Summary: We are all condemned todeath because of sin but God provided the price of our justification in Jesus. Now, justice demands He save those who trust the blood of Christ.
New Life For Dead Dogs or Why Does God Let Us "Get Away With it?" Rom. 3:23-26
INTRO.: The Old Testament story of Mephibosheth is found in II Samuel 9. King David had been ruling in Jerusalem for some time. He remembered his friend Jonathan, who had saved his life and wished to honor Jonathan’s name.
Ziba, an old servant of Saul’s was consulted and introduced David to Mephibosheth, a crippled son of Jonathan, who lived in Lo Debar.
David sought to honor Jonathan and fulfill the demands of justice by caring for Jonathan’s crippled son. Mephibosheth had been crippled since he was five years old when he was dropped by his nurse. Enough years had passed that he actually had a son of his own, who shared his good fortune. Mephibosheth referred to himself as a "dead dog."
The lands, wealth and servants of his father were restored to him. He enjoyed the hospitality of the palace as long as he lived. He truly was given a new life.
Let’s file that story in the back of our minds under "p" for "parable" and turn to the New Testament passage for our meditation.
Read Rom. 3:23-26
I. The condition in which we find ourselves: v. 23
A. We have all sinned. Note the standard by which we are judged?
1. By the revelation God has given us. His law.
2. It is clearly revealed in the famous ten commandments and in other places in His Word.
3. Those who don’t know about that will be judged by their own conscience. We must live up to the light available.
4. According to the Bible and experience, we have all failed.
B. Further, we fall short of God’s glory: what does this mean?
1. "Glory" in the New Testament is a translation of a word that means "to seem." God’s glory is what God seems to be.
2. We see this in Jesus Christ. John 1:14 II Cor. 4:6
3. To fall short of God’s glory, in this context, is to fail to live up to the standard and example of Jesus.
4. It seems God’s standard is very high and we fall far short.
C. So, we are, like Mephibosheth, "dead dogs."
1. Because God said, "the soul that sins shall die."
2. Sin separates from God and, spiritually, that’s death.
3. We are farther from God than Lo Debar was from the palace in Jerusalem.
4. We need a Ziba to introduce us to God, the King of Kings.
II. Jesus makes it possible for "dead dogs" to have new life in the palaces of glory.
A. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement: 25
1. An atonement is something that covers sin.
2. His blood washes away sin so we may someday stand before Him white as snow. Rev. 7:14
3. He has gone to prepare a place for us and He will come to take us to the Father.
B. So we might be redeemed: 24
1. The idea of "redemption" is to buy back that which has been sold
2. "I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin." Rom. 7:14. Sin has enslaved us.
3. A man may be redeemed from slavery
4. Jesus’ life is the price of our redemption.
C. When the atonement is made and the price of redemption is paid, we are justified. 24
1. A legal word equal to our "acquitted."
2. The meaning is not so much we are innocent as God treats us as though we were.
3. When we accept the sacrifice of Jesus, we stand before God as a child fit to live in the palace.
4. Jesus is our "Ziba." He makes it possible for us "dead dogs" to live in God’s Presence
III. The result is a demonstration of God’s justice:
A. Enables Him to be "just and justifier." 26
1. If He is simply just, He must condemn us to death. That is the sentence we are under.
2. God presented the sacrifice for our sins. Now He is not only just but the Justifier.
3. The death of Jesus is not only a demonstration of love, but of justice, also. Rom. 3:26
4. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, justice demands those who believe in His blood should be saved "Through faith in His blood." 25
B. Even though God’s justice was long delayed.
1. He has been very patient, leaving sins committed in the past unpunished. Rom. 3:25
2. He still allows people to get away with many sinful acts in this life.
3. However, that will come to an end. Acts 17:30, 31
C. I want justice in the judgement:
1. ILLUS.: If I pay for a horse and the seller refuses to give it to me, I will go to court and demand justice. I want the horse because I bought it. It will be like that in the judgement. Jesus paid the price for my life and He will come to judge "in justice." He wants, and will have, what He paid for.