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September 3, 2021 12:01 am
The doctrine of justification by faith alone is far more than an intellectual exercise for Christians. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his study of justification in the book of Romans to identify the blessings and privileges that are ours in the gospel.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind one were justified. The very first consequence of that is peace with God. The wars over God is no longer at enmity with us and we are no longer at enmity with him, commonly referred to a Christian as someone who see perhaps it's more accurate to say that person is justified. Someone who is forgiven and seen by God is righteous. Justification is not an intellectual exercise, something that we simply understand it has to mean something today on Renewing Your Mind controversies. Paul continues his series justified by faith alone. He taught these lessons in his office to a small group of Reformation Bible college student, and it would turn out to be his final teaching series was sometimes when we're dealing with theological issues. It's a good idea to ask the simple question so what, what's the big deal. Why is this so important when we look at the doctrine of justification. When we asked that question so what were asking so what's the significance or the consequences of our justification. How important is it for us to be justified and what results flow from it and call addresses that question in the beginning of the fifth chapter of his letter to the Romans.
The ends chapter 4 by the conclusions that he drew from Abraham's example when he says it was accounted to him for righteousness. And then in verse 23 of chapter 4 not was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It should be imputed to us who believe in him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification right now, having written that the apostle goes on and says this conclusion, therefore, by the way, anytime you see the word therefore in Scripture. You need to stop and notice that what that word indicates is that you're about to come to the conclusion of an argument. Dora teaching of some import. That's why it always amazes me that the new chapters will begin with the word therefore, because that word therefore depends on everything that came before it.
To signal this conclusion. But in any case, whoever put these chapter divisions and near starts chapter 5 with that word. Therefore, having been justified by faith.
That is our justification by faith is now a fate accomplish something that's already occurred.
It is a past event. Now, since we have that past event in place.
What does that mean for the present, while Paul says, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and I'll just pause there in the middle of that sentence so that the first consequence of our justification is peace with God.
No Paul and other New Testament writers articulate that with different language from time to time and one of the most important concepts that is related to this idea of peace with God is the idea of reconciliation.
Now the one thing that is absolutely essential for reconciliation without which reconciliation can never occur is estrangement. People who aren't estranged don't need to be reconciled and so in order for reconciliation to take place. There has to be some kind of split some kind of estrangement that requires the reconciliation and the New Testament makes it very clear that in our natural fallen condition. We are at enmity with God that our natural state is a state of estrangement from him. We don't want him in our thinking. We don't want him to rule over us. We want to be rid of him.
I was asked several years ago to give an address at a particular college where they had an atheists club and they asked me from an apologetic viewpoint to come and give a lecture to the atheists club and I did that and I told them in that address that I was perfectly willing to try to give an answer to the intellectual objections they had to. The truth claims of Christianity into the assertion of the existence of God, but I said I want you to know her I'm coming from out I'll do this dance with you but I am convinced that you already know that God exists and your problem is not an intellectual one. It's a moral one. Your problem is that you don't have enough information or convincing arguments to know that God exists, but your problem is that you hated him and what you need is to be reconciled to them while you can match. They can take that very well. They were repeated tar and feather me. How dare you accuse us of hating God while if you got in your asked people on the street. Do you hate God will almost never find someone who will say yes. I hate him, and yet God says that we do. Hayden everyone of us in our natural state are in the state of estrangement and the image that is used in throughout Scripture is one of warfare and war is not a pretty thing and we live in violent times and we are all familiar with the ravages of war and when a war ends, it is a joyous occasion. I have vivid memories as if it were yesterday. In the summer of 1945 where I was living for a brief period of time in Chicago.
My father and fought in the European theater. And when that conflict was over he was coming back to muster out of the Army but the war in Japan was still going on and I was playing stickball on the street. Chicago where we played a silly game but in the middle of this game. I was bad and all of a sudden all heaven broke loose ladies cut running out of their apartment buildings with pots and pans meeting on them and carrying on with this cacophony. I had no idea what was going on and they were all screaming it's over it's over World War II had come to an end.
I can still recall the acceleration that was palpable in the air with the announcement of peace, but peace treaties almost never last. Peace treaties are made to be broken.
I could go to three years after 1945 to 1948 and recite to the terror that I knew. During the Cold War were his children in a we were going through exercises in school every week. I want to do in the case of an atomic attack and that sort of Damocles of the atomic bomb and rushes having it and the idea that we were that close to World War III again was something that that haunted us but when God declares peace.
When God makes a peace treaty there's no more rattling of the sword. There's no danger that another insult or incident will bring the heat of conflict back again.
Jeremiah would talk about the false prophets of the Old Testament who would say peace, peace when there was no peace. Luther talked about a carnal peace. Peace. It's only in words but not in reality but one were justified. The very first consequences of that the consequence of that is peace with God. The wars over God is no longer at enmity with us and we are no longer at enmity with him. The estrangement has been healed and we are reconciled now and for ever more.
And that is hardly ever discussed.
Even among Christians today how important it is to be peace with God. We have the peace of the Prince of peace. You remember the legacy of our Lord and his dying words to his apostles, he said to him that his last will and testament peace. I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled. Luther said the pagan troubles at the rustling of a leaf, because, in his unreconciled state. He fears the wrath of God. Now again, add to that that that from which we are saved is God. Salvation is principally and chiefly from God. It's by God but it's from God is from the wrath of God is from the judgment of God that we are redeemed and because we are reconciled and because we have peace we have nothing to fear from the wrath of God, which is the most fearsome thing that any human being could ever encounter. While beyond reconciliation process here we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. So the second consequence. This access is not simply access into his grace and its access into his presence. Recall that the punishment of Adam and Eve, was to be banished from the garden to be. They had to live east of Eden and God placed an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance to the garden for what purpose to prevent Adam and Eve from coming back into the presence of God. But now that flaming sword has been removed. The curtain in the temple is been rent asunder, and now we have access to the very presence of God we have the access of children who have been adopted into the family of God. That's a great part of what justification includes his adoption into the family of God, so that now we can call God father and to the believer, the word of God frequently calls us to draw on my and this is the Christian life to come as close as we possibly can to God.
The barriers have been removed but we are called to come boldly but of course not arrogantly is not a casual stroll in the park to come into the presence of God. The Bible calls us to prepare ourselves for coming to the presence of God.
And we also know that that God is everywhere in and yet their special manifestations of his presence in the number one special manifestation of his presence was in his house in church and amazes me frantically when I look at how people dress today when they come the church like they were going to a baseball game or like they were going to the beach and months of thinking to myself what if that person were invited to a state dinner at the White House. They wouldn't think of showing up dressed like that coming into the presence of the presidents. Whatever you think of the present of the offices so honorable that we we in our culture and in every culture. People know that their special times and special events. Holy moments where you dress appropriately and when we come near to God were coming into the presence of the holy from which we had been banished and forbidden to enter. So now when we come we should be prepared to come in a spirit of awe spirit of reverence, a spirit of joy, a spirit of comfort knowing that the war is over and now we have peace with him. I want to add to that the other biblical concept that is inherent that when we are justified and have this access to grace where we can come nigh.
We come nigh in Christ, we come because he's imputed his righteousness to us, but we come not in and of ourselves and of the presence of God.
But we are brought near by our Redeemer. You maybe have already learned in your grade classes and everything but in those to the simple prepositions in Greek or the preposition ice EIS and the preposition and EMC angle five way of saying it but what's the difference when the Bible tells us to believe in Christ and tells us to believe into not to be in this room right now we are inside the room, but the being in this place. We had come through that door and when we were on the other side of that door we warning here. We had to move. We had to move from out there to in here and that movement in Greek would be ice you move into something and we are called to believe into Jesus in our justification because then when we believe into Jesus then what happens. We are now.
As Paul speaks of again and again in Christ and Krista. We are in Christ and Christ is in us, and so this is part of the grand consequence of our justification for everyone who's justified is now brought from outside to inside and we are in Christ. I am in Christ and if you're Christian you are in Christ and that defines how we are to relate one to another, because how can I hate somebody who's in Christ. If I am in Christ we hate each other, we better be able to love each other because together we have been justified and we been brought into this family and I am in Jesus. He is in me you are in him and he is in you. It's no wonder is not that one. Paul was converted on the road to Damascus that when Jesus spoke to them from evanescence also. Why do you persecute me that even though Jesus said he had never met Jesus never same to but he was viciously committed to the destruction of the body of Christ, and so, Jesus, and you persecute my people you persecute my church you're persecuting me because I'm in them and they are in me. We have a union between us and among us, which is again part of the consequences of our justification then bog is on to say we have this access by faith into the grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God that we could spend six weeks just on that phrase right. What does it mean to rejoice in hope.
The New Testament speaks about hope all the time that with faith and justification comes hope and that's a hard thing to get, because in our culture in the way we use the term hope is radically different from how it's used in the Bible in our terms of hope were not sure about something we don't know what the outcome of a football game will be or whatever or how Artest is going to come away take our final exam is what is how you get to doing your fun is our hope amended Passover amended.
All right, we're not sure. You don't know you're not certain fact you're scared but hope in the New Testament is not a feeling associated with a desire or wish. It's a certainty of that which is to come in the future that is been promised in the past were in the present.
That's why it's called the anchor of the soul, it gives stability to the believer, and that hope, that is, there is faith looking forward it's trusting that God is going to do what he says he's going to do and so with our faith and justification comes.
Also, the scope and it's the hope of glory. What I want to see more than anything else is the glory of God unveiled pure manifest. Can you imagine what is going be like to look in the face of Christ in heaven to have the beatific vision of the Visio day to see him as he is in his glory to be covered by the glory of God. We have that hope and that hope. Paul says make us not ashamed will never be embarrassed by that because that hope cannot fail.
This is what provides us the grounds for our sanctification because were working out our salvation with fear and trembling, not as people who have no hope as people who are trying to become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. But maybe that won't happen. We know it's going to have our site application is worked out on the basis of the assurance of our justification. That's why Peter says make your calling and election sure have the assurance of your salvation so that you can become conformed to his image in your sanctification. So again another consequence of justification is our sanctification and that relationship between justification and sanctification is critical for us to understand and that's where the debate comes in.
For example, in the epistle of James where he seems to be contradicting Paul's justification by faith alone. But what's going on there is a discussion between the relationship of justification and sanctification, God willing will look carefully at that relationship that is taught by James and that which is taught by the apostle Paul looked at. We are saved not by your works.
Even our best works. We are saved by the perfect work of Christ on our behalf.
Thank you for joining us for Renewing Your Mind on this Friday as we wrap up highlights of Dr. RC Sproul series justified by faith alone. RC taught the series in his office at the look in her ministries to a group of Reformation Bible college students you may have heard them reference their Greek classes on today's program.
We put together several resources for your further study at home, including all 10 of the lessons from the series on two DVDs also include a digital copy of the study guide for the series and RC's classic book faith alone.
So contact us today with a donation of any amount and we will be glad to send you all these resources. There are couple of ways you can reach us. One is email@example.com or you can simply call us with your gifted 800-435-4343 I joined here the studio by Londoners, Pres. and CEO Chris Larson, then the Chris's week as we mark 50 years of ministry here at Lincoln or we are indeed grateful for the impact this ministry is is having around the world. We are thankful to God because we know that the word of God never returns void. God sends it forth and it accomplishes exactly what he intends for it to do. You are dear listeners pray for this ministry and the impact of the work of looking here and I want you to be encouraged with this testimony that came in from Brian is a 17-year-old high school student over in Tampa, Florida. He says I was first introduced to licking her ministries by my uncle is a big fan of Dr. Strohl in his ministry. My first real personal introduction to Ligon or however was when I first read the holiness of God which my uncle lent to me about a year ago, though not from a reform background. I was intrigued by the profound biblical teaching, and I began to look at the other outreaches the leader offers, he said, as I write this I am listening to Dr. Godfrey study discovering Deuteronomy my 45th looking or connect course since last March I subscribed to table talk magazine. I listen to simply put Luther in real time, and ultimately with RC scroll still taking looking interconnect studies and reading books by looking or teaching fellows in my spare time.
He says God in his wondrous grace has blessed me and numerous others. I'm sure with a magnificent teaching and outreaches of licking her ministries and I am eternally grateful to him and to all the workers there legionnaires played in integral part in my life. Thanks to everyone who is a part of this great ministry. May God continue to bless you that you may reach so many others in need of a spiritual Reformation in their lives that only the word of God can provide. Thank you so much Brian for sending that in indeed and then thank you Chris for stopping by today will next week you're on Renewing Your Mind. RC will address a question that so many asking times of difficulty. Where is God when I heard I hope you'll be with us Monday electrical series Providence God in control