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Sola Fide #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2022 8:00 am

Sola Fide #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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May 18, 2022 8:00 am

Last time, Pastor Don Green focused on the need for justification and its nature. We need it because we're all guilty and condemned by the Law. Then, God accepts us as righteous through the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and through His shed blood on the cross that cleanses us from all sin. In today's program, Pastor Don will cover a third perspective- The nature of faith. So have your Bible open and ready.--TheTruthPulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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Your justification is not improved by your good works. It is not diminished by your sin. That is because your justification is not based on your righteousness.

It is based on the righteousness and shed blood of Christ alone. Sola Fide. Solus Christus. Thanks for joining us on the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Don teaches God's people God's Word.

Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. Today Don continues our series, The Five Solas, with part two of a message titled Sola Fide, by Faith Alone. Last time, Don focused on the need for justification and the nature of it. We need it because we're all guilty and condemned by the law. Then God accepts us as righteous through the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and through his shed blood on the cross that cleanses us from all sin.

On today's program, Don will cover a third perspective, the nature of faith. So have your Bible open and ready as we join our teacher now in the Truth Pulpit. On what basis does God accept us as righteous and pardon all of our sins? Beloved, Jesus Christ stood as our representative, stood as our substitute, acted in our place with his righteous life and with his shed blood. First of all, Scripture teaches us that his blood shed on the cross satisfied, extinguished, propitiated the wrath of God on behalf of sinners.

Let's look at Isaiah 53, which viewed this prophetically. Isaiah 53, where it says, Surely our griefs he himself bore and our sorrows he carried, yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he, speaking of Christ, of course, was pierced through for our transgressions.

He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon him and by his scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him. At the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ bore the wrath of God against every sinner who would ever believe in Christ. His blood, his sacrifice, his anguish was sufficient to pay the penalty of our sins. And God is satisfied with the blood of his own son as the necessary payment that your sin requires. And so, as we sometimes sing, his blood has washed away all my sin, to which we say, Jesus, thank you.

The wrath of God has been fully satisfied by you. And when we believe in Christ, the full merit, the full benefit of his blood is applied fully to us. So as we often quote from 1 John 1-7, the blood of Jesus, his son, cleanses us from all sin, so that God does not look at you and see any remnant of guilt remaining, because all of that guilt has been washed away, and though your sins were as scarlet, now they are white as snow.

There is a purity in the way that God views you, there is a purity of status that you have before God as a justified believer that is perfect and that there is no stain or blemish any more than there is any stain or blemish on Christ himself. That's how perfectly and how wonderfully Christ has given of himself for us, those of us who didn't deserve that. Secondly, and counter to that, there's the negative aspect of justification, our sins are forgiven, they're washed away, but beyond that the merit of the obedient life of Christ provides a positive righteousness for us that conforms us to God's law in the declaration of justification. 2 Corinthians 5 21 says, he made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, our sin imputed to Christ, charged against Christ to count, and Christ paid the debt in full when he suffered on the cross, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him, the perfect righteousness of Christ credited to us, charged to our account, given to us in a way that leads to this result. God accepts us who have put our faith in Christ, he accepts you in Christ, not because you are righteous, because you're not, but he accepts us, he accepts you in Christ because he accepts the righteousness of Christ in your stead. He accepts something else, you cannot bring a sacrifice on your own that is acceptable to God to pay for your sins, your guilt pollutes everything that you do in a way that there is nothing righteous you could offer to him, it's all tainted.

It's all spoiled, it's all rotten, it all has to be thrown out with the garbage, there's nothing that you could do to do that, to offer something that God would accept. The beauty of the gospel, the beauty of the doctrine of justification is, is that God will accept something else, something that is outside of you, something that you did not do, God will accept the righteousness of another person in your place, and that righteousness is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Christ by his perfect life, Christ by his work on the cross has done everything that is necessary for a righteous standing to be attained with God. Perfect righteousness, perfect payment for sin, guaranteed by the infinite value of the eternal Son of God, proved to be accepted by the resurrection of Christ by which God says I accept that sacrifice, the penalty of death has no hold on him or on anyone else that is in him. And so we realize that we are saved by the work of someone else, we are saved by something external to us. The theologians talk about a principle of alien righteousness, meaning that it's not something intrinsic to our own being, but it is alien to us, and it is outside of us, and God accepts something righteous outside of us in order to accept us, to receive us as righteous, and he accepts us not because we are righteous, I'll say it again, not because we are righteous but because he accepts the righteousness of Christ in our place. Now, that leads us right into Sola Fide. How is it then that a sinner receives the benefit of Christ in his life?

Think about it this way, think about it in spatial terms, I find this helpful. How does the merit of Christ go from out there to in here? How does it go from existing as it were, as a reality, how do you personally appropriate it? How does it become yours then?

Again, is there something that you can do? No, no, no, we can't, it's not that. It's not by works. How does the merit of Christ get applied to your account so that you know today that you're safe on that future judgment day? How can that become yours?

How does it come to belong to you? That brings us to point number three, the nature of faith. The nature of faith. We've seen the need for justification, we're all guilty and condemned. We've seen the nature of justification. God accepts us as righteous because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us and his shed blood cleanses us from all sin. That's the nature of justification, that's how God accepts us and pardons all of our guilt.

Now how do we receive it? It's the nature of faith. Sola Fide, faith alone emphasizes that we do not receive Christ by anything that we do, not by works. Look at Galatians 2 16, which is the next book over to the right from 2 Corinthians. Galatians 2 verse 16, where it says, Nevertheless, knowing that a man is not justified, declared righteous, a man is not declared righteous, he is not accepted by God, he is not justified by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Even we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, since by the works of the law no flesh will be justified. I pointed this out to you in the past on this verse. Three times it affirms the positive, by faith in Christ, believing in Christ. Three times it affirms the negative, not by works, no flesh will be justified by the law. God accepts sinners only, exclusively, with no other option. God accepts sinners only as they receive Christ by faith alone. What does that mean for your trust?

What does that mean for what you are hoping in? It means that we rely on Christ alone as the basis for God to accept us. I am not trusting in the fact that I preach for a living for God to accept me.

That has nothing to do with it. None of the good works that you do have anything to do with the basis on which God would accept you and receive you as righteous in His sight, because everything that we do is flawed, it's tainted, that can't be it. No, we're trusting in the righteousness of Christ alone as the basis for God to accept us, forsaking all else, taking up our cross, denying ourself, denying any claim of our own righteousness, saying it's someone outside of me, it's what another did for me that I did not even ask for. He did it 2,000 years before I was born.

He appointed me for this before the foundation of the world. And so all of the glory goes to Him. What is the nature of this faith that saves? Well, the shorter catechism says in question 86 this, faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace whereby we receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He has offered to us in the gospel. We receive Christ, we rest in Him alone. In other words, our trust is in Christ alone. We're not trusting in the fact that we've added something righteous to what Christ has done. Our reliance is 100% completely on the righteousness of Christ, what He has done, and nothing of ourselves. Now, just very, very quickly, this faith could be broken down into three different elements.

Three different elements. There's an element of knowledge in true faith. You need to know some basic facts for faith to be real. The sinner must know that Christ offered Himself on the cross to pay for sin. If you don't know that, your faith can't be in Christ as your substitute.

You have to know and understand. You have to know the facts of the gospel. As it says in 1 Corinthians 15 verses 1 through 4, the gospel by which you are saved says this, verse 3, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

He was buried and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. You have to know that for your faith to be real. Secondly, there's an element of belief. You must not only know that those facts are what Scripture asserts, you have to agree with them. You have to affirm them.

You have to own them. You have to say, I believe that. That when Christ died on the cross, He wasn't simply trying to be a moral example for one illustration. This isn't a story that men made up that didn't really happen. No, you say, I believe and I agree that Christ in time and space died on a cross in Palestine, in Israel. He died outside Jerusalem and that really happened.

And I believe that the true interpretation and understanding of that death was that He was dying in the place of sinners. I believe that, I agree with it, I accept it. Jesus said in Mark chapter 1 verse 15, repent and believe in the gospel. The gospel is a statement, a summary of facts about what Christ did and saving faith believes it, agrees with it. It says, yes, that is true.

That's what really happened. And then finally, there's an element of commitment in saving faith. You see, true saving faith is not a momentary emotional response to pressure from a speaker. No, true saving faith has an element of personal commitment to Christ.

Listen to this. In true faith, and it could be no other way, in light of the love of Christ that He showed for sinners at the cross, that act of love, of self-giving of Christ towards sinners, true saving faith returns with a self-giving love to Christ. A conscious, I like this definition, true faith, the commitment in saving faith is a conscious yielding of self in love to Jesus Christ. Look, look, you say, I understand the gospel. I understand that this is what Christ did, and I agree with those facts. Well, saving faith goes beyond the mental assent to that to say that moves my heart, that moves my affections, that moves the center of my being to allegiance and submission and love and receptivity to whatever this Christ did, to whatever He wants from me, just as He gave Himself freely for me on the cross, now in response I give of myself freely to Him, permanently, irrevocably, no going back, no turning back, no turning back as the gospel song sings. And so this understanding belief of loving self-commitment to Christ, what is that? That's saving faith.

And here's what that does. Remember the question, the question was how do we get this merit of Christ applied to our account? How do we receive it?

How does it go from out there to in here? Well, that kind of faith that we just described links us to Christ, links us to Jesus in such a way that the full merit of everything that He did, the full merit of His blood, God credits it all to us. All that Christ is, all that Christ did, all of the work of His becomes ours when we put that kind of faith in Him. And that faith of which we speak connects us to Christ, brings us into union with Christ, so that kind of faith connects us to Christ in such a way that His righteousness and the full value of His shed blood become ours. It becomes our possession.

It belongs to us. This is the appointed means that God has given by which we receive Christ. Faith receives Christ. The faith itself is a gift from God, Ephesians 2, 8 and 9. And for the one who receives and rests in Christ in this way, God justifies him.

God justifies her. And watch this. Watch this. This is kind of the capstone. This is the climax of everything here. In justification, God declares you righteous in a permanent way, in a permanent legal way. An irreversible verdict has been rendered in your favor in justification. You have been declared righteous. That declaration is immediate and it is complete.

It is final. There is nothing to add to it. Your justification is not improved by your good works.

It is not diminished by your sin. It couldn't be. Because this is it. Get this.

Get this. And suddenly spiritual life starts to fall into place. Your justification is not improved by your good works. It is not diminished by your sin. That is because your justification is not based on your righteousness. It is based on the righteousness and shed blood of Christ alone.

Sola fide. Solus Christus. And what justification provides for you what God has given you in salvation of which justification is a part. Justification provides for you now what God requires on that future judgment day. God is going to require perfect righteousness when men stand before him and those who lack it will be sent away into eternal judgment. What God gives us in justification He gives us now if you're in Christ. You have now everything that God will require on that final day. Oh, the righteousness of Christ has been applied to your account. I've promised to forgive all of your sins and not take them into account.

That's all that I require. God will say, so to speak, enter into my kingdom and we will walk through the bar of justice. We will walk through the courtroom of evaluation and it will be well with our souls.

That's what will happen to everyone who has been justified. And if you are justified by faith in Christ today everything that you need for that final day has already been given to you. It is already yours. It belongs to you and God will not take it back.

It is secure and irrevocable because it is based on the unchanging Christ himself. Now, what is the end result of justification or what is one of the implications of it? Are boastings excluded?

We're completely humbled by this. Romans chapter 3 verse 27 and 28, and this will be the last place we turn. Romans chapter 3 verses 27 and 28. In verse 26, Paul shows how justification demonstrates the righteousness of God at the present time so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

And then he asks this question, where then is boasting? I want to boast about my right standing with God. No, it's excluded because it's not based on your righteousness. It's premised entirely on the righteousness of Christ. By what kind of law? Verse 27.

Is it of works? No, but a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law, declared righteous in the courtroom of God based on a righteousness alien to you, based on the righteousness of Christ, your sins forgotten, forgiven, wiped away, cleansed by a sacrifice of one who loved your soul to the uttermost. Why do we love Christ here in this church? Why do you love Christ in your heart? Because he has done for you what you could not do for yourself, what no one else could do. He did for you, out of love for your soul, everything that was needed for you to enter safely into the heavenly kingdom.

So I ask you, have you been justified by faith in Christ? If not, the way of heaven has been laid open to you. Matthew 11, 28 and 29, bow with me as I read this verse. Matthew 11, 28 and 29, Jesus says, Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For some reason, it can be hard to accept the simplicity of the gospel. Faith alone in the completed work of Christ is all that's required for, and indeed is the only way to salvation. Sola Fide has been the title of Pastor Don Green's message, and he'll move on to Solus Christus in Christ alone next time here on The Truth Pulpit. Keep studying with us as we continue in the five solas. But Don, as long as fallen humanity remains in this life, people are always adding something to Sola Fide. Well, Bill, isn't that the truth?

Whether it's the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons knocking on your door, or whether it's the system that is promoted by Roman Catholicism, there are abundant teachers that are always trying to add something to faith and thereby making it into something that cannot save you. That's why this current series is so vital to you, my friend. We want you to have this and to be able to share it with friends. You can get the series on CD or free download at our website. Here's Bill to tell you how. Thanks, Don. And friend, just visit thetruthpulpit.com to get free copies of this series, plus so much more. That's all at thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit as we continue teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-16 21:28:28 / 2023-04-16 21:37:02 / 9

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