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You Got an A+ [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2022 6:00 am

You Got an A+ [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. The Gospel is the powerful message of good news, declaring all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus.

It's powerful. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series Galatians as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina.

You're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program. I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month made to Alan Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, you can go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.

877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. Or you might even say, I'll tell you, really, love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Well, who's done that? Who's done that? There might be somebody that kept the Ten Commandments, but who's loved their neighbor as themselves?

Who ever got enough selfishness out of their life to do that? In other words, you can't keep the law. And therefore, the problem is sin. And what are you going to do with sin? And so, in the spirit of the age, ideologically, we're trying to say, well, there's no really such thing as sin, and we're trying to blur all the issues. But the guilt of the human heart is never alleviated from that. We're never relieved, and we never have peace with God. So the beginning of understanding the Gospel is to understand the dilemma of human sin.

Jerry Bridges puts it this way, to think about the magnitude of our sin to God. If you were to accidentally spill some black ink on somebody's doormat, you'd feel kind of bad about that. You might even try to replace it for them. But if you went into a palace, and you spilled black ink onto a priceless Persian heirloom, the same act of spilling the same ink would feel altogether different because of the value of what you had just hurt. Or, as I said not too long ago, someone put it this way. If you, as a little boy, you poke your little sister in the backseat of the car, you hit your little sister in the backseat of the car, your parents are probably going to rebuke you.

They might even draw that invisible line, you know, there in the back of the station wagon. But if you go to school the next day, and you hit the student sitting next to you, they're going to probably send you home and call your parents, and you're going to be in more trouble. You know, same thing. Same hit, but just different person, different context. And if you come back to school the next day, and you go hit the teacher, you're probably going to get expelled from that school. And if the police officer who escorts you out of the school, if you hit him, you're probably going to jail.

And if when you get out of jail, you drive up to Washington, D.C., climb across the fence, run across the White House lawn, and go up and punch the president in the face, then you get shot. In other words, the same thing can have a far different impact of its magnitude, because of the grandeur of the one offended. Now you have to envision God is perfect and holy and majestic, beyond description, and any form of sin, any form of sin, what the Bible says, is as if it is of the utmost sin, and we're separated from God because of it. What makes the church not to be bigots or hypocrites, is when instead of saying, we're righteous, you're not, we say we're all sinners, we all fall short of the glory of God, and we have hope. That's the gospel announcement. So it begins with understanding our predicament as sinners, and until we understand that that is the deep, deep need, then we'll never truly, truly appreciate the magnitude of what the gospel is announcing.

Now here it is. I've written this down as it came to me, and this is what I believe with all my heart, that the Bible teaches, and what Paul is saying in Galatians chapter 2. This means that when you are justified through faith in Christ, you can never be held accountable for, punished for, made to be ashamed of, penalized, or experience the disappointment of God for any past sin that you have committed, or for any sinful posture of your heart. It means, beloved, that while the Christian may experience the loving discipline of God, he or she will never experience the wrath of God, or any of the penalty that he or she so deeply deserves. It's always too good, you're sitting there going, that can't really be it.

No, no, something in that was wrong. I'm going to say it again because Martin Luther said, my job is to beat it into your head. It means to be justified that it's just as if I'd never sinned. And therefore, if this is the way God regards you through Jesus Christ, it means, logically does it not, you cannot be held accountable for, punished for, made to be ashamed of, or penalized, or experience the disappointment of God for any past sin that you have committed, or for any sinful posture of your heart, it means instead that while the Christian may experience the loving discipline of God, that he or she will never experience the wrath of God, or any of the penalty that he or she so deeply deserves. It's just as if I never sinned. Let us not settle for anything less than a gospel that proclaims that.

Because Jesus died on the cross so that we could say that. So that you could truly be forgiven. Let's not let one or two percent of a mixture creep back in that says, well, yeah, but God's still probably going to punish me for certain of my sins, or some of my new sins, He's going to punish me for them. Let's not let that creep in.

Why? Because as soon as that creeps into your thinking, where is its end? The accuser of the brethren, the one who is the father of lies, the one who is called Satan, will find at every point of legalism in your life, will find a way to accuse you so that you will either despair of life, sabotage yourself, punish yourself, or fear God, or make yourself a slave. But when you believe that it's just as if I never sinned, it is like the power, the power of all legalistic thought, the written code, Paul says in Romans, is cancelled and nailed to the cross. This is a big part of what Paul means when he says, I died with Christ, I was crucified with Christ. Calvin says, I was engrafted into the death of Christ. He said, I died to the law that I might live.

It's dying to a whole system of thought. And this is what Paul is laying out for us in Galatians. It is an extraordinary thought. But when God looks at the Christian, He sees you as not guilty, completely innocent.

But if the gospel stopped there, we would only have part of the full counsel of God. If God forgave you of your sin and declared you not guilty, and said it's just as if I'd never sinned, it would be glorious unto itself. But it would not make you meritorious. It would not make you as if you had deserved any blessing. It would make you morally neutral.

It would make you like Adam before sin had ever entered the world. God does something incredible in justification. That when you're justified through faith in Christ, you are not only declared not guilty, but you are reckoned by God through your faith that you have lived a perfectly righteous life just like Jesus Christ. And as such, you are apt to be rewarded, favored, and blessed as if you had lived a completely meritorious life.

It's hard to believe. This is what the Bible teaches. It's always been God's plan. Isaiah said it in Isaiah 61, 10, He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, and He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. It is a righteousness that is imputed to us, not at all by our own merit. It means, and this is what is astounding, that when God looks upon the Christian, the one who has accepted Christ through faith, God sees first one that He looks upon as not guilty and declares it. It's as if you never sinned. And more than that, because He imputes the righteousness of Jesus to you, He sees you as if you had lived the perfect life that Jesus lived. Which means that therefore, God is justified Himself in pouring out unlimited eternal blessings upon your life. He always said that obedience would be rewarded and disobedience would be punished. Through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has accomplished at the same time, at the same time He has kept His Word that obedience would be rewarded, disobedience would be punished, and made such reward available to those who are otherwise disobedient, because we're reckoned as if we're righteous through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It changes everything.

That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Imagine for 99 days in a row, someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you, when you feel cherished. But what would happen if on the hundredth day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up, I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well, just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, the Apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Alan Wright's 12 message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians, and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastoralan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. He's saying, before you start the class, I'm giving you an A, is if you had done A-level work. So live your life, instead of fear of making a failing grade, live your life with faith that you're already an A student.

Go ahead and live an A student life. It's the difference between fear and faith. It's the difference between death and life. This is the glory of the gospel. Now, it is important to understand what we mean by imputed. I don't mean to bring a bunch of technical theological words to you, but there are just some words that we use in theology because we don't have another word for it. And this is one of those cases, imputed. It's not the first place in scripture where we see this idea of imputation. We get the same idea when we say that we're all born in sin because of Adam and Eve's sin. In other words, because the first humans were sinful, we who are also human are imputed with their sin. So that's what the Bible teaches. Even before you're born, as you were born into this world, it was already imputed to you as a human being.

You're born in the condition of sin. But then we see this idea of imputation again when Jesus is on the cross because it is there, Paul says elsewhere, that Jesus became our sin. So Adam's sin is imputed to us, and then on the cross, our sin is imputed to Christ. So this then is the third image of imputation, that while our sin is imputed to Christ, in the same way that Adam's sin was imputed to us, Christ's righteousness in this great exchange is imputed to us. It is granted to us.

It is reckoned as if in our account. And this is important theologically because what this is saying is that it is not your own righteousness. It is always Christ's righteousness, which goes far to say, understand what Paul means when he says, I've been crucified with Christ.

It's no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. It is why Paul can say in 1 Corinthians 1 30 that God made Christ to be our wisdom, our righteousness, and sanctification and redemption. Christ is our righteousness. I am reckoned as righteous because Christ is my righteousness. And Paul says that his goal in Philippians 3 9 is to be found in Christ not having a righteousness of my own based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends upon faith. In other words, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is reckoned unto you, unto your account, as if you had lived a perfectly obedient life and therefore in Jesus Christ, it's just as if I'd never sinned and it's just as if I live a beautiful meritorious life and done many good things that deserve to be blessed. This is the Christian life. It is technically, and this is important to say that justification is a legal declaration from God that is separate and distinct from conversion, which is called regeneration, and our Christian growth, which is called sanctification.

And this is to say that our justification, knowing that I'm justified, is the fuel, it is the substance and source of all of my sanctification, all of my Christian growth. When I served on a jury last year, we, the defendant, was accused of possession of drug paraphernalia and he was accused of possession of cocaine with intent to sell. And we, the jury, found him guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia and it seemed clear that it had to be that this was his drug paraphernalia. That was the lesser of the offenses. But there was not enough evidence to convict him that he possessed cocaine.

He intended to sell it. There just wasn't enough evidence of that and so we declared him not guilty on that count. Now, when we did that, not knowing anything else about that man, what we did was it meant that all likely he wasn't going to jail. It meant that he was going to have a more minor offense on his record, that he was going to walk out of there free.

It meant many good things for his life. I don't have any idea what he was going to do with that. He could have gone out and done drugs the next day or hopefully not. Hopefully he, having a not guilty verdict, he would live that out in his life.

I don't know. What we did announce was, though, you're not guilty. And in so doing of saying you're not guilty of possession of cocaine and intent to sell, we're saying you can't be tried for this anymore.

You are not guilty of this. But that not guilty announcement does not necessarily bring any inward change in him. When you accept Christ through faith, God gives you a not guilty and He gives you a granting or imputation of righteousness. But that righteousness is Christ's righteousness. It is not necessarily about any infusion of that righteousness into your life.

Why is this important? It's important because what Martin Luther came up against in the Reformation was a doctrine that was teaching that righteousness is something that God infuses into you so that you become more righteous inwardly and it starts showing up in your good works. And this is how you can know who is in a state of grace and who's not. Or it can mean that people are more justified than other people and it would lead to all manner of confusion about the Gospel. So to be clear, what we're saying is that justification is something distinct from conversion or when you're spiritually regenerated and it's distinct from but leads into all of your Christian growth and sanctification. In other words, the more that you understand that you're justified, the more that you understand the power of the Gospel, the more that you understand and believe with all of your heart what God has done for you in Christ Jesus, the more it changes every aspect of your life, the more that your life becomes increasingly conformed to that of Christ. This is the power of the Gospel at work. It's the power of faith that is receiving God's blessings and transformation in our life through the presence of the Holy Spirit rather than the power of fear and trying to conform to law and what we ought to do. And so it's all the difference in the world. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is an announcement of unbelievable implication because of the doctrine of justification.

And I could spend literally hours just going on and on with joy about the implications of the astounding news of our justification, but let me mention a few of these. First is faith. When you know that God has absolutely forgiven you and that it's been declared that it's as if you never sinned and it has been declared that you have been reckoned as righteous, does it not change everything about how you come to God? If you come for prayer today and somebody is praying with you and you come knowing fully that you have been justified by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and there's no merit of your own that could ever add anything to the love and favor of God upon your life because God has already predisposed with utmost favor towards you in the same way that He has favor towards His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you know that that's the way God sees you, that when you come before Him and you come to the throne of grace, He doesn't see your sin, He doesn't see all your mistakes, He doesn't see your shortcomings, but instead what He sees through the reckoned righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ is someone who is absolutely, therefore, meritorious in His sight, deserving of His good pleasure instead of deserving of His displeasure. If you see yourself through the blood of the Lord Jesus as fully justified, would you not come to the throne of grace boldly in your time of need?

This is the Gospel. Come to the throne of grace boldly in your time of need. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the life of God. Be filled with all of His goodness. Be filled with every spiritual blessing in Christ and look forward to the day of His complete consummation. For behold, you will live with Him forevermore and nothing could ever snatch you out of His hand.

Live your life like that! Faith! Faith comes out of knowing it's just as if I never sinned. And freedom. What glorious freedom comes. If you have in your thinking a bit of angst that you haven't done quite enough, you don't quite measure up. The word for that is shame. And what happens is that you can end up spending your energy and your life striving to try to please a God through your own righteousness when He is already pleased with you through the righteousness of Jesus.

Allen Wright. And sometimes it is all about the attitude and how you look at things. And we're going to continue this teaching on our next edition. But Allen is back in the studio with additional insight on this for your life and our final word today. The teaching?

You got an A plus in the series, Galatians. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Allen Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Allen Wright's daily blessing.

It's free and just a click away at pastorallen.org. Imagine for 99 days in a row someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you, when you feel cherished. But what would happen if on the hundredth day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up, I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well, just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, the apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Alan Wright's 12-message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians, and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastoralan.org. Alan, right here where we put the bookmark in this teaching, you got an A plus. Somebody's listening right now and it's really touching their heart. What's our takeaway today? I love the way Charles Spurgeon put it. He said, when I thought God was hard, I found it easy to sin.

Yeah. But when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon my breast to think that I could ever have rebelled against one who loved me so. And that really is the essence of all gospel-based living. There's something that happens in you when you accept the infinite goodness of God and His grace for you that stuns you, delights you, and causes you to want to live a different life. Today's good news message is a listener-supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 12:48:12 / 2023-03-05 12:58:16 / 10

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