The Change From Sinners To Justified
- The Blessings of Justification
- We see a move from a focus on sin, to righteousness.
- We see a move from Jews, Gentiles all under judgement, to a new group of people, the justified.
- The portion we read now, covers the many blessings of being justified.
- What justification is?
- But first, let’s define what justification is.
- Now justified has 39 references in scriptures.
Justification by definition, is act of justifying, showing to be just or conformable to the law. In law, showing of a sufficient reason in court why a defendant did right (righteous).
- Justification is about a process of proving someone is righteous.
- As Christians, we are deemed righteous (to have done right) and justified (legally declared to be just) by faith.
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
The Mechanics of Justification (next verses 12-21)
- Covers the Process of Justification
- You see contrast between one man who sinned (Adam), for which codemnation was passed upon all men.
- And another, Jesus Christ who provided a free gift of justification.
- The beauty as it stands today brothers and sisters, for those who accept that free gift, you stand before a caught of law, with satan the accuser has nothing to prosecute or condemn you with, but the Lord stands by the nails on his hands, the scars on his side, He stands to defend you, intercess on your behalf, declaring you righteous.
- God the mighty judge looks on, see’s His son, see’s the cost, turns to you and declares you legally justified.
- You are free to go!
- But let’s continue on about how this works.
Let us pray
1. Focused on the battle against sin
- As Christians, we live in the world of sin. Not only are we tained by sin, but we are tempted by the lusts of our flesh.
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
The weights and battle of sin can be so heavy at times and that it instead of focusing on who we are, and our blessings in Christ, we focus on who we are not.
- Instead of focusing our gaze on Christ, we put our focus an attention on sin and the battle against sin.
- This morning, perhaps, in your pursuit of being holy, you have placed the focus on our battle with sin as opposed to Christ, and not just Christ alone, but the blessings of salvation, and our identity in Christ.
2. An Example: Setting Captives Free
- Many years ago, I was involved in an online men’s ministry called ‘Setting Captives Free’. I believed I mentioned it once before. Part of this ministry was to enable men to move away from their habitual sin, or sexual sins. These were men caught up in pornography, self-pleasure and homosexuality.
- Our aim as mentors, where to be accountability partners enabling them to understand who they are in Christ but more so get them focus on Christ and not their battle with sin.
- One of the lesson’s we tried to communicate, was that no matter how many measures they had put in place to prevent sin (radical amputation) it would not set them free. However in understanding who they were in Christ and the blessings justification, would help them move past from feeling and being defeated, to live out who they are in Christ, righteous and redeemed.
3. Overview of whats to come
- This morning, I pray that the Holy scriptures, would open our eyes to the blessings of being justified. To remind us, how equipped we are, how blessed we are, and to remind us, not to get caught up in the battle against sin, but to get caught up in a love for Christ.
1. What’s it “there fore”?
1.1 The Therefore: References and Chaining
- v1 start’s out with the word, “therefore”, and our immediate question should be, “but what’s it therefore?”
- Firstly, “therefore” is used about 29 times. 4 notable times as introduction to chapters, 2:1, 5:1, 8:1, 12:1.
- This affirms to us that Paul is making a rational argument that is chained. It’s like a house with a foundation, where one part builds upon another.
1.2 The Therefore: Looking back
- Secondly, it’s a reflection, of what has taken place prior. “Therefore” means we need to look back to previous, verse, chapter or chapters.
- We have seen, the Jews, Gentiles and all under condemnation.
- We have seen that sin abounds, and none are righteous, no not one. Like sheep, they have gone astray unto their own way.
- But now the plate is set, the cultery has arrived and it’s to begin the main course.
2. The Blessings of Christ (vs. 1-6)
2.1 Peace with God (READ vs. 1)
(i) War with God
- To not be at peace, means you at war. Imagine being apprehend and taken to court to present your case.
(ii) Court-room analogy - Judge is your enemy
- As you stand, the judge that steps in is the very person you spent your entire life fighting against. Your final judgement is not going to end well.
- How more so with the Lord God, the ultimate judge. Hell is real, despite what the world may say, what the catholic church may deny.
- But far more, hell and death will be cast into the lake of fire. If you thought hell was fiery, if you thought death was to be feared, then you ain’t see nothing yet, your destination if not saved today is that lake of fire, where both hell and death themselves are destined.
Nah 1:2 “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.”
- But if you saved today, brother and sister, God is not our enemy, and we, we, have peace with God. You have peace with God today and for all eternity to come. Amen!
2.2 Access into his grace (READ vs.2a)
(i) Immersed in grace
- Not only do we have peace, but we also have grace. It’s easy to miss in the verse, but that access to grace is gated.
- It is denied to all but granted to a few. Those who choose by faith to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection.
- Not only do we have access to this grace, by faith, we are almost placed in it, as scripture says “wherein we stand”. We are immersed in His grace. It evelops us.
- As that only hymn goes,
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured–
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!
(ii) Active Grace - Standing
- But note, access to this grace doesn’t assume ease or passiveness. Being immersed in the grace is the posture of standing. It’s active, engaged and ready to act.
- Not only is it’s active, it’s present tense.
- Are you standing in grace, or sitting down?
- Are you living of old grace, or havesting it a new?
- This morning, have you grown in the grace of Lord?
2 Cor 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
2 Cor9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
- Where are you today? Are you immersed in that grace? Is your grace active?
2Tim 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2.3 Hope in the Glory of God (READ vs.2b)
- In order to tackle this we have to work backwards. We have 3 parts
- The glory of God
- We Rejoicing
(i) The glory of God
1Cor 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
2Co_4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
- The glory of God is magnificence of God and beauty of His divine attributes.
- If anything brothers and sisters, our God is glorious. For now as we sit here, He is our heart, our longing, we desire Him, we open up scripture so we can behold Him, He is our joy in trial, our strength in pain, our light in darkness. He is altogether lovely.
- Yet while we have a relationship with Him at a distance, oh the day, oh the day, when we shall behold Him who is altogether lovely,
when the very desire of our hearts meets reality, when we see Him, hold Him, touch Him and gaze into His beauty. To hear Him speak, oh the day, what a glorious day.
(ii) Our Hope (the glory of God)
- Here to friends, brethren, lies our hope.
- This is our assurance, this is what we cling to in the darkness, this is what propels us forward,
this is what propelled the saints of old, martyrs for the faith, who faced torture, persecution, hanging, beating and loss for the glory,
for the glory of God.
(iii) Our Rejoicing (our hope)
- This is why we rejoice. This is why we can rejoice, for that hope, the hope to behold Him, but not only with His beauty and closeness.
- We can rejoice because we are not destined for His wrath, but destined unto His presence
- But the security, the comfort, that we are with the Almighty God, no hand should move, no power will crumble, no tragedy shall befall us, no tears in our eyes - but to rejoice when we behold Him who is altogether lovely.
2.4 Glory in Tribulations (READ vs. 3a)
2.4.1 Definition of Tribulation
Severe affliction; distresses of life; vexations.
- Hold on, Paul is saying that God has given us a blessing in being able to glory in tribulation?
- Wow, this is a tough one, how’s this a blessing Paul?
2.4.2 An Example of Suffering
Speaking to a friend, and his recent struggle with the suffering of some and not others.
2.4.3 The History of Trials
(i) The Challenge of understanding trials
- Friends, suffering, and why some suffer more then others is not one easy to answer. Only God fully understands the journey, it’s meaning and value. Sometimes that clearer than other times, sometimes we are left be-wildered. Do I understand why my dad left at my birth, or why my mother died when I was at 11? Why this suffering, while others kids grow up with warm loving parents.
- The answer, I don’t know God’s ways. But I do know, He’s prepared us for it. But scripture does tell us more.
- Let’s turn to
READ Hebrews 11:32-40
- (verse 40) how amazing is this brothers and sisters, these great and mighty witnesses, accomplished so much and endured so much (torture, lions, death, pain), and now I recognized by God in this book the Bible.
- But they were only the frame of the puzzle, and we the completion of it. We were given so much more, then them, because would have Jesus. And together we are linked.
- We have received the promise, we are partakers of the Lord Jesus Christ
(ii) Encouragement in Trial
- Let’s move on, to
READ Hebrews 12. (Heb 12:1-3).
- We can glory, see the wonder in tribulation because God has prepared us through his scripture.
- Perhaps you think this is minor.
Example: Me flying to JHB, and the pilot telling us to buckle up (panic sets in), then he says he believes there will be turbulence for the trip ahead. We don’t know when, but it helps prepare our minds.
Immediately a calm sets in, it reflects that one he is in control.
But he does something else, the pilot then tells us that we headed to Cape Town, an estimation of the time it will take to get there.
- This generates confidence, and moves our focus to where we headed.
- Scripture is filled with tribulation, and strongly prepares it for us. But also affirms to us of our hope and deswtintion.
We have other reasons too
- Not only that, but given us heavenly blessings, an example of men and women who have suffered, but also the general value of suffering.
- Not only that, but in verse 3 we see Christ Jesus Himself, as our example, lest we grow faint.
- This is far more, then the rest of the world has.
2.4.4 The Benefits of Trials
(a) Patience (READ vs. 3b)
- As we read vs. 3-5, we see the benefit of the tribulations (severe persecution) we face, that severe persecution brings forth patience.
- Patience is something we all familiar with, as parent’s with kids, we used to teachings lessons on it.
Dad, Mum are we there yet? Dad, I’m hungry?
- But patience is more then just waiting for something.
- The modern dictionary defines patience,
the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties
- But the 1828 Webster’s dictionary, from a Biblical perspective, defines patience as:
The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness.
- Tribulation’s in our lives teaches us this patience.
- But isn’t this the general principle of life?
- Whether atheletes training for a competition (Eric Lindell)
- In being an effective worker in the workplace, moaners, complainers and those with weak temperant are often pushed aside
- Whether it be a child being born, the mother bears the burden of 9 months of carry, and culminates in momentary suffering to bring forth her child
- This is the natural reality of life and living. And something we all need refreshing on.
- May the Lord continue to open our eyes, and work patience in us, unto His Glory
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
(b) Experience (READ vs. 4)
- When we are patient, it brings forth experience.
Experience is defined as series of trials or experiments; active effort or attempt to do or prove something
It is the knowledge gained from trials.
- Effective Christians are Christians with experience. They are able to navigate difficulties others wouldn’t, have a confidence that others lack, and courage when courage lacks
- The knowledge these Christian’s gain, is four-fold,
- a deeper understanding of trials
- more peace in the midst of trials,
- a deeper knowledge about themselves
- and more so a deeper knowledge of God.
(c) Hope (last part of VERSE 4)
- Hope is defined as:
desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.
- Leading on from verse 4 (experience gives way to hope)
- And why is this knowledge gained from these trials (experience) valuable, because it gives us hope.
- It gives us a stronger sense of tommorrow.
- It gives us more confidence and more assurance
Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
- The more tribulations we endure patiently, will produce experience, and the more experiences we have (knowledge gained in Christ), the deeper our knowledge of Him will be and the stronger our hope will be
- Tribulations worketh patience, and patience, experience and experience hope.
- But note the affirmation from Paul in vs.5, with confidence he says “hope maketh not ashamed” .
READ Verse 5
- But why does hope not make us ashamed?
- Because when we have hope in God as we come through the trial, God’s love covers our hearts, envelops it through the Holy Spirit which is given to us.
- When we experience tribulation and come out the other side with hope in God, we experience a deeper richer experience of His love. Is that not what we see in testimonies of brothers and sisters who take this pulpit? Of those cloud of witnesses?
- Hope, Hope brothers and sister’s will not make you ashamed!
I want to leave you with three thoughts,
- We are justified
- I have only touched a part of the many more blessings found in Chapter 5, I’ve only touched on a few.
- But we have them, because we are justified by Him. Justified, that means we have been lawfully declared righteous through faith.
- Don’t carry the burden of past sins
- Brothers and sisters we are righteous. We are God’s children.
- Our sin yesterday, our sin today and every future sin is under the blood. Jesus has atoned for it.
- Don’t carry the burden of past sins.
2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
- Make Christ Jesus your focus not your battle with sin
Don’t get so caught up on the problem, you forget the solution.
- If you are struggling with sin this morning, be mindful about being too focused on your battle with sin, fall in love with Jesus.
- It’s easy to be remorseful, to want to correct actions, but they actions around purity will never hold fast, till Jesus Christ’s love for you is the motivator.
- Pursue Him, Trust Him, Love Him and when those tribulations come, stand fast, stand fast! For at the end of tribulations is hope, and to that end is a deeper experience of love from Him.
- Theme: Court Room (Paul our defender)
- Think on These Things (Phil 4) - perhaps read that