Summary: This is a sermon on Romans 1:17 showing how we are justified by faith apart from our works.
Let’s go on a journey back in time almost 500 years ago.
Germany, a dimly lit room, a young Augistianian monk studies.
He struggled with guilt, he did pilgrimages, penance, masses, prayer
– if a monk could be saved by his monkery it was him.
After long hours of study the truth of Scripture leaped out at him –
The Just Shall Live by Faith.
Romans 1:17 – Basis for the Protestant Reformation.
Luther - For I hated that word "righteousness of God,"... with which God is righteous and punishes the unrighteous sinner.
He realized it was not what he could do but what Christ had done that justifies us.
The truth of Hab 2:4, Ro 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38 "The Just Shall Live by Faith".
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (KJV)
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (KJV)
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.(KJV)
Is the doctrine of justification practical ?
If you don’t understand this you will always doubt your position.
I) THE JUST
A) WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION?
Distinguish between justification (Positional) & sanctification (Progression).
JOB 25:4 (NIV) How then can a man be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
What are the grounds ? :
Good works + faith Any works that add to justification are evil.
Obedience + faith Ro 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
WHAT PLACE DO GOOD WORKS SERVE ?
St. Augustine "All who are justified through Christ, are righteous, not in themselves, but in Him. GOOD WORKS FOLLOW AFTER A JUSTIFIED PERSON, THEY DO NOT GO BEFORE, IN ORDER THAT HE MAY BE JUSTIFIED. . . . We are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works," for man can work no righteousness, unless be first justified."
The cross plus nothing equals salvation.
B) WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE JUSTIFIED ?
Justification – Easton’s Bible Dictionary - "...it is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the law."
1st implication of just. – REMISSION OF PUNISHMENT
Some think we are punished for our sins – impossible.
Christ took the full wrath of God.
There is no way we can "make up" for our sins
– No purgatory, penance, reincarnation, human efforts.
We may be disciplined but not punished.
We are forgiven for our sins – past, present, or future.
The remission of punishment is defined in 3 terms :
i) PERSONAL TERMS: We are released from the CONDEMNATION that sin deserves
God is no longer angry with us.
Ro 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ
We are reconciled to God and have relationship with Him.
ii) ETHICAL TERMS : a release from the GUILT of sin.
When the Father looks at us He sees only Christ’s righteousness.
Positionally we are as righteous as He is.
We still live as moral of a life as possible.
Ro 3:8 Paul was accused of Antinominaism – Let us do evil....
iii) LEGAL TERMS : We are released from the PUNISHMENT of sin due to the LAW.
The requirements of the law are not set aside but fulfilled.
Rom 10:4 (NAS) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
God doesn’t declare us innocent, He declares us Just.
2nd implication of just. – RESTORATION TO FAVOR
Illust. - the X-convict :
1) has a stigma
2) can’t find work
3) want causes him to commit crime
4) old charges are evidence of bad character, increase penalty.
God forgives us and restores us to His favor.
Justification is more than forgiveness, it is restoration to favor.
3rd implication of just. – THE IMPUTATION OF CHRIST’S RIGHTOUSNESS
Imputation is to charge to one’s account.
David spoke of imputation in :
Psa 32:2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity.
In the N.T. We find double imputation :
1) Our sin is imputed to Christ.
2) His righteousness is imputed to us.
2 COR 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
II) SHALL LIVE
A) HOW CAN A MAN FIND LIFE BEFORE GOD ?
What did Paul mean by "live".