Summary: If we are to understand how salvation can be applied to us, we must grasp the idea of IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS. Four concepts will help us to understand its nature.
Subjective Salvation: How Do We Make The Work of Christ Ours?
(Romans 3:21-24, 27-31)
Note: for 3:24-26, see my next sermon in my Romans series, "Celebrating the Victory, But What Was the Battle? based entirely upon Romans 3:24-26)
1.I love to read Perry Mason mysteries...and the TV shows. He excelled at his job, convincing others.
2. Now that Paul has convinced us that we are lost, helpless, and in need of salvation, we are ready to hear the Good news. This is an important sequence: unless we are convinced that we are lost, we will not see our need to be transformed by the grace of God, or saved, for short.
3. When it comes to the doctrine of salvation (soteriology), we can subdivide this study into two sections: objective soteriology (How did Christ provide salvation for us) and subjective soteriology (How do we make the work of Christ on the cross EFFECTIVE for us?).
4. Today we will look at Romans 3:21-24, 27-31, which addresses SUBJECTIVE soteriology. Next week, we’ll look at the verses sandwiched between this section (verses 25 & 26) and OBJECTIVE soteriology.
5. It is worth noting that much of the Reformation was about SUBJECTIVE soteriology.
Conservative Catholics and Conservative Protestants – the original version of each camp – agree that Jesus paid for our sins by dying on the cross; they both agree HE arose a victor. But HOW are the benefits of the work of Christ applied to us?
Whereas most of the leaders of the Reformation concluded that a person is saved by grace through personally trusting Jesus Christ—faith, Roman Catholics taught that people were saved by partaking of sacraments and earning grace through good works. The text before us makes the case that it is by faith…not sacraments or good works…that we can be made right with God. Good works follow salvation, they do not effect it.
6. Respected Bible scholar Dr. Leon Morris writes of this paragraph we are looking at over the next couple of weeks, that this may be, “possibly the most important single paragraph ever written.”
MAIN IDEA: If we are to understand how salvation can be applied to us, we must grasp the idea of IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS. Four concepts will help us to understand its nature.
I. The Source of Imputed Righetousness is ___GOD______ Himself (21a)
Imputed righteousness means that the righteousness of Christ is credited to our account
1. This is different from God helping us to act righteously; that is called _____sanctification__.
2. This is not something we __earn___. It is a gift, a wrapping, a being clothed in white…
3. Salvation results in removing the negative and crediting us with the positive…
Imagine a man who was up to his neck in debt…..he can declare bankruptcy and hopefully get back up to zero (that’s forgiveness); but if his rich uncle dies and leaves him millions, he not only can pay off his debt, but live in luxury…..
4. When we turn from our sin to Christ, He not only forgives our sin, but He gives us the Righteousness of Christ…
II. The Law and the __Prophets__ Testified of this Righteousness (21b)
1. Jeremiah 23:6, predicting Christ, says, “In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.”
2. Isaiah 53:11, “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”
3. Here is a simple picture of what Justification means:
Zech. 3:1-5, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.
4. Isaiah 59:16, 20, “16. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to ntervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him…"the Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD.
III. This Righteousness Comes by ____Faith_____ (Personal Trust) (22-24a)