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Justification: Declared Legally Right before God

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A. – Paul explained how God justifies sinners

A. – Paul explained how God justifies sinners

1. – Justification is granted apart from personal merit.

a. But now… After proving that all people are guilty sinners, Paul proceeded to give hope to the hopeless.

b. …apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested… God has revealed a way to declare undeserving, godless people legally righteous before His eyes entirely apart from the Law. This is called justification.

1) God declares unworthy people to be lawfully righteous in His sight totally apart from their good works.

2) God justifies sinners apart from them doing anything to deserve it.

c. – …being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets… The Old Testament (the Law and the Prophets) predicted and confirmed that unworthy people would in the future be granted a way to be declared right with God. In Romans chapter 4, Paul cited two Old Testament witnesses, Abraham and David, as proof of this fact.

2. – Justification is provided through faith.

a. – …even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ… God, the Judge, justifies. This means those who personally trust in Christ are legally declared righteous. Justification means to be declared righteous by God, to be reckoned as blameless and without blemish.

b. – …for all those who believe… This legal action of declaring a person righteous is done, without exception, for each and every sinner who believes in Christ.

c. …For there is no distinction… Since all people are equally sinful, every person in the world equally needs God to declare him or her righteous.

d. – What one thing do all humans have in common? We are not alike in education, wealth or social status, but we all have sinned. Since we have all equally sinned, we all equally need God, the Judge of the universe, to graciously declare us legally righteous before His eyes.

e. – Likewise, we all fall short of the glory of God. Not one person has ever measured up to God’s perfect standard of righteous.

3. – Justification by faith comes through grace. Grace is undeserved favor.

a. – …being justified as a gift… Paul declared justification to be a gift. Totally free of charge, God declares all who believe in Christ to be lawfully right with Him.

b. …by His grace… Justification is never based on merit; it only comes by grace. It is because of God’s completely undeserved, loving favor that He declares all who believe in Christ to be legally right with Himself.

4. – Justification by faith is possible because the price for our redemption was paid in full.

a. …through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus… God can declare us to be right with Him because the price for our redemption was paid in full by Jesus Christ, through His substitutionary sacrificial death on Calvary.

b. - …the redemption which is in Christ Jesus… Redemption speaks of the fact that, as an essential part of our justification, we needed to be purchased from the slave market of sin. We were slaves, in bondage to sin, but Christ’s sacrifice provided the purchase price for our freedom.

5. – Justification by faith comes through propitiation. Propitiation is an offering for sin that fully satisfies God’s wrath. All God’s righteous requirements for our justification were fulfilled in the death of Christ.

a. – …whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith… Scripture says that the soul who sins will die.

1) Christ’s death on the cross was a public validation that the death penalty required for sin was fully paid for all people, once and for all. , , -29

2) It was important for Christ to be officially executed (crucified) through a legal process in clear view of many witnesses, so that when God now declares someone righteous, His justice is not questioned.

3) God’s wrath towards sinful humanity was pacified (propitiated) when the innocent Lord Jesus died on the cross in the place of all sinners. ,

b. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed. Our justification is now based on the fact that God’s requirements were fully met through Christ’s sacrificial death in our place. ,

1) Jesus’ public execution explained God’s patience in not destroying all mankind, from Adam to the cross, for their sins. ,

2) In His infinite foreknowledge, God knew Christ would one day provide a peacemaking sacrifice. , ,

6. – Justification by faith comes by a perfectly legal means.

a. – …for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time so that He would be just… Jesus’ public execution is proof that God is just when He now declares sinners to be righteous and releases them from the death penalty. The death penalty for sin required by the Law was paid in full by Jesus Christ.

b. – … and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Christ’s substitutionary death allows God to justify every individual sinner who trusts in Christ. Justification releases the sinner from ever suffering eternal death.

7. – Justification by faith removes all pride.

a. Where is boasting? It is excluded. Since Christ did all the work for our justification, we have nothing to brag about. ,

b. By what kind of law? Of works? No. A principle of works would only encourage arrogance. Our works do not justify us.

c. No, but by a law of faith. All boasting is removed by a principle of faith. Since faith is the ultimate non-work issue, no one can boast that he or she made any contribution to his or her justification.

8. – Justification by faith is independent of the Law. Justification by faith cancels out justification by means of the Law.

a. – Paul said, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith.” Do you likewise uphold the truth that justification is by faith alone in Christ alone?

b. – Paul added, “For we maintain that a man is justified …apart from works of the Law.” Paul firmly held the position that a person is justified independently of, and distinctly apart from, doing the good deeds found in observing the Law. Do you likewise firmly hold this truth?

9. – Justification by faith is the same for all people. God plays no favorites. Jews and non-Jews alike are all declared right with God in the same way.

a. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also… Since humans, Jew and Gentile alike, all have the one same true God, we must all declared right with Him in the very same way.

b. – …since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. If either a Jew or a Gentile believes in Christ, he or she is instantly declared righteous by the same true God.

10. – Justification by faith does not undermine the Law.

a. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? In other words, if we are made right with God by faith, it sounds like we are saying the Law is useless. But Paul said, “May it never be!” Justification by faith does not invalidate the Law.

On the contrary, we establish the Law. When we teach justification by faith in Christ’s substitutionary death, we actually confirm the authority of the Law since we agree with the Law that the wages for sin is death.

On the contrary, we establish the Law. When we teach justification by faith in Christ’s substitutionary death, we actually confirm the authority of the Law since we agree with the Law that the wages for sin is death.

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