Summary: Beginning with Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg....we dare not forget God's offer of justification and the reformation which restored to the "church" the truth of justification by faith.
In Jesus Holy Name September 24, 2017
Series: Augsburg Confession Redeemer
A C #5 Justification Text: Romans 5:1-2
“We Dare Not Forget”
The message today is not about the “how you can earn your way into heaven”. You can not. But it is about how you can have peace with God.
At Gettysburg, President Lincoln said: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here…. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us… that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”
His words are one of the most profound declarations to which the English language has been applied. Lincoln said to his fellow countryman: “Remember don’t’ forget.”
In Romans 5 the Apostle Paul is telling us…. “Remember, Don’t forget.” …. “Remember, Don’t forget” what the savior has done for us. You can look far and wide and you won’t find many examples of someone who is ready to offer his life up for someone else. Yes, there are a few “medal of honor” recipients, most of whom were awarded the Medal of Honor after their death on the battle field.
There have been many great battles. The greatest battle field took place in the Garden of Eden. The battle field victory was won on a wooden cross, on a lonely hill outside the walls of Jerusalem, not quite 2000 years ago. Jesus, who Himself created the Universe, came to dwell on the planet He created. ( Col. 1:15) He came in human flesh to live a perfect life without sin. He never gave into a temptation of Satan to disobey God the Father. (Matt. 4) Oh, Satan tried. Jesus was offered glory and power…Evcn when Jesus was hanging on the cross….Satan offered Him a way to escape death. (Matt. 27) Jesus refused to come down off the cross.
Jesus voluntarily embraced the demise which should have been ours. He embraced death on the cross. While we were yet sinners Jesus died for us. He died. If you ever have a chance to watch the “Passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson you can not miss the reaction of Satan the moment Jesus died. He laughed. He thought he had won. He thought He had defeated God’s Son in this on going battle since the creation of the world….because Satan was able to murder God’s holy son, Jesus. So he laughed.
Satan is not omniscient. He had no way of knowing that the death of Jesus was the perfect sacrifice God required.
Read Hebrews 2:14-17
In that moment when Jesus died on the cross God the Father transferred to Jesus all the sins of the world. (Col. 2:14) Jesus received the full wrath of God. And that is why he cried out… “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”
Then three days after His lifeless body had been put into a borrowed tomb, Jesus rose from death.
It was God’s plan to then transfer all of the holiness of His Son, Jesus to every believer who put their faith in Jesus. ( II Cor. 5:21) Human beings can not merit nor earn God’s love by keeping the laws of God. The laws of God always accuse and terrify consciences.
Martin Luther was terrified by the wrath of God against his behavior.
Martin Luther called justification “the cornerstone of Christianity.” J.I. Packer said that any church that has lapsed from justification by faith can scarcely be called a Christian church.
I think that if you understand church history, you know that justification by faith was the hallmark, the touchstone, of the Protestant Reformation.
You remember the story of how Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic monk in Wittenberg, Germany, and how he sought for years, even as a learned teacher of the Bible, to discover peace with God. He was reading through the Bible, searching for peace and couldn’t find it. He felt God was angry with him and far away.
The turning point of his life came when he made that journey to Rome. As he was crawling up the stairs of the church in Rome, with tears running down his face, saying the “Our Father” and praying to God for Him to make himself real to him, praying on each stair. While he was climbing to the top of those stairs, suddenly a text of scripture burst into his mind— “the just shall live by faith.” In that great and glorious moment Martin Luther understood that it is not by crawling up steps to please an angry God. It was not by going to church, fasting, nor by human effort, but it is only through faith in Jesus Christ that a man is made right with God. (quote from Keep On Believing – Romans)