Summary: This message deals with what it means to be God's righteousness.
Something is wrong with the world, and we all know it. You might be a Republican, a Democrat, a socialist, agnostic, atheist, a Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian...you might be occupying Wall Street or just sitting at home on Facebook...but you know that there is something desperately wrong with this situation. And, like any good Republican, Democrat, socialist, agnostic, atheist, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian...occupier of Wall Street or Facebook, you have an answer.
Check that...you have THE answer. Republicans want less government, Democrats want more, socialists want everyone’s stuff, atheists blame it on God and religion, and the Occupiers of Wall Street? Maybe they do not have an answer.
The question is...”What’s wrong?” “How did it get so bad?”
The simple answer to that question is...”You”. “Me”.
You know that we, as individuals, are sinners, right? That is what the Bible, the book that many in this room word would undeniably agree are the very words of God...that’s what it says. Romans 3:23...anyone know it?
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Anger, bitterness, greed, envy, pride, lust, murder, theft, covetousness, adultery, worshiping false Gods, being careless with God’s name...did I leave anyone out?
And then, you and I get together, and become “we”. “We” sin.
Anger, bitterness, greed, envy, pride, lust, murder, theft, covetousness, adultery, worshiping false Gods, being careless with God’s name, but we add a few. Legalism. Judgment. Fear.
Finally, there is a whole bunch of people, just like you, and just like me. And those whole bunches of people are all over the world. So it’s no longer me who is this terrible person, falling short of God’s glory, but there is a whole group of us. But, it’s not just the group, it is everyone. All over the world.
Anger, bitterness, greed, envy, pride, lust, murder, theft, covetousness, adultery, worshiping false Gods, being careless with God’s name. Legalism. Judgment. Fear. And...we add a few. Invading other nations. Oppressing people. Not caring for the poor, the homeless, the fatherless.
Question 2: “What do we do about the answer? What do we do about sin?”
That too, is a simple answer. Several, actually.
We cover them up, we hide them.
We create rules and laws so people won’t do them. Which is dumb, because we all sin. So, since we’ve broken the rules, we just get better at hiding them until we have whole groups of people hiding their sin from one another while at the same time we look perfect on the outside
Because we are so fearful of being found out.
The REAL answer to the question “What do we do about sin?” is in two parts.
Part one is: ”Nothing.”
Because you cannot fix it. People will abuse the law in two ways:
They will break it. That’s how Bernie Madoff made his millions.
They will use it. “The law says I can have an abortion, get divorced, sue my neighbor...so I will.” And that one puts us Christians in a real pinch, because many of us are real “law and order” types. We appeal to the law to solve a sin problem.
In Galatians, Paul writes that the law only brings a curse. It only condemns us.
Part two, is of course...anyone know??
“Jesus.” The perfect Sunday school answer.
God sent Jesus to pay for our sin. This is what Christian believe. Like the hymn says, “Jesus paid it all! All to him I owe, sin had left left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
It is here, that we find our main text for the day- 2 Corinthians 5: 21, God made Jesus, who was perfect and without sin, God made Jesus sin itself for us, that we might become God’s righteousness.
Jesus makes us right with God. We are righteous because of what He did. God looks at the believer and justifies Him. Because He is good. Because He is just. He does for us what we cannot. And now...the third and final question.
Question 3: “So what?” “We go to heaven, and...that’s it? That was the point?”
Let’s read God’s Word:
2 Peter 2:9- “that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness.”
1 Peter 2:24- “that you may live for righteousness.”
Galatians 5:6- “faith working though love”
Galatians 5:24- “through love serve one another”
Galatians 6:2- “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ”
Ancient Context: In the book of Galatians- Paul was addressing the gospel of law/tradition versus the gospel of grace/peace
Galatians 1 dealt with people teaching a false gospel- the gospel of the people pleasers
Galatians 2 dealt with the gospel of law, people who talked about grace and peace, but actually lived out the gospel of rules and regulations