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Grace Alone

The Verdict / John Munro
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December 31, 2017 3:04 pm

Grace Alone

The Verdict / John Munro

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December 31, 2017 3:04 pm

Dr. John H. Munro December 31, 2017 Romans 3:21-24 Because all have sinned, all need to be justified. The bad news is that we can"t save ourselves, but the good news is that God"s offer of salvation is open to everyone as a free gift of grace.

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Well, today we resume our series of moments and I invite your view of your Bible to turn to Romans chapter 3 in the opening three chapters of Romans, Paul is setting out that all of us, without exception, all of us have sins and is very important that Paul does that and is very very important that we understand that as sin is not something which is emphasized today even elastic in church as sanding's, but where there is no acknowledgment of our sin, the grace of God that we been singing about the grace of God will be minimized and you then end up with a kind of social gospel are cultural gospel on a personality gospel or a kind of gospel that Jesus is there to help me fulfill my dreams and these of course are no Gospels atoll.

Paul has established in these opening chapters of Romans that before a holy God.

We are sinful but ungodly when unrighteous people in the question then which Paul is going to answer in which we must answer is, how can we be just before God is a very ancient question here is an asked by job many years ago in chapters 9 and chapter 25.

How can a man be in the right before God to answer the question, how can he who is born of woman.

The pure that's the question that Paul really is asking and is answering and is establishing that this righteousness before God is not something that we accomplish by ourselves throughout religions and rituals through out good deeds throughout good intentions, but as we come now to Romans chapter 3 verse 21 Paul after emphasizing that all of us have sinned, and all of us stand under condemnation rights but no but now the good news.

Paul is now going to present God's way.

Not man's way. But God's way of justifying sinners and here then is hope for all of us in the sense Romans three verse 21 follows on from chapter 1 verses 16 and 17. You may recall, in verses 16 and 17 of Romans one, Paul is presenting the theme of Romans. He writes I'm not ashamed of the gospel, but it is the pilot of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek thought and that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, the righteous, just shall live by faith and in chapter 3 verse 21 that were going to be looking at this morning.

Paul picked that up and in a sense, what we have in Romans one, verse 18 through verse 20 of Romans three is not so much the gospel but this Paul preparing us to receive the gospel. That is unless we understand and unless we personally acknowledge before God that we are sinful. The grace of God will of no meaning and will certainly be minimized and so we come to what I believe in Romans three verses 21 through 26 or more, not looking at all of it at the day will pick this up in four weeks time. But we have the very center. I think of the heart of the gospel. We called the first four chapters of Romans the heart of the gospel and no in Romans three verses 21 through 26. Paul is presenting the very center of the heart of the gospel. One commentator Leon Morris suggests that it may be court possibly the most important single paragraph ever written as Romans three verses 21 through 26. Whether you agree with that or not. You have to agree that this is certainly a very very important paragraph of Scripture which comes to the very heart after that to the very center of how God justifies guilty sinners. Why is this section so important because it is dealing with justification by faith.

2017 has been the year of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. When Martin Luther 500 years ago emphasized this great truth in his understanding of the very booklet we are reading the many scriptures that we reading justification by faith in Martin Luther refer to justification by faith as the article as the truth is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls for Martin Luther. This was all important that the true church understands and applies and preachers and proclaims justification by faith what is justification by faith. Justification is the act of God, whereby you follow this justification is the act of God whereby he declares us righteous. Paul is telling us by ourselves. We are unrighteous where unholy were sinful, but is the act of God whereby he declares us righteous on the basis of God's grace by means of faith in Christ's work declaration by God on those who once were sinful that they are not righteous. How do you do that God is on the basis of my grace and it is received by the individual as he or she trusts in Christ and in his work talk in our justification.

The guilty is declared righteous because of sin, we were once in the wrong relationship with God. But now we are placed in the right relationship with God. We are not justified. Most people have little understanding of this when they talk about heavenly talk about hoping they will get to heaven. They consider the basically good people are they going to charge their nice people and they try most of the time to be helpful and kind and generous and considerate with other people and they think that they are standing before God is based on their goodness on the good intentions on the church membership on some rituals that have gone through, but justification by faith is the very opposite, as we are learning. Knowledge sends and the reader. Romans three verses 21 through 24. Let's read this and then we will go through it. Part by part this morning. Paul is writing in size but now read it with me. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe. For there is no distinction for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Him and please be seated. Great passages in Leon this last day of 2017. I was going to think of this in a fivefold way. Five truths about justification from these verses, you say you got five points yes five, some of them are short. Some little longer but five just to show that I have some flexibility in my preaching. I don't always have three number one justification is a part from the law. Verse 21. Your Bible, but now all the sins is established, but now really picking it up from chapter 1 verses 16 and 17 kind of parental's apprentice is an essential parenthesis dealing with sin but now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law of the law and the prophets bear witness to it. Justification number one is apart from the law, it is not through our works. Paul is expressly saying that in fact the phrase apart from the law in the original text is first in Greek is emphasizing that this is the main points.

This righteousness which comes to us is Paul is saying I want you to understand this.

It is a part from the law. That's the main point in verse 21 is true. He says the law on the prophets referring to the Old Testament Scriptures is truly a bold witness to the righteousness of God. But this justification that I'm talking to you as a part from the law, none of us by ourselves can accomplish out on salvation is the point many people as they think of the 10 Commandments.

Think of the 10 Commandments is a kind of reminder that we go up to that if we obey the 10 Commandments, at least most of the time and try our hardest that we can then reach God through obeying the 10 Commandments. The problem is as you go through them you may think you're doing quite well until you get to the last one and it says I shall not covet is a tough one is in the because who here has never covet.

It is true we don't most of us covet our neighbors don't carry as we have been the 10 Commandments, but we may covet his car, his home, his bank balance his wife or something else thou shalt not covet.

Know the 10 Commandments are not allowed either through which we reach God. This justification the salvation Paul is saying is, apart from the law, Paul is saying that he wants his readers to understand, particularly those were Jewish, that this teaching of justification by faith is consistent with the law and the prophets is already quoted earlier in chapter 1 Habakkuk 2 verse four of one of the great Old Testament prophets where Habakkuk says the just shall live by faith is God's way of dealing with man without faith it is impossible to please God. And so it's true that the prophets in the Old Testament Scripture bold witness to this fact. This is been God's eternal purposes of salvation, but now clearly presented in the gospel of God concerning our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is the gospel with the coming of Christ.

Our new age has dawned, John said in his prologue of the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through our Lord Jesus Christ. First, justification is apart from the law. Secondly, justification, and this is wonderful because this includes you and me.

It's available to all is apart from the law. Number one, number two, this justification is available to all, is available available to everyone. What does he say verse 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

All have sins all need to be saved. Everyone every single person here needs this justification by faith that is no distinction.

All of us of sin. Paul has had this repeatedly emphasized his case because every loophole) and refuted every possible argument here it is for the neopagan. Whether you're a model person whether your Jew whether your Gentile.

Whether you're in the synagogue every day on whether you never go to. Ultimately, there is no difference. All of us sins we fall short of the glory of God are the tens of this following chart is continuous. The point Paul is making. That is not just a matter of you once coming short of the glory of God every day of our life every moment of our existence. We are constantly falling short of the glory of God the glory of God being the summation of the attributes of God, we come short of God's God calls us to be holy and to be like him and to be perfect all of us without exception.

Paul is saying in Shirley, this is true that we come short and we continue to come short of the glory of God was sins and voted no exceptions to grasp the not not just as a theory, not just the doctrine but personally gazing I meet someone who's who says no I'm at another sinner want you this morning to personally acknowledge that you have said not just that everyone has sent.

I want you individually to see.

Yes, I have sinned in your minds to bring specific sins. The mind we find it difficult only to admit failures, we find it difficult to accept responsibility when we mess up. We try to point the finger. We try to make excuses. We try to blame others is interesting during the plantar Saints game on December 3 the punter for the Panthers. As you all know Michael Velarde dropped the ball. I would get a punter what you meant to do. I've never been a punter but I know enough about the game is pretty simple what you do really you catch the ball and you kick it may have more difficult could it be, well of course other than the fact you got number of gentlemen, on the other side trying to kill your as you do this, that does make a little more difficult, doesn't it, and on this particular day Michael Bullard in the punter don't have much is paid for them.

This assume more than most of us, he dropped the ball and is interested I read this in the Charlotte Observer and I I don't know the man I'm sure he's a great guy but he seemed a little difficulty simply saying I dropped the ball pretty did he dropped the ball. This is what he said I just tried to kind of get in my hand and get a good grip.

Yes, we understand that and as I went to extend my arm out it just kind of slipped just one of the things that happened and you just kind of move on from it.

I kind of mishandled a little bit it slipped out of my fingertips. I tried to do the best that I could to kind of make a plan to what happened you live with it and move on and I thought surely this is of human nature. All of us of being there is an incentive to say I messed up. I dropped the ball.

He said I kind of slipped it just couldn't get it. You dropped the ball when we understand what it is about us that is so difficult to say no.

It's not just a matter that all have sinned. I John Monroe sent I broken God's law and rebelled against God. I've gone my own way.

That is the point isn't, but here is the good news is why Paul says, but now here's the point because all of us have sinned all need to be justified, and the good news is that this justification is offered for all who believe.

Verse 21 for all who believe. Romans 116. Paul says I'm not ashamed of the gospel. Why is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes in the tremendous good news or the bad news is that you can save yourself the good news is that there is no one sitting here this morning that is excluded from this this justification, the salvation, this new life is offered to you becomes whether you're Jewish, it comes with your Gentile. It comes with her hip come to Calvary church all your life and whether your walk thing and you've never been in a church service before it comes when you're the most. Whether you're the most respectable person in Charlotte on whether you're the worst prologue and the person who really has done some terribly despicable thing doesn't make any difference.

All have sinned and the offer comes to each one of us however good you are.

You needed however bad you are. It's offered to you. It is needed by us all and is available to every single person. Occasionally I meet someone who says he has been plastered. You don't know how bad I am. I may not know how bad you are you a sense these things but I can agree with you. You're a bad person. I can agree based on what you've said that you have violated the law of God, and perhaps even insuring times are a bad person but this is the wonder of the gospel. This is the miracle of the gospel in this message that you can be declared righteous by God comes to you personally and please God. It comes to me in the miracle of the gospel, God's righteousness comes to every single person who believes so number one.

This apart from the law. Secondly, is available to all. Number three. It's based on grace alone 24. Whatever's we write it. I think this is what Lynn Morris is saying this is the most brilliant paragraph of a written similar pulses under justified by what his grace as a gift. Justification is based on grace alone. Salvation is a gift freely given. God is the source, God is the giver. It is by his by God's grace as a gift and grace of God is by definition is undesirable.

This unmerited we don't desire to visit the medic visit of an award based on our good deeds nor do we decide we don't desire justification we don't desire God salvation. We deserve condemnation. Paul has said that in chapter 1 of their stating that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth is what we deserve. This comes to us from a God of grace who offers it not as a reward, not as a wage, but the very opposite, as a free so Paul can say in Ephesians 2. The nine for by grace are you saved through faith and not not of yourself, not of your own doing is what is the gift of God not the result of works. No one can boast about that is now it is based on grace alone. This salvation is motivated. Source then flows from the very heart of God, a God of love, a God of compassion. This justification that is offered to you offered to every single one of us is totally totally free. It is a free gift attached is justification by grace alone, no good works, no ritual, no legalistic obligations. No good intentions can be added to grace. Otherwise, it would no longer be grace is not that salvation is partly of grace and partly of works. It's entirely of grace. Paul says in chapter 11 Romans 11 verse six is as evidenced by grace. It is no longer on the basis of works. Otherwise grace would no longer be grace, it is pure unmerited grace 100% grace not just 99% and you have to do your own little bit. No, it is totally of grace God's grace is not withheld from you because of your sin or decreased because of your sin. Don't you dare say I've sin too badly. God's grace can't reach me is attacking the very integrity of God grace means you don't deserve it. Ball is going to say later that God's grace is always greater than our sins and where sin abounds grace, super abundance God's grace is greater than their sins beautiful, replacing agree with me that grace is one of the most encouraging sweetest marvelous strengthening words of the Christian faith. Grace. This grace is the very foundation of the gospel knowing you keeping the law, not you, trying to follow your own conscience, not you trying to do your best. It is justified. Paul is saying do you get it verse 24 under justified by his grace as a gift. It is justification by grace alone.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. I must've been about 12 years old, visiting my grandparents and after the evening service.

We would go to one of his relatives are to open my grandparents.

They didn't have something to eat and invariably someone would start singing some of the hymns we would not call the built-ins for the one soul then many years ago and that my grandfather was a quiet man. My grandmother was a very talkative woman so you can decide for that I inherited from my grandfather or my grandmother but my grandfather was a man of few words, a very godly man, one of the godless men I ever ever knew what he loved to sing and I can picture him and some of his brothers and others of the family and from the little assembly that we going to sing again which in fact is in a hymnbook not have I gotten. But what I received grace has restored it since I have believed boasting excluded probably die a base, I'm only a sinner saved by grace is my grandfather saying that the tears were flowing down his face. This is my story to God be the glory.

I'm only a sinner saved by grace.

Once I was foolish and sin rolled my heart, causing my footsteps from God to the part Jesus has fine me happy my case. I know I'm a sinner saved by grace, not all my life I had known my grandfather and he was saved when he was in his early 20s, so I'd always known it was a godly man, but to hear my grandfather acknowledged before God that he was a center-right government grant that's a good man but he knew he knew what Paul is presenting the park from the grace of God as it had the gospel standing in his own village as a preacher came in the open air and presented the gospel as a young man as a young fisherman. He had trusted Christ and his life was dramatically saved and so he really was not. I suppose at the time perhaps in the 60s singing. I'm only a sinner saved by grace, that's it, isn't this what we are sinners saved by saved by grace alone. If you grasp this, you grasp the wonder of God's grace is it's really a visit, keep you on track. Does it strengthen you three or four Sundays ago we looked at the prologue of John one and Anna fared a little bit to John one of their 16 foot John writes regarding our Savior and from his fullness we all received what grace upon grace. The grace of God is inexhaustible, it's infinite and when our Savior comes into this world. Those who knew him. Those who understand this mission could say from his fullness. That is the fullness of grace. We have all received grace upon grace contesting is an unusual expression, doesn't it.

Grace upon grace.

In fact if you look in the original Greek is even stranger, it is grace instead of grace, and anti-Caritas grace instead of grace we have it translated in English standard version. Grace upon grace grace upon grace. The King James translates it grace for grace then idea in my opinion, is a rather insipid translation. One blessing after another, you can do better than that.

It is grace instead of grace was the point with appointments. It is continuous, uninterrupted grace new grace coming on top of farmer grace one grace after another. I love the sea this past summer when dining in North Carolina here, and I'm standing at the ocean and am looking at the waves and them standing there one wave comes and another wave comes and another waves comes and another wave comes in the Netherlands. Does it one wave instead of another wave.

Wave after wave after wave after wave coming picture of the grace of God is the Old Testament says his compassions fail not. They are new every morning great is thy faithfulness, you woke up this morning and God's grace comes to yesterday. God's grace came to your and is grace that comes to us is fresh. It's new is never stale is coming from the inexhaustible God. We have received from his fullness. Grace instead of grace grace upon grace one grace after another grace. More and more and more and this I can guarantee today. This day God will give you all of the grace that you need tomorrow the face of the difficulty possibly some of you in 2018 are going to go through some terrible circumstances, perhaps of health of the family are or worry can is going to be if you knew about that. You could say I don't think I could get through that.

I don't think I could survive that he was the promise grace upon grace that God's grace is always sufficient. All you need for tomorrow. All we need four 1918.

If the worst circumstance could come into her life. That would seem unimaginably horrible and we could say I can survive that. I could go through that he was the answer of his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. You think this grace is not just the grace that saves us. This is the grace that saves us, and God often surprises us with his grace, doesn't it, as some of you to testify about 2017. You could say here is the way that God manifested himself to me in Christ that he was an unbelievable difficult situation and God surprises us with his grace because this grace is grace upon grace. This is the heart of the gospel. We are justified, says Paul back to verse 24 by his grace as a gift receipt for justification was based all or to any extent, even a small extent of our justification was based on our works.

You would never have the assurance of salvation would you use the wonder of justification you grasp this.

It is a future declaration which is given to us in the present. Those who have been justified by his grace as a gift. Don't need to wonder how is it going to be when I stand before God. God is already told you, you are justified by their viewer. Justification was dependent on what you could do on you keeping it up on you living a good life on you being a good boy on you being a faithful wife would never quite know wager because between now and then.

Anything could happen.

This is the wonder of the grace of God within the grace of God I am accepted now in the beloved. The righteousness of Jesus Christ has come to me when I trust Christ. This is purely an act of grace sheer free grace, grace alone, granted as a gift. No justification is based on grace of number four. I said I get to five is number four justification is accomplished through redemption.

Verse 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus usage on the last day of the year and we want to give us all this theology I mean come on. This is exactly what you and I need are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Yes, it's true. This justification based on God's grace is offered to you freely as a gift yes because God's son. It is through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The first century link readers would easily understood redemption comes from the world of commerce is a used of of the second free of slaves sold in the slave market. Someone comes and buys a slave they pay a price on the ownership is changed a number when we first went to Dallas I saw several stores that we don't have in Scotland. The lease we didn't have them.

I never seen them of what I'd read about them, and these were pawnshops and there was one. The Dallas theological seminary, and it had on the big window cash in a flash I need some cash.

This was a pawnshop and I never went into its my mother warned me about these things so I didn't go into it cash in the flight. What happened inside. Well you would take your watcher or a ring or if you were in the South and had a gun which I didn't have instilled on help you take take something in a prized possession and they give it to the owner and he would give you cash in a flash. But however he would keep the watch, he would keep the gun he would keep the expense of ring another.

This is really expensive but whenever you got expensive rings on some of you women of God, should diamonds he would keep its what did you have to do to get it back when I was fulfilling America's dream he was good chargeable lots not just the money he gave you, but with extra interest and so on, and you would go and then you would what you would redeem of the watch, you would redeem the gun redeem the diamonds by payment of a price that's the point redemption here is someone who is kidnapped what the kidnappers want. They want the ransom they want money if we get the money we get a million times. We will release your daughter to your she has been redeemed. Think of this the Lord Jesus comes and this grace that comes to us freely is accomplish what through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, that when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross he was giving his life as he himself said as I ran some for many, we could never pay the price ourselves, we can atone for our own sins over sin amongst doing the impossible dads really think that you could work of your sin that you can see enough prayers are doing of good things together. The view said absolutely not know our Savior comes her spotless Savior becomes as are substitutes. He pays the price he sets us free, easy this justification by faith results in true and lasting freedom. We are set free.

We are redeemed from our captivity. Christ sets us free, free from the power of our sin, free from our enemy free from condemnation free from the bondage of death itself redeems set free and can I say to brother sister Helen asked can you go back to that old's life's Christ came and set you free from its free from the chains and the bondage of sin. Why would you go back tonight free to live a life to the glory of God. The price of this justification is offered to you freely as her act of grace as a gift, but it costs God the death of his son Saint Peter. We are redeemed not with corruptible things are silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot without blemish that just as on that Passover day, the children of Israel were redeemed from slavery through the blood of the lamb being applied on the door and the on the lintel and they were three that were covered by the blood. No, our Savior comes and sheds his blood on the cross pays the price so that we who were so sinful, who could never free ourselves, who could never redeem herself could know receive as a gift. This justification number one is apart from the law two is available to all three is based on grace alone. Phone is accomplished through some through redemption.

Finally, it is received through faith what has to be received both as is in verse 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believes know the gospel is for everyone who believes.

You must believe Paul writes a lot about belief and faith. The same word in Greek, denying his fist as the developers were still with the same the same word to believed to have faith when Paul talks about believing in Jesus Christ is not just talking about the intellectual understanding through saving faith involves knowledge of the truth. It also involves personal agreement with the truth, but it also means a personal commitment to the truth. A personal commitment to trust Christ. It's not standing afar in single. Yes, I I believe in July. I understand what you're saying John no it's not that one has to be that was to be more is to be agreement. I am the sinner that Christ died for me and it is believing into crisis and bracing Christ as many as received him to them to give the right to become the children of God and the family of faith is not in itself had not been so I don't have enough faith know that that's not the point.

Faith always looks to the object is not our faith that saves us. It's Christ that saves us through faith.

Faith is the instrument by which we receive this gift is accomplished by all. Christ has done everything for it. He's paid the price totally narrow.

This justification is offered to you freely. What do you have to do I have to receive it. I am saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for my sins and buried, and rose again in this offer to you. They have you accepted doing anything, but simply receiving this is the redemption size.

Paul here that is in Christ Jesus, we repent of your sin something is never done three close.

We acknowledge before God that you have sent and we look to Christ and praise him for his grace, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ be saved authentic followers of Jesus Christ had been set free to serve God and I live a life of freedom were bought with a price would not our own will belong to God love him and live for him and servant ones were under the wrath of God. But now Paul is saying, but now we are justified and I will redeem now we are eternally saved by grace alone.

God's grace, which is always greater the nursing grace alone. You received abusive is my burden for you this last day of 2017 when I came to Calvary 12 years ago. I said, with God's help I would be a shepherd of souls and appreciative grace.

And on this last day of 2017.

Let me say that. Still, my calling the shepherd souls and to preach grace as you see here and as I look at you all today would be wonderful if every single one of us was saved by grace content saved by grace living by grace serving the Savior would understand can invite you to stand within a sitting as the musicians come song but God's grace would come on us in the Calvary church would be a church of grace in their homes would be homes of grace in our lives would be liens of grace, that we could say from his fullness to save us from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. Father we pray as we will sing showing appointments.

May your grace be on us saving our souls transforming our lives in their homes in this very society we pray for your marvelous grace. We thank you in Christ name

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