Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. The Bible says that all people come into the world sinful and unrighteous. But the good news is that through faith in Jesus Christ, you can receive God's righteousness. Today's encouraging message from the cross is you can be justified. If you'll turn, please, to Romans, chapter 5. And I want us to read just certain verses of this chapter, and then we will explain what we're talking about when we say that the encouraging message of the cross is that you and I have been justified. He begins the chapter by saying, Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace, wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Then if you'll move down to verse eight, he says, But God commended his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more than being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And then in verse 17, For if by one man's offense, speaking of Adam, death reigned by one, death came into the world through him, much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Verse 19, For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Verse 21, That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Now, when we talk about justification, what do we mean? So I want to explain what the word means. And first of all, I want to give you two Greek words and some of you who take good notes. I'm going to spell the words because I want you to see the relationship between justification and righteousness. And those are two words we talk about them that oftentimes we don't know what they mean. The Greek word for justify is a word which sounds like this.
Dikaio, which is spelled D-I-K-A-I-O-O. The word for righteousness sounds just like it almost, D-K-I-O-S-U-N-E. And the only difference is the S-U-N-E at the end of the second word. So you know that any word that has that much of the same root as the other word surely must mean something like it. So when we say that a man is justified, that means he has been declared righteous in the eyes of God. He has been acquitted of his guilt and the righteousness of Jesus Christ has been placed upon him. So when somebody talks about being justified or being declared righteous or made righteous, you know that those two words are almost the same.
The roots are the same and the only difference is the ending on that second word, D-K-I-O-S-U-N-E, which means righteousness. Now when we talk about righteousness and to be justified, what do we mean by that? Well, the first thing I want us to look at is the character here of justification.
The three things I want you to jot down about justification and they're real simple and they're these. First of all, justification is all of God. Secondly, it is all of grace. And thirdly, it is all of faith. Justification, whatever that word means, is all of God, all of grace and all of faith.
That ought to indicate to us immediately it is something that is going to happen on the outside of us. It is something God is going to do in your behalf and in my behalf. And if you recall here in Romans chapter 5 and verse 9, he says, much more than being now justified by his blood, that is, whatever this means, it has come about by or through the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary 2,000 years ago. And if you recall, we didn't say in this series that God will love you just the way you are but that he does. He's not going to redeem you, but he already has. He's not going to reconcile you, but he already has. Nor is he going to justify you, but he has already justified you.
And what you have to ask is what is your responsibility and when does what he has done become a living experience in your life and mine? So he says he has justified us by his blood. The word justified means to be deemed right. When we talk about righteousness, when he talks about the righteousness of God, that speaks of the character of God. That is, when we talk about being clothed with righteousness or being made righteous, that means that God the Father has clothed you and me with the character of Jesus Christ. Now let me define what I mean by justification. Let me tell you in the very beginning, the definition is too long for you to write it down.
Now watch. Justification is the act of holy God who is our judge. It is an act on his part of acquitting us of all of our guilt for all of our sin based on the fact that his son Jesus Christ went to the cross and atoned for our sin. Being necessary because for a holy God to remain holy and just and at the same time a quit and a guilty sinner, someone had to take our place in Jesus Christ and his substitutionary death took our place. Therefore, holy righteous God could remain holy and righteous to his laws and decrees and to acquit us as not guilty even though we have been guilty, Jesus Christ bearing our guilt and bearing the penalty of our sin.
That's executed in my life when by faith I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Lord. That's as short as I can put it because that is exactly what justification involves. If you leave out any part of that, you don't have the meaning of justification.
It is all of God and none of man. Secondly, we said it is all of grace and not by works. There's not a single verse in all the scripture where you'll find that justification is the work of man. For example, if you'll look in Galatians chapter 2 and verse 16 and while you're turning there let me remind you that Martin Luther who was the real thrust and the heartbeat of the reformation many many years ago, changing the whole direction of religion and church and Christianity in this world, it was the doctrine of justification when he tried with all of his might as a Roman Catholic monk to be accepted, to be made acceptable in the eyes of God, did everything in his power when he came to Galatians chapter 2 and verse 16. Listen to this verse, knowing that a man is not declared righteous, not acquitted of his guilt, not justified by the works of the law but by the faith of Jesus Christ even we have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be justified by the faith of Christ not by the works of the law for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified which simply means that God's declaration of our acquittal of all of our guilt does not come through anything that we do it is the act of grace it is the work of grace and the work of faith not by man. So when he says that we have been justified it isn't anything that God has seen within us that makes us worthy of God saying aha I see a righteous man I'm going to acquit him of all of his guilt. God almighty in all of his holiness reaching down and seeing us in our sinfulness and in our wickedness what does he do? Having sinned his only begotten son to the cross Jesus Christ punishing in him the bible says he made him to be sin for us punishing our sin in him then what does he do but his righteousness becomes our righteousness the moment we by faith accept the work of his son on the cross and receive Jesus Christ as our savior then we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ it is the work of God's grace never by works it can never be works and grace grace is a gift work is something I deserve so that to be justified not he says by works but by grace if you and I have been made accepted in the eyes of God if we have been justified based on what his son did at Calvary and our own response is to believe that is to accept that is his gift if we have been declared not guilty on the basis of what he did then what could we ever do to unravel the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross there is nothing we can do listen he declared us not guilty so that it was not what we did it is what he did he paid the penalty God the father acquitted us of our guilt and he didn't acquit us of our guilt on the basis of what we've been what we are what we shall do he acquitted us on the basis of what his son did and by faith we responded to Jesus work on the cross therefore it is all of God none of man it is all of grace none of works it is all of faith and not of what man can do for himself so you see that our standing listen it is our position before God our position before God is accepted our position before God is approved our condition before God is redeemed justified reconciled love accepted he says we have become the jaunt heirs with his son Jesus Christ based on what God almighty has done for us and not what we have done for ourselves now I want to distinguish something here that's very important distinguish between justification and sanctification because here is the thing that may keep rubbing some of you who are listening and you keep saying but what am I to do that's all too good you're talking about what God has done but what am I supposed to do surely God doesn't do it all all right now watch this sanctification is different from justification now you know what justification is we we just told you what that is sanctification is different in this way now watch this justification is an act of God sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit justification is outside of us sanctification is within us justification is a once and for all act sanctification is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit within us even after we are saved now justification outside of us justification once and for all justification the work of God justification declaring us not guilty sanctification is the removal of that pollution that is those things in our life for all practical purposes that should not be there so justification is what God did on the cross 2,000 years ago becoming a practical actual experience in my life the moment I received Christ as my Savior now having received Christ as my Savior the Holy Spirit who is within us he said I'm going away if I go away I'll send the comforter he'll be in you with you and upon you he'll do several things he'll convict you of sin what righteousness and the judgment he will guide you into all truth he will glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in us many many works of the Holy Spirit the work of the Holy Spirit now watch this the work of the Holy Spirit in our life on an ongoing basis day by day is actually working out in our life what God the Father has given us in justification now watch he says that we have been made the righteousness of Christ here's what happened God the Father seeing in my helpless condition took my sin and placed them on his son and punished his son because of my sin his righteousness therefore became my gift and he clothed me in the righteousness of Jesus Christ so that every single one of us who has received Jesus Christ as our personal Savior are walking around today clothed in the godly character of Jesus Christ now that is a work outside of us that is the work of God in our behalf it is the work of the Holy Spirit to so work in your life in my life that the character of Jesus Christ with which we have been clothed becomes a living working practical part of a daily life he says he predestinated us to be conformed to his likeness it is the work of the Holy Spirit to conform us to his likeness so what does he do having given us the character of Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit within us seeking to God and direct and control and master our life what does he do but so work in our life that the character of Jesus Christ will become the expression of our life in our attitudes in our actions and in our affections that our attitude will be that in keeping with the character of Christ that our actions will be in keeping with the character of Christ and that our affections would be in keeping with the character of Christ so it is the Holy Spirit of God who must work out of us and through us what almighty God has clothed us with so that God the Father not only sees us but we are listen we are made the righteousness of Christ now that being the case we have to ask ourselves the question well you mean to tell me that when God sees me he sees me righteous he not only sees you righteous the word of God says having been made righteous not just seeing us righteous but the scripture says he made us righteous and in verse 17 of chapter 5 of Romans look there if you will he says for if by one man's offense death reigned by one much more they who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteous so if you receive it as a gift you don't have to work for it amen you can't work for something and receive it as a gift at the same time if you work for it it's paid if you did not work for it and you have it it is a gift he says the abundance of the gift of righteousness in order that we might reign in this life by Jesus Christ now listen to me carefully God almighty does not intend that you and I walk around all burdened down and troubled and weary and we're just going to make it through life and we're just doing our best to make it we know that one of these days by the grace of God we're going to just sneak through the glory a little cabin over the corner of glory and we've prayed our way through and worked our way through and begged and pleaded and confessed and repented before almighty God one of these days we're going to make it somehow there's not any of that in the bible but this is what the bible says having been saved by the grace of God having been loved just the way you are having been redeemed by the blood of Jesus having been reconciled unto himself having been declared righteous by God through his son's blood Jesus Christ having been made the righteousness of God having our names written in the lamb's book of life having been adopted into his kingdom having been accepted in the beloved he says we are the sons and daughters of almighty God and my friend that ought to motivate us to holiness and righteousness which the spirit of God will work in and out of our life as we live our daily life God wants you and me liberated to become everything he had not only has ordained and predestinated but has provided in the death of Jesus Christ our Lord now friend if you're down in the dumps you didn't get that in the bible because the teaching and the promise of scripture is that you are somebody special in the eyes of God and once you and I are able to accept ourselves as we are from God's point of view you will never be the same again as a Christian something's going to happen your relationship to other Christians something is going to happen your relationship something is going to happen your relationship to non-believers something is going to happen to your capacity because you're going to be able to begin to experience what has always been there and that is a sense of competency that in Christ Jesus I came to all things our sense of worthiness God thinks I'm worthy and the sense of belonging I belong to almighty God whoever else in life may reject me and do you see he wants us to see our position in him listen watch this if by faith I am able and willing to accept my position loved forgiven reconciled redeemed and justified then the Holy Spirit who is within every single believer will begin to work into our life and out of our life through our experiences those things will begin to work out of our life so that the character of Jesus Christ with which we have been clothed will begin to be evident to people all about us and again all of God all of grace and all of faith it isn't something we worked up it is something given to us by the living presence of Jesus Christ within us listen when I fully understand what that means and I by faith and willing for the spirit of God to have control of my life then the Holy Spirit lives through your life and my life the life of Jesus Christ and friend that is life at its best and life with all the freedom and liberty that God has promised and provided for every single one of us thank you for listening to you are justified if you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or in touch ministries stop by in touch.org this podcast is a presentation of in touch ministries Atlanta Georgia
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