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February 18, 2021 1:00 am
For over a thousand years, a key doctrine was hidden. It gives hope to the hopeless and life to the spiritually dead. That doctrine is justification by faith, rediscovered by Martin Luther in the 1500s. What does justification mean?Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
One reason for us. Jesus phone number for over a thousand years after the church's founding ring was lost, one that gives hope to the hopeless life spiritually, that is justification by faith rediscovered by Martin Luther in the 1500s.
Today justification me from the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to win with Dr. Sir Lewis clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line elixir in Sunday school were taught that justification means it's just as if I'd never sinned, is that right Dave, that's right, but it's only really a part of the truth. The other part is simply this is not only as if I have never sand. It's as if I have lived a life of perfect righteousness because the righteousness of Jesus Christ is credited to us. I scarcely live a day without thinking about this because it is such a blessing you know I've written a book entitled the power of a clear conscience let me ask you something in your human relationships where there is broken trust.
What do you do when sorry is not enough. How do you reconcile these broken relationships. Those are the kinds of issues I discuss in this book. It's entitled the power of a clear conscience letting God put your past behind you for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.
Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. You know, it's one thing for us to be rightly related to God.
But this book also deals with the question of how do we become rightly related to others. At the end of this message. I'm going to be giving you this contact information once again. But now, let us be blessed by the great truth of justification by faith alone. If you're here today in Europe. The Catholic faith.
I hope that you have a sense of humor. I believe the I'm counting on.
There is a story that when the last Pope died, he took all of his keys and attempted to open the door of heaven. He tried every key and it didn't work. In fact, he tried all of his keys a second time. Suddenly a shadowy figure arrived then and was there in and said to the Pope's what's going on is the Pope. I have the keys to the kingdom. I'm I the keys to paradise, but they're not working. The guys will you have to understand something. 500 years ago a guy by the name of Martin Luther came up here and he changed the locks now just to clarify a little bit of theology, neither Luther nor the Pope had the keys to heaven. They are held by Jesus. The Bible says in the book of Revelation 118, but whether you are today. Here is a Buddhist is a Muslim.
No matter what religion you belong to, or a Catholic or Protestant. You're all welcome and all of us should appreciate the struggle of conscience that Martin Luther experienced this happens to be the seventh in a series of messages entitled the power of a clear conscience and no one struggled with his conscience more than did Luther.
In fact, he enrolled in the monastery in Erfurt to see whether or not he could quiet his tormented soul. Luther was afflicted by what is known in German as unfixed and again that is to say a sense of existential despair, anxiety, guilt and overwhelming feeling of inferiority of imperfection and his conscience haunted him that he hoped that he be able to find peace. So there in the monastery in Erfurt took the time to try to take advantage of all the opportunities that medieval Catholicism gave him back in the year 1507 and what he did as he began by the duties that were outlined that should be done. The renunciation of self-will of the idea of sleeping on the floor without a blanket and Rebecca and I have been to these places many times I've had the privilege of leading tours to the sites of the Reformation and so there on a stone floor without a blanket to mortify the flesh.
What he did is he took care and did all that he can regarding these disciplines.
Sometimes he fasted so long and so much that some of his fellow monks thought that he would actually die. The problem was that there was never a balanced his account with God was never balance the more he did, the more he sensed God demanded in his conscience continued to torment him. The sacraments were of some soulless to him, especially confession, but he knew that he needed to confess all of his sins and in order to jog his memory. What he did is. He began by quoting the 10 Commandments and the seven deadly sins's and then the confession started.
Sometimes he confessed his sins for up to six hours at a time until his confessor Stout but said Luther why is it that you confess all of these little sins. The next time you come.
Let it be for murder or for immorality or theft but not all of these little peccadilloes.
Not all these little sins, but Luther was a better theologian than his contemporaries. He knew that the issue was not whether the sin was bigger little but whether or not it had been confessed and whether or not it and forget because Luther knew as moderns don't that even the slightest sin, even the smallest smidgen of sin will banish a sinner forever from the presence of God and then in confession he reached an impasse sins in order to be forgiven had to be confessed in order for them to be confess they had to be remembered if they were not remembered. They could not be confessed, and if they were not as they could not. Then he realized his situation was even worse than he thought. Indeed, all of his whole nature was corrupt to see. It was as if he was trying to mop up the floor with the faucet running matter how often he confessed tomorrow was a brand-new day with sin. That is conscience would not be silenced and there was no peace Stout but suggested that Luther go to the little town of Wittenberg where University was being established by the Elector Frederick and he should teach there and that Luther taught philosophy and ethics, and then Stout but said to him one day when it you begin teaching the Bible and Luther said that would be the death to some extent it was.
He began to lecture in the Psalms, and he comes to Psalm 22, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken the words of Jesus on the cross so Luther said, why is it that Jesus Christ himself experienced on factoring in a sensitive, disquieted a a torment of Soleil separation from God. And then he began to realize that was on our behalf that and then Luther came to Romans chapter 1 because he was lecturing on the book of Romans where it says that the gospel is the power of God onto salvation, and in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, the just shall live by faith. Luther hated the righteousness of God love God. Luther said I because you see it is because God is so righteous that our problem if God were less righteous and maybe he'd be able to bend his righteousness to accommodate us, then maybe all of my works in all of my confessions would be sufficient. God is impeccably holy, righteous, but Luther began to understand that the text says that the just live by faith, and he began to see that righteousness is an attribute of God, but righteousness also is a gift that God gives to sinners he came to Romans chapter 4 verse three Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.
Luther said Dan night I pondered the connection between the just shall live by faith and the righteousness of God.
And then he said when I began to realize that righteousness is a gift that God gives his very own righteousness dissenters as a gift by faith. He said it was as if I was walking through the gates of paradise now. It didn't matter how high God's standards were as long as Jesus kept them for me and paid my debt. I can be free. I'm sure that Luther also lectured on second Corinthians 521 for he that is God made him Christ to be sin on our behalf that we might be made of the righteousness of God in him followed carefully. That verse teaches that Jesus got what he didn't deserve mainly our sin and we get, but we don't deserve we get is righteousness. It's the great exchange and by the way.
No wonder when Jesus was made. Send the hymn writer described it this way. Well, Mike.
The sun in darkness high and shot its glories in Christ, the great Beemer died for man creatures without introduction. I want you to turn to Romans chapter 8 Romans chapter 8 is one of the greatest chap is in all the Bible. If the Bible were a ring.
It would have been many different stones and the middle stone point of the diamond if you please, would be Romans, the book of Romans, and then of course Romans chapter 8 Romans chapter 8 begins with there is therefore now no condemnation.
It begins with no condemnation. Romans eight and then ends with no separation. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God. Death, persecution, dying a martyr. Nothing separates us from God's love. But in between there. I want you to notice in verse 31 of Romans eight what shall we say then to these things. If God is for us who can be against us. And that's a good question for you. If God is for us, who is bigger than God could possibly be against us. He was spared not his own son but gave them up for us all, how shall we not also with him graciously give us all things. Sorry I have to skip that marvelous verse with all its meaning, but now we're in verse 33 who shall bring a charge against God's elect. It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn Christ Jesus as the one who died more than that, who was raised was at the right hand of God's eating or so, let's begin and answer the question, who can bring a charge against God's elect.
Well, your wife probably is able to bring a charge against you. Perhaps suffer some of you, the police is able to bring a charge against you, it could well be indeed that are conscience that was Luther's challenge the conscience can indeed bring a charge against us as were reminded of our sins. And as we wallow in the guilt that you and I experience because of those sins. Certainly, the conscience can condemn us and bring a charge against us. Certainly Satan can the matter fact the Bible says that he accuses the saints day and night during the day during the night full-time job and he accuses not just with words, he actually accuses with feelings, so we feel condemned, we feel inferior and I could even lead to that terrible thing called self-hatred because of who we are.
All of that is possible as we accept the charges that are leveled against us. Who is he that charges against us. Any number of different sources. The charges, but then it is God who justifies. It is God who has a different verdict and end at what does God mean when he says that he justifies doesn't just mean that God forgives us. Oh yes, God forgives us, but is much more than that yes he had got only for gave us, that would only take care of past sins were talking now about a work of God, whereby God in heaven legally declares you to be as righteous as he himself is Luther understood that nobody gets to heaven unless he is perfect God's might be an appropriate time for wives to turn to their husbands and say husband you're in trouble but nobody can get to heaven unless he is as perfect as God and end justification means that God declares this to be absolutely perfect. It is a legal term word God says in my site. I pronounce you perfect forgiven and as we shall see in a moment forever now you know that old illustration that's been used many times and I think I'd like to use it again. Let's suppose that you were speeding, and teenagers listen up here.
This may apply to you more than to some of us older ones. But let's suppose that you couldn't pay the fine. Let us also suppose that the judge was very kindhearted and you stood before him, and he said give me $200 and you don't have any money and that what happens is the judge leaves the bench takes off his robe stands in ordinary clothes with the defendant standing beside the teenager.
The judge whips out his wallet laced $200 there on the bench goes back, puts on his robe and picks up the $200 and says to the young person at your acquitted your debt has been paid and it's paid in full so far as the laws concerned you're not under no condemnation because I paid the debt for you. Justification by faith means that it means that 10 Jesus Christ is the one who pays our debt.
Some people say will justification is just as if I'd never sinned. Yes, it's that, but it's much better than that. It's not only as if I'd never sinned, but if it is as if I had lived a life of perfect and complete obedience before God because Jesus Christ merit his death and his life becomes my death and my life so to speak, and we are saved entirely on the basis of his gift to us the gift of righteousness know what I'd like to do in the next few moments is to unpack this idea of justification because if you ever grasp what I'm going to tell you today. It could be something that you think about and you accept virtually every day of your life.
Very seldom does a day go by in my own life without affirming what I'm going to be explaining to you today. Of course I don't take a lot of time to do it because I know where this goes, but want to release what a deliverance from guilt and a troubled conscience.
First of all, and I'm going to give this to you either in words or short phrase. Five of them were going to unpack it and see what it really mean the first word that I want to give you is free gift phrase free gift. Obviously, the righteousness of God which is credited to us has to be given to us by God as a free gift. We cannot earn it. We cannot add to it just like you can add a billion bananas and never get an orange so human righteousness can never attain to the righteousness of God. If we're going to get the gift of righteousness. It has to be given to us by God and our works can contribute absolutely nothing to it, you realize what I'm saying.
That means that God does not find it harder to forgive and to accept a great center than a lesser one. Years ago I told you this story, but I tell it again. This is a message. By the way that everybody should listen to at least once or twice but I tell it to you somebody in prison wrote to me and said he listens to our broadcast and says that he had sexually assaulted for women destroyed their lives so his question to me is can I be forgiven well, of course, because of what he did. We like to say no, just go to hell alone, but then we remember that that's also where we belong.
So I wrote to him and I said I want you to visualize two trails.
One trail is very finely traveled. It is so neat. The trail has little flowers along the trail. This other one is just a mess.
I mean, very deep ruts. There are places where obviously the person turned around. It is likely, but let's suppose that you have 18 inches of snow that comes you can tell this trail from that trail because both of them have been covered by the snow come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool and I told him yes the righteousness of Christ can cover your sin. Just like it covers my that is the good news of the gospel, because it is given freely to those who believe as we shall see in a moment. It is a free gift and all of Luther's attempts to please God and his attempts to do all that he was doing only ended up with a ledger that was not in his favor and he knew that he was headed to judgment. But Jesus gives us a righteousness of God. A second word or phrase is complete.
It is complete. Not going to explain something to you that could be a means of deliverance for many of you that's how deeply I feel about this message and that is this that when you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, your sins are legally forgiven past, present and future. It has to be that way. And that's exactly what the Bible teaches how many of your sins were future when Jesus Christ died while all of them have because you and I certainly were not on the scene 2000 years ago when Jesus died. So Jesus anticipating sins, anticipating the sins that would be committed among those whom he would say he took all those upon him in one offering. The Bible says in Hebrews chapter 10 for by one offering he perfected for ever.
Those who are sanctified.
But now I do want you to turn to another passage just so that you make sure that I'm biblical here and I'm not making this up, this is Colossians chapter 2 Colossians chapter 2 and I'm going to begin sort of right here in verse 13 it says that God made us alive together with Christ. Colossians 213, having forgiven all of our trespasses.
All of our trespasses by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross my friend, this is Pastor Luther. You can face your day today, much better. Can't you thinking about what the word of God reveals the fullness of the cross Jesus Christ in the payment the Christ made canceling our debt. Now, if you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior now would be a wonderful time to do that.
Give up the idea that somehow you can be saved on your own come to a true Savior qualified to take your sins away and someday bring you directly into the presence of God.
You know, I've written a book entitled the power of a clear conscience and I want to remind you that we make these resources available to our people, and we do that because we want to help you in the Christian life. In it I discuss many different issues including forgiveness, including conflicts of conscience even in the workplace. How do we navigate this culture for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours.
Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book the power of a clear conscience right now.
Go to RTW offer.com or if you prefer to call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for your generosity. Together we are making a difference and were helping people to understand the wonder of the gospel and its application to our lives. You can write to it running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Next time I'm running to win more on what justification by faith is all about.
Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored the Moody Church