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KNOW, LIVE, BE  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  59:13
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Judge & Justifier Romans 1:1-3:20 After Us, HE is Faithful. After Us - v. 1:1-15 Faithful - v. 1:16-18 God is Judge v. 1:25-32 And Justifier v. 3:11-18 Ecclesiastes 3:17 Matthew 5 1. We’ll be judged by the standard of God’s righteousness (which we cannot uphold) 2. We’ll be found in God’s righteousness when by his faith, through our faith we trust in Jesus to be our righteousness

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Judge & Justifier

Romans 1:1-3:20

We read and studied the book of Ecclesiastes, which was Solomon to an Old Testament world that had not known Jesus asking, is there really a God? He concluded that there really had to be a God and submitted himself over saying - there must be a God and so I must submit myself as creature to my creator.

Today, we say knowing there is a God, what is he like, and so we come with that question to the book of Romans.

Why is important to know what God is like?

Knowing what God is like teaches us about ourselves, it helps us know purpose in life, but more than that - it points us to our ultimate purpose in life, to find Him, and bring him Glory!

So, if this study finds you Christian again, you’ll be encouraged to more deeply know the character of the God who was after you.

If this study finds you NOT Christian - it will compel you to see God, see yourself in reflection of God and it will ask you - so now what?

Romans 1:1–15

Paul wrote Romans and starts off commonly saying who he is, an apostle - but moves straight into something he calls “the gospel of God”.

The gospel concept comes from a word that means announcement of good news; it’s a runner who would bring news of battle success to the people back home. Now when you live in fortified cities, and live where actual battle happens, this is more than good news, it’s great news - and THIS is Paul’s focus.

So, that good news, growing into great news requires knowing that if the battle wasn’t won, an army follows behind to conquer you.

Paul will spend the first 3 chapters of this book describing the enemy force having already encouraged us that he Paul, who is a dulos (slave) of Jesus and an apostle has been set apart for the great news of God - and V2 that great news isn’t an after thought, it isn’t an adjustment based on us not meeting a performance evaluation no, it’s “promised beforehand through prophets and scripture about what - v3, His son, from David in the flesh, son of God in power V4, we know that’s true because he was resurrected from the dead in v4 (that’s pretty rare) he talks about

Verse 8 shows why he’s so excited about Rome - first (this isn’t first as in a list of things because there is no second, but rather firstly, most importantly) this is the reason I’m thankful for you because your faith is proclaimed in the entire world.

This is why Rome was so important - it’s a central trade route, when I moved from Los Angeles, CA to Santa Fe, NM UGG boots were relatively new, in LA and very popular.

I wanted to buy Briana some for Christmas and I asked a young lady at work, where can I go to find UGG boots for my wife, she looked at me like I was totally stupid, and said you mean Lug’s.

It was funny because Lugs were out, she just didn’t know it yet, and UGGs were in, I was coming from the city and bringing knowledge of a style that hadn’t moved on yet. 2 years later the department stores were stuffed full of UGGs - Paul knew his mission it was to get this great news of victory out to the entire world and Rome was part of that.

But, let me encourage you in something. Something that we cannot miss in this book, the reason the gospel exists at all, IS GOD, the reason is preserved so carefully and so masterfully crafted n time through prophecy, and narrative story, and verifiable fact is because God is after us.

That is one aspect we’ll see of God in Romans,

“He’s after us.”

Telling us that God is after us, Paul then moves on in verses 16-1,

Romans 1:16–18 (ESV)

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16 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.

17  or in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Here “not ashamed” is less cultural embarrassment but carries MORE the idea of untrusting in it as true. I was at a conference, with a speaker this week who has spent more time in orbit than any other American astronaut, now imagine if I was someone who researched flat earth conspiracies, and I regularly told you how flat earth is really and people who don’t believe it in it are duped and frankly stupid, then I walked up to this astronaut, I’d be ashamed of that theory, because I’d know it wasn’t true in the face of a knowledgeable authority - Paul isn’t ashamed of the great announcement of salvation in Christ because it’s solid and can be trusted.

So, maybe you say you’re not ashamed, meaning you’ll tell people about it - great but do you believe it, in a way that you trust it, and know its’ certain - because that’s life changing. When you’ve settled that this good news, is great news - because an enemy is disarmed and will not prevail then it has a deep and personal meaning.

Maybe you’re keenly aware that this word seeks to crush us?

Maybe you’re keenly aware that this world is out to get us?

Paul says V17, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,

God’s righteousness is discussed more than 30 times in the book of Romans,

Good News, Salvation and the Justice of God. God’s righteousness is extended to us because Christ fulfilled it and it’s open to us because Christ's death was given for us - for our faith in the power of God to save us, the trustworthiness of God.

Maybe you know the world’s desire to crush you, will you believe in God’s ability to sustain you, will you in faith see Jesus’ righteousness and it’s extension to you through faith and be made whole with God, because of Jesus who becomes your Lord in faith?

Not only is God After Us, HE is Faithful.

In the first 17 verses of Romans we’ve seen that God is

1. After us

2. Faithful

Now we’ll see that he is Judge - but Paul walks us into that.

In verses 26-32, he shows the result of not recognizing God as creator, but more than that how denying God causes us to fall into a trap of error. Guys, what happened when we stopped trusting God in the Genesis story sent us into a godless spiral in this life?

We gave up the truth of God for a lie Romans 1:25 says and we worshipped the creature rather than the creator.

Because of that because a faithful God who is after us desires us to know him from his faithful salvation, to our faithful living, Paul explains so much about our lives to us in verses 26-32.

I want you to go back through chapter 2 this week and read it knowing that the entire chapter he argues against your inclination to think, something inside myself is outside of the need for a savior and outside the faithful plan of salvation that God laid out in chapter 1 that relies on an external savior and Paul points us away from thinking there is some way to internal salvation.

We think we can be that righteousness of God that Paul says in Chapter 1 we’re simply not and that is applied to us through God’s faithfulness in Christ from our faithful trust in it, not our exercise of it.

As a capstone, in chapter 3, Paul says that this God who is after us, and who is faithful to get us, is also judge and because we’re not righteous (Romans 3:11-18). In fact he says that the law, which is a mirror to that righteousness of God, however, in light of the fact that God is judge - it’s an amazing great grace that he is also, our justification!

Think about this list that we’ve seen already

God is:

1. After us

2. Faithful

3. God is Judge

4. And Justifier

He is after us - and he’s a getter God. He’s not a namby-pamby requester of your friendship.

Do you find yourself here this morning for the first time amazed by this God and seeing yourself through the mirror of the law - in light of God’s righteousness which shows that his love is so great that anger even in the depths of your heart against another person is the root of the sin of murder that lives within you - and so you’re un-righteous?

God is judge and will judge sin.

Remember we talked about that civilization so excited to hear the messenger bring the euaggelion (God’s Good News) goodness, when you realize that you’re not the righteousness of God, and He as judge will judge all unrighteousness, in fact Paul so wanted us to know that he steeped Romans in its’ reminder:

Romans 1:18 (ESV)

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Romans 2:16 (ESV)

16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

This isn’t a new concept; consider the same concept in the Old Testament book we just covered:

Ecclesiastes 3:17 (ESV)

17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

Now maybe you’re thinking I don’t like this wrathful God, I thought he was loving and peaceful.

I will say two things about that 1) that puts us as judge over God and we just read that giving up the truth of God for lie we worship ourselves rather than creator in Romans 1:25 - turning on truth and saying, I don’t like that is the same 2) we love that concept when God judges the rapist and murder we hate it when we’re too judged. We forget that his standard is our righteousness, which is perfected love and would never hate - where a hate spews from us.

We’ve seen something amazing revealed about who God is here

1. After us

2. Faithful

3. God is Judge

4. And Justifier

Maybe you struggle with this concept. You struggle to understand exactly how it works, consider this: I struggle to understand gravity how could being on a planet hanging in a space with no gravitational force, that spins at 1,040 miles per hour on it’s axis, which I would think should fling us all off - but we’re sucked back towards it.

Maybe you don’t fully understand it, maybe you’re like a flat earth guy who clams up in front of the astronaut, and you’ll clam up in front of the cliff too -

God is after us and is faithful in addition to being judge and justifier. That said, he’s given us this bible of 66 books written over a period over 1,500 years by 40 different authors all telling God’s intended truth, it tells us two massive truths:

1. We’ll be judged by the standard of God’s righteousness (which we cannot uphold)

2. We’ll be found in God’s righteousness when by his faith, through our faith, we trust in Jesus to be our righteousness

Church this is great news about the battle of life, the messenger, right now Paul, proclaims great news - we can trust this announcement of victory over the battle of life, it’s won because God is after us, God is faithful and though he is judge and we’re guilty, he is also our justifier because of Christ!

Who is like, our God?

Will you trust Him? Or will you question gravity and roundness of the earth because you don't understand those?

I don’t even understand trigonometry, or spelling in the English language, but I see that these 66 books are recorded and reserved for my ability to see and understand my God - and I pray that you see God is after you, faithful, that he is your judge and Church that if you through the faith he gave and demonstrated, acted in faith to trust Jesus for your salvation as someone who is repentant he is faithful and newly your justifier.

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