Summary: Part 2 of our Fracture series looks at law vs. gospel.
Part 2- The Revival of Authenticity
Pastor Ryan Akers
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away, all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace.” “They have no fear of God at all.” Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. Romans 3:10-19
What a powerful truth to the depravity or the sinfulness of man and his need for a Savior. None of us are righteous, meaning none of us are right with God. Our natural sinful nature does not and cannot seek God and His salvation. All of us are guilty of sin. And there is nothing we, by our own abilities, can do about it.
Some will push works. That if you have works, if you are a good person, if you serve others and pay your taxes then you will be saved. As if by the works that you do will somehow impress God or cause him to have sympathy for you. This scripture is clear. Without a savior we are lost. “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.” The law or the commands of God that are laid out before us in the old and new testaments are impossible to follow perfectly. The law is there to help us realize our sinfulness. It wakes us to the truth that without the cross we are condemned. Without the gift of grace and forgiveness, regeneration and repentance we are doomed to suffocate under our own sinfulness. Sounds bleak. And it is for those who refuse to be hearers and doers of God’s Word. But it is also incredibly powerful and wonderful and freeing. It is wonderful that I no longer have to try to get to heaven by what I do. It is not by what I do, it’s not by the works that I perform. It’s wonderful that God is offering me eternal life as a free gift. That if I repent and believe in Jesus I am saved for eternity.
When the righteousness of Christ is imputed or put on me then the result is faith. The Holy Spirit now dwells in me guiding me, convicting me, granting me spiritual gifts, which are to be used to edify the body of Christ. With faith comes obedience and the desire and the drive and the longing or however you want to say it to do good works not for our own personal glory, or to get another crown in heaven but for His glory. And so that the gospel message can be spread at your jobs, and through out Warren County and through Missouri and America and to the ends of the earth.
The world says, “I don’t go to church today because the church is full of hypocrites.” To which I would say, “you are right.” The church is full of people who are play-acting. They preach one thing and live another. They sing songs about God’s redeeming love, his amazing grace, and his victory at the cross. They cry out Change my heart o God, but then they live a life outside of this building that causes God to weep.
Mark 7:6 Jesus says, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Christ gave the Pharisees a really hard time because these guys were stuck on the law. The law was king. They loved the law so much that they didn’t think God had done enough so they added 600 more laws on top of the laws that God commanded them to obey. They believed they were righteous and they were holy but they wouldn’t believe that someone else outside of their circle could also be made righteous.
They prayed publicly, not to glorify God and to come humbly before His throne but to be seen by men. They added the laws to look good. They believed in works more than faith. They believed they were made good in God’s sight because of their works.
But this is where Christ and His church differentiates between Mormons, Jehovah’s witnesses, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam on and on. Christianity is different because it doesn’t begin with man’s goodness but with man’s wickedness. The word of God is a testimony of our sin. That none of us are righteous, none of us are good. (Go Back to Scripture).