Summary: Part 11 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.
e) It is granted by God on the basis of the redemption accomplished in Christ Jesus
The reason God can impute or deposit Christ’s perfect righteousness into our moral bank account is because Christ not only volunteered to pay the debt on our behalf but also to fill our account with His righteousness. Redemption is the just legal and moral basis enabling God to freely forgive the debt and fill our account along with a truckload of blessings that accompany salvation yet to be explored.
f) It is granted because Jesus satisfied (propitiated) all the demands of an angry God
g) It completely eliminates any opportunity for man’s pride
h) It applies to everyone who trusts
i) It establishes the very righteous standard which requires payment for sin
2. God’s way to righteousness illustrated by Abraham 4:1-25
a) Abraham was justified because he trusted God not himself 1-8
b) Abraham was justified before circumcision or the Law 9-16
c) Abraham exercised genuine faith 17-22
d) God justifies ALL who trust like Abraham 23-25
What are the results of this gift of justification? What difference does justification make? What benefits flow from God depositing the righteousness of Christ to my account?
Paul masterfully highlights the benefits of justification to everyone who believes beginning in chapter 5 which opens with a “therefore.” This passages serves as a powerful summary of many of the truths to be expanded on through chapter eight.
C. Justification results in multiple benefits 5:1-21
1. Benefits of justification highlighted 5:1-11
Therefore, having been justified by faith
The benefits or results of justification span the range of time – past, present and future.