Summary: Part of the Romans Series dealing with the benefits of justificaiton.
Chico Alliance Church
August 12, 2001
Pastor David Welch
“The Benefits of Justification”
The message of Christ’s work on behalf of those who have sinned against His father is the power of God for everyone’s salvation. The power of the good news of Christ lies in its message concerning the way to become righteous before God and no longer enslaved to unrighteousness or sin. The first five chapters of the letter focus on God’s gift of righteousness to everyone who puts their trust in Christ. Paul answers the question, “How can a sinful man be reconciled with a holy God?
I. Receive the gift of God’s righteousness by faith 1-5
A. God proves every man needs His righteousness 1-3
Max Lucado summarizes this part of Paul’s letter like this:
Up until this point in Paul’s letter all efforts at salvation have been from earth upward. Man has inflated his balloon with his own hot air and has not been able to leave the atmosphere. Our pleas of ignorance are inexcusable (1:20). Our comparisons with others are impermissible (2:1). Our religious merits are unacceptable (2:29). The conclusion is unavoidable: self-salvation simply does not work. Man has no way to save himself.
Even more simply “We have failed.”
B. God explains and illustrates His way to righteousness 3:21-4:25
1. God’s way to adequate righteousness explained 3:21-31
a) It was manifested apart from law
b) It was witnessed by the Law and the prophets
c) It was for ALL who trust in Christ without distinction.
d) It is acquired as a gift granted because of God’s graciousness
When God “justifies” us it means He declares us to be righteous. It is a legal term indicating compliance with a standard. Since we have determined the inadequacy of our righteousness it must be someone else’s. We must find some other source. Well God arranged for such a righteousness to be granted as a free gift. We are declared righteous by reason of God depositing the righteousness of Christ into our spiritual bank account. Because of His great love, God grants or gives Christ’s righteousness to every believer as a free gift of His grace on the basis of humble trust in Him. It is a gift because no man has the wherewithal to purchase or earn it. It is impossible to dig ourselves out of our substantial moral debt to God. Paying the debt is only half the problem. We need a life that fully complies with the standard all the time. Man faces a crucial twin dilemma. Man is morally bankrupt as well as righteousness deficient. We not only didn’t have sufficient funds to enter a holy heaven, we overspent our account to astronomical proportions.
According to God’s own law, every person who has done the crime must do the time. The wages of even one sin is death. The soul that sins must die. From God’s estimation all have sinned and all still continually fall short of God’s standard. Therefore someone had to pay the required penalty. That person was the sinless Christ. God made Him to be sin FOR US that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.