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October 2, 2017 11:23 am
When I was studying law at Denver University.
There was a series called the nutshell series. The series was designed for the student would not been particularly attentive in class. In fact, may never have a ton attended one lecture. No registration was taken. If you wanted to come to the lectures you could've even one to come you didn't come the professors didn't really care.
And so someone had designed that this series called the nutshell seriously subject there was a small booklet on the claim was made that if you mastered the content of this nutshell, it was claiming to present the irreducible minimum that you needed to get through the exam. Needless to say, the professors didn't like Mr. nutshell if Mr. nutshell was writing a little series on Romans. What would he say what is the bottom line I think it could well be said that the verses that were going to stand up and read contain the nutshell, the Col. of this fascinating book that we know is Romans written in A.D. 57 by the apostle Paul to followers of Jesus living in Rome, and he writes I think these wonderful verses which contained in the nutshell's message signed and read them as defined in Romans chapter 1 verses 16 and 17, and here they are.
Read them with me, for I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek for Internet the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, the righteous shall live by faith payment. Please be seated.
You say well if that's the nutshell. I have no idea what these words mean that we have read. That's why am delighted that you've come this morning because I'm going to explain it to you. Paul is explaining a central truth of the gospel that the righteousness of God and will think of the meaning of that that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel and is acquired by faith.
This great theme that the just shall live by faith. Justification by faith is going to be developed throughout the Romans as he gives a brilliant explanation of the gospel of God concerning his son. He's dealing with this important subject of justification by faith.
500 years ago Martin Luther struggled to understand the very words that we have read so much of what the main you're in good company. Luther was teaching the book of Romans is a professor in a university day he was teaching the book of Romans.
Three students and is it came to this expression, the righteousness of God.
That expression the righteousness of God, plunge them into great despair.
In fact, he says he hated this verse the gospel means good news.
But here was Martin Luther's wondering how could the gospel be good news when were dealing with the righteousness of God and live the new that although he was a monk and a very faithful monk and a very pious monk and a very obedient monk. Nonetheless, before God, he was unrighteous in the monastery were Martin Luther was studying there was a stone carving of Christ as a judge with two starts coming out of his mouth and because of its terrible severity when Martin Luther passed that statue of Christ as a judge he covered his eyes with his hands he could look at this Christ with two starts coming out of his mouth is a polluter and we could say. Understandably, the righteousness of God spoke not of salvation, not of deliverance but judgment then Martin Luther began to realize that this righteousness which Paul is speaking of and the righteousness referred to herein. Romans 116 and 17 that this is a righteousness which God credits God imputes to the kinds of your bank account that is debit and that is credits when you write a check or make a payment. Your account is debited. If you have a solid array if UPN goes to the credits.
Martin Luther then began to understand that then the miracle of the gospel. God doesn't wonderful thing almost an unbelievable thing that he takes the righteousness of Christ and credits it imputes it to account and to begin to understand this.
I hope you understand that this righteousness doesn't condemn sinners, but rather saves sinners with a writes the gates of paradise flew open. I felt myself to be born again. What happened he had experienced as multitudes of experience the power of God for salvation in his own life. Paul also had personal experiences power in this dramatic conversion is is going on the road to Damascus, God intervened in his life, and this message has transform the life of Congress millions down through the centuries, I have to ask you have you personally experienced this salvation. Can you honestly say that you know something of the power of God in your life you personally experienced the power of God in your life. Paul says I haven't because of that, I'm not ashamed of the gospel. These three young people who are baptized are saying as some of you have never done will not ashamed of the gospel. Be prepared to take assignment to do what possibly is a very difficult thing for a young person to send in front of all of you and say I'm a follower of Jesus Christ I realize done through the years as I've interacted with many people on the subject of baptism that one of the reasons why adults don't get baptized. Is there really a shame. Never be ashamed of the gospel. Why be ashamed of this part of the gospel. The power of God for so vision Kelly Smith was 10 years old and she was on vacation and Michael Cottle Beach in Thailand with her little sister Holly and her parents when they got a very very utterly and walked along this beach and the sun. This little girl 10 years old notice of the time you got going out the gun like a very, very, very long without and she also noticed that the weather was frothy, just as it was sizzling and bubbly. She immediately knew that something was wrong because back in England. Her geography teacher had shown her an old newsreel of some black and white footage shot in Hawaii in 1946. It was only film at that time which was portraying a tsunami and little Tillie was convinced that a tsunami was about to happen in this beautiful beach in silent as she began to tell her mother. Her mother told her to be quiet. This was ridiculous. Then she began to get a little hysterical and yelled at her father and the father was an Englishman and Englishmen don't like being embarrassed and they try to client in the little go over the little girl was persistent and eventually our father told the security guards who told the lifeguards and within a short time. The beach was cleared. Everyone went to the tell. I went on the third floor, but in the long to wait in less than a minute the first of three huge waves hit that beach that morning, December 26, 2000 and for some of you remember it. Tsunami hits all kinds of beaches in Southeast Asia under the end of the day everyone knew was tsunami was killed 250,000 people on beaches all over Southeast Asia, but not one person was killed on the beach of Mark Cottle Beach because it's of the courage and the commitment of this little girl and for her father although he was embarrassed in order to protect people did the right thing. She was named child of the year in 2005 and laid out in the United Nations. She was publicly congratulated by Bill Clinton. She saved the lives of over 100 people. She insisted on being hurt, and the father the wrist embarrassment to save lights. We believe Paul is going to say the judgment of God is coming is going to say the next verses will thing next week that the wrath of God is coming. It's revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. And Paul is saying to the Romans as I would say to you, never, ever be ashamed of the gospel, because it is it because it is the power of God for salvation and is my privilege to explain the gospel to you from these verses as Paul is doing. Paul knew ridiculing your rejection in your imprisonment in your stoning, but he refused to be silent. Such was his passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The only message which can save boys and girls and men and women. It wasn't easy being a Christian I know it was a pagan city was in the model said it was the capital city, then put out was there, but those in Rome were to be instructed by Paul very graphically here then be ashamed of the gospel because it's the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, think of this on the safest of all that salvation is the goal of the gospel. The goal of the gospel is salvation this gospel that we been learning about in the opening verses of Romans one is a gospel of God concerning his son is not just an intellectual pursuit to be understood to be studied and debated is not just a pragmatic endeavor for the class to be fulfilled nor the gospel. Paul is saying here is the power of God, can I say this is the greatest poet in the universe, the poet of the gospel. Do you know any other power that can save a soul. Do you know any other power that can grant forgiveness of sins. Do you know any other power that can give you eternal life.
I don't know of any. This gospel will save your soul and will radically transform your life from the inside out God's power is seen in the gospel think of his power centers are safe.
The loss to find the blind see the guilty unforgiven. Those in chains as we were singing through the grace of God are free. The condemned are justified.
Those who are alienated and enemies of God are reconciled and brought into the wonderful family of God, the spiritually dead are given new life. This is the power of the gospel. Leon Morris writes the gospel is not advice to people suggesting that they lift themselves. It is power.
It lifts them up. The gospel lifted you up the gospel change your life as it is this something just academic something theory is something that you may sing about you think about it for a note or two on a Sunday is essential to your life.
Paul is saying is seen in the gospel. Paul says here in our verse Romans 116 of your got your Bible you can look at it with me. He says that the gospel went to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
That was true in Paul's missionary journeys.
The book of acts. He first went to the synagogue to preach the gospel and Paul is going to explain to the Romans, particularly in chapters 9, 10 and 11 of the promises of God were given first to Israel and in Romans chapters 2 and three.
Paul is going to emphasize that the Jewish nation also needs the gospel is not one gospel for the Jew another gospel for the Gentile. Another gospel for the barbarian know there's only one gospel. The gospel, the good news which comes from God to through Jesus Christ our Lord. And it is so powerful that it will save the June and is so powerful it will save the Gentile. It is so powerful it will save you. It is so powerful that it will save and is saving on this transforming me. It is God's power for salvation. The board to and Gentile other this year I had a protracted email correspondence with a Jewish woman who had heard me speak on occasion is a very pious Jew very respectful of the wonderful exchange and the basic point was this. I understand that a follower of Christ, you look to Christ, the one you believe is the Messiah for eternal life not arguing with that you get the blessing of the new covenant, but I him. I am Jewish had been a Jew all my life and I believe in Abraham. The covenants and you get salvation through the Messiah.
I'm getting salvation through the Abraham a covenants and I had to say to her very gently and kindly but firmly, but the Messiah is central to the Abraham a covenants the blessings of God promise to Abraham going to come to all of the family so that all of the families of the foregoing to be blessed in Abraham, who is the mediator of the covenant.
None other than our Lord Jesus Christ. No, there's only one gospel. June Gentile, where the Ethiopian baptized with a Brazilian girl we had an American, whatever your nationality. Whatever your background, this message is for you. That is no racial or social class discrimination in the gospel thing of all is going on in our society today with all of the rhetoric regarding class and regarding who superior and inferior and have decided is that in our nation. We fight about these things undersell great injustice and inequality and anger, and much of it rightly so it is only in the gospel only in the gospel of Jesus Christ that whoever you are, you are welcome and that were all equal.
There is no superior race to another. Paul is saying that and is going to argue brilliantly. Doesn't matter where you are but all have sins and all come short of the glory of God and that the only way of salvation, whoever you are as fun. Christ and Christ alone uses not just that we need advice or enlightenment or help. We needs to be saved is the power of God for salvation. You see, I don't know if I like that word saved or salvation. Jesus say is said of our Lord in Luke chapter 19 verse 10 for the Son of Man has come. Why did God send his son to this the Son of Man has come to see Iran to say those laws he did not only come to seek it was to save UK with his name means his name is a Savior. God is on a rescue mission. He sends our Lord Jesus Christ to rescue us to seek us and to save us because we all need salvation and Paul in the first part of Romans is telling us we all have this problem. The universal problem of sin, and because of that Romans is answering this all-important question was sadly, so few people so few people are asking today is a question the critical question, one that Martin Luther struggled with one that many of us have struggled with how can people like us.
How can a sinful monk like Martin Luther got a sinful boy like John Monroe.
How can a sinful woman like you.
How can we be declared righteous by a holy God.
God is righteous and we are unrighteous.
And Paul is giving us the answer and then, in a nutshell in the condensed form is going to package it as it were in the remaining chapters of Romans that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel with the gospel of God, the revelation comes from God and it is only in the gospel that our sins are forgiven and by the grace of God we are given as a gift eternal life salvation is the goal of the gospel. Secondly, justification is the result of the gospel is that John uses big words is why God gives us the gift of teachers to the church rather weak wife and I watching our grandsons play flag football.
Now we live in this country a long time and my wife attended our son when he played high school football and I don't know how many football games. She's watched that at least stood by the sidelines interesting to me the other day is the difference between completion and an interception yes is a slight difference in you. When I came to this country. I had to learn a new language, the language of baseball which I confess I've never really mastered the language of American football with all of its technical terms that you know that you grew up with, but when you're like me and you come to our country and you're trying to understand people have to explain it to be foolish of me when I first came to the United States and was my first game which was a Dallas Cowboys in dollars playing someone who I forget and to say this game they need to change the terminology because I John Monroe from Scotland don't understand know you would say John, let me tell you, I want to tell you I when the teacher these wonderful, wonderful times this is a great time of the Christian gospel justification is the result of the gospel is the gospel is God's plan for salvation thing with me was a beautiful day you're thinking of these hot dogs and all the rest of the things in the field.
Don't let your mind go there. The gospel reveals the righteousness of God.
Verse 17 for any hints in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed and you agree that God is righteous in his character that God is righteous in all that he does. He's faithful he's true is only he's just our problem is that we are unrighteous.
So how can I unrighteous person reach God who is righteous answer in the glorious gospel, God provides.
In the gospel reveals in the gospel are perfect righteousness. How may those of us who had unrighteous all of us.
How may we be brought into a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ, was that possible. We're going to be justified to justify.
There's a change of status, a change of standing before God in the wonderful truth of justification. God, the judge looks on us who are guilty sinners and he declares us not only not guilty. He declares us righteous.
Remember when I was practicing law through a series of circumstances. I ended up representing two brothers and I think her cousin became pretty upon invisibly to the previous convictions that they were professional criminals in Scotland. We still have them and they were masters of theft and receiving stolen goods. We call that reset and they were charged with receiving stolen goods, TVs, record players, if you remember what these were all kinds of things are thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars and there was I representing made inquiries for little investigation I realized that the prosecution was unable this in my view, to prove their case and that's what happens. These men who love rascals who are very very bad people.
They were acquitted. Could you do that, John, and that you view the guilty. They told me they were not guilty right is the way the system works leave the site. Please.
This is not about my defending them. This is the truth of justification.
There were charged with a serious crime, the very big laws. Not guilty. They were delighted they left the court because they tried to bribe me and I never saw them again. They were not guilty but you can't see them unrighteous. They were aerobics we were really despicable people.
They made their living exploiting people and stealing and manipulating people and even doing violence on people that are far from righteous. Although technically they were not guilty of the particular charge with which they were charged in the gospel, God looks at you and looks at me and there is no question of your guilt if you question that could coming because Paul is going to prove his case majestically in these opening chapters that went all guilty were guilty before God. Justification means that God will not only say John, you are not guilty. He credits to my accounts he imputes to me the righteousness, not my own righteousness I don't have any. He gives to me.
The righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ's unbelievable is how is it that someone like me that if I die today, I would stand before God because those of you who know me know on far from perfect. But was it because the righteousness of my Lord Jesus Christ has been credited to me. So Robert Marty McShane says when I stand before the throne dressed in beauty. Not my own when I see the is a lot lovely with unsettling heart. Landlord shall likely no, not till then.
Her much I owe.
It's all of God's grace and justification then comes from the life of the law court is a legal term, meaning that we are declared righteous declared holy declared just by a holy God. Those who once were guilty of not acquitted not only acquitted the cleared righteous by God and God does that not just in the future. He does it here and now. Who does God justify the church member. Romans four verse five the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, I think the NIV says the wicked, his faith is counted is imputed as righteous as God justify who justifies the wicked person who justifies the ungodly, and it is God who justifies. Paul says that in chapter 8 verse 33.
It is God who justifies this is God's declaration.
Here is an individual who was ungodly who desire of condemnation who deserved eternal damnation. But God in his grace.
Seems this person and not only wiped out all of their sins gives them the very righteousness of Jesus Christ and that is a very big which we are given no I speak to people and ask them if you want to go to heaven just about everyone unless that an atheist. Everyone says yes I want to go to heaven when I dine on what basis are you going to get there while God is a God of love, a perfect person but I'm pretty good. I pray to God.
Sometimes, and then they'll say something like this and I hope so. I hope so.
I am hoping for the best and justification is no hoping for the best. The wonder of the gospel. This is why such good news is here and now, as you said, it's at Calvary church on October 1, 2017. You can know with absolute certainty and assurance that God, the righteous judge the holy judge as a looksee you he is declaring you righteous now all I don't know when I'll stand before God. That is yet future. I'm still in this world, but I know and you know that one day you will stand before God. I'm not worried as to what God is going to say because the verdict has already been pronounced John Monroe. Once you were guilty. Now your innocence and know you are declared righteous money to wonder.
No need to hope for the best. This righteousness you see is not something that is achieved by us is not something we do not have our works on this are on endeavor that is done for us by God through Jesus Christ our Lord is why Paul says in Romans eight is God who justifies. This is not a self-justification. As some of you have messed up badly and you change your life and undulate not living a more productive life. When you think you can atone for your own sins. And you can achieve your one event and under going to be a nicer person and you're trying to justify yourself delivered to because you continue to sin in the standard is so high. The sound of this perfect I can't attain this righteousness is what plunge Luther into this man until he realized the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel.
But this righteousness of God is of no value to you, unless and until you are united to crisis in their home. Hello my united to Christ was reader versus again Paul gives us the answer but I'm not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes together, to the Jew first and also to the Greek for Internet in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, the righteous, the just shall live by works by being a member of a church by being baptized by taking communion by being a nice person know the just shall live by faith. Salvation is the goal of the gospel. Justification is the result of the gospel, faith must be your response to the gospel. In fact, faith is the only response to the gospel. Paul is saying here that this salvation is to everyone who does well who believes everyone who has faith. This gospel is for you it's for each one of us. Paul is going to say in Romans 1013 according from the Old Testament.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved by faith, calling on the name of the Lord, if I call in the name of the Lord. I will be safe same way for the Jew same way for the Gentile.
It is for everyone.
Everyone who believes everyone of us is saved, the same way all in the same level no one is excluded. There is no limitation. You are there that expression. Everyone includes you and includes me. Got my name on the John Monroe believes put your name there. If you believe you will be saved, you will be justified, calls for a personal response or three students who were baptized have made that personal response made it before. There were baptized about baptism is the outward declaration that they are safe, but each of them at a certain point in their life look to Christ come from their sin called on the name of the Lord and so were saved. Faith is absolutely essential pulsates here in verse 17 it is from faith for faith is the ESV pneumatic and says it is from faith to faith.
NIV says it's from by faith from first to last.
Literally it is faith and of faith into faith. Some commentators say that that means it is out of the faith of the Old Testament into the faith of the New Testament.
The gospel Idaho law integrates other states first among the Gentiles are not among the Gentiles, others believe it is the faith of one person reaching out to another person who's going to believe, but more likely. The point is this, this salvation if you are going to experience it from beginning to end is of faith, it's all the faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. You can work you can be nice person, but if you don't have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, you will never please God and to strengthen his case." From the Old Testament, an Old Testament prophet Habakkuk chapter 2 verse four. He says the righteous, the just shall live by faith. Faith is an essential key to a relationship with God. Those who are declared righteous shall live live by faith life of following Jesus then is a life of faith.
The more we know our Savior, the deeper our faith will grow. It is from faith for faith is trusting Christ alone for salvation God in Jesus Christ has done it all.
He's provided my salvation was my response to work for it, no, no, my response is to receive is to belief in Christ is to place my faith in Christ.
And when I do that I am justified undeclared righteous. It is placing our trust in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and who was raised again apart from faith apart from you trusting in Jesus Christ you personally guess you will never have a true relationship with God and you by yourself will never ever stand before a holy God. You really think you can you really think you're that good. You really that proud of your accomplishments that you think you can send in your own marriage in your own standing before a holy God. Absolutely not the only way is to have credited to your accountant, the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
You see faith looked up on one way is amendment of all self-reliance saying I can't do it myself. This is why so humbling. This is what Jesus says we got to be like a child. You're striving to realize that before God in the real predicament got to acknowledge I cannot save myself.
Faith is a realization that we can do nothing for our salvation.
It is a turning from our sins and the tightening to Christ as realizing that my sins are so great that they would then leave all of eternity is a that's pretty strong. John it is strong is the gospel. Paul's been a talk about this wise not embarrassed about this. Why not ashamed about it. This is not some little Harvey to Paul. This is a matter of people's eternal destiny of being lost or find of being blind or seeing a being dead alive.
This tightening from my sin and trusting Christ discussing myself wholly on God we had Natalie quotes John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Sensitive that is faith in Jesus Christ faith into Christ he's done it all the channeled instrument and the means by which I receive the salvation of God is faith. Here is a glass of water.
Just imagine this class was empty. Imagine was in my life comes with a bottle of water.
I hold out the glass and she pours in the water. The outstretched hand, the empty glass. That's a picture of faith. This was empty. There is no way that I can conjure up a glass of water here. My wife supplies the weather.
She gives it freely by holding the glass an empty glass and she pours and that's faith. Given that you ever come to Christ empty coming from your sin.
The Lord Jesus Christ offers us the living eternal want out of life that if you drink of annual never, never thirst again whether you to do your to receive the give you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to receive Christ. He's done it all, faith is putting your trust in Christ alone for salvation.
I asked you place your faith in Christ. Have you believed you living by faith have experienced the power of God in your life so anything supernatural about your life, you trusted in Christ number not saved by what we do, were saved by receiving what God in his grace is done. The old hymn says nothing in my hand I bring that nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling naked come to the fore dress helpless look to the grace follow line to the Farmington flyer wash me Savior or I die. That's the gospel I come, they can become with emptiness I bring is my sin and I turn from that sin. I repent of my sin and I trust Christ than the medical of the gospel.
My sins are totally gone, gone forever, and I receive the righteousness of Christ. I am justified by faith. I'm a child of God I received eternal life. No wonder Martin Luther says it was the gateway to patented nice indeed. It is the gateway to Paradise today. The gates of paradise are flung open, as it were, I ask you know, as we close to take that step of faith to place your trust in Christ on the give you a minute to do that when I do that and also me want to go to feels between just not leave some of your as of the important time until I pronounce the benediction to pray saying when the response and then this holy moment the end of the service of more were so pleased that you're here today. We just say Lord I send come and save me. I believe that you died for my sins on the cross were buried, and that you alive is the son of God, come save me and cleanse me when you pray that from your heart, not just mere words but from your heart that you will experience the wonder of salvation father know God and the holiness of this moment.
Pray that the gates of paradise is where where are being flung open that many are coming from the sin and crying out to Christ to save them ungodly people, people have done wrong. Sinful people like us.
We thank you for the blood of Jesus your son cleanses us from all sin. And for those of us who know the Savior help us truly to live by faith and to never be ashamed of the gospel to tell others there's good news. We pray in Christ name