previously judged them to be wrong, guilty.
• But now we have discovered that they are right, they are innocent.