Faithlife Sermons

Here's What God Did For You

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If I asked you to define the Gospel, could you do it?
That’s what we will do this evening. After building a case against all of humanity, showing that we are all sinful and deserving of death, Paul shifts gears.
Paul gives a very detailed description of the Gospel in this paragraph.
Romans 3:21–31 NIV84
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
This paragraph in the Bible is probably the most important passage there is. Paul describes, in specific terms, the meaning of salvation. Every single phrase in the first paragraph has significant meaning. If you fail to understand this passage, you really don't understand your salvation.
Romans 3:21 NLT
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.
Anytime you see But… take note. Here, Paul says But now God… He is shifting gears and giving us a new thought. He has just beat us to pieces, but now he is offering hope. Just like a door hangs on small hinges, so great truths can hang on small words.
As a matter of fact, great doctrines hang on one word… Grace, Atonement, Redemption,

I. Important words that describe our salvation (Romans 3:24-25)

Romans 3:24–25 NIV84
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

Justified

Courtroom term that actually means … just as if I’d never sinned. We are made right… like we never did anything wrong by his grace.

Redemption

Menas to buy back.

Atonement

Sometimes referred to as Propitiation. It describes how God provided us with undeserved righteousness because Jesus took our sins on him and gave us his righteousness. Jesus paid the price for our sins.
These three words describe what God did for us that we cannot do ourselves.

II. Paul gives a detailed explanation of our salvation (Romans 3:21-26)

1. Salvation was designed by God and comes from God.

Romans 3:21 NLT
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.
We didn’t think this up, it was all God.

2. Salvation is un-earned.

Romans 3:20 NLT
20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
We can’t earn salvation by keeping the rules. You cannot get to heaven through works or by being good.
Romans 3:21 NIV84
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
Our salvation is apart from the law. In the Old Testament there are three kinds of law: moral law, civil law, ceremonial law. These three kinds of laws are talked about in the first five books of the Bible. Paul says none of these are going to get you to heaven.
Heb 11 - they are saved through their faith...

3. Salvation through Jesus is not a new idea.

Romans 3:21 NLT
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.
This isn’t something Paul came up with. It wasn’t hidden or kept a secret because the Prophets talked about it. But the Jews were looking for a political leader to take care of the Romans and were not listening to the Prophets. We do the same thing.
Peter backs Paul up…
1 Peter 1:10–11 NLT
10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.
OT talked about Grace. IOW, the whole Bible says you are saved by Grace thriough faith.

4. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:22 NIV
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
We receive salvation through faith in Jesus. All others include works, but Christianity is about believing.
Sometimes I talk to Christians who, when they're asked if they're Christians say, "I'm trying." It's like being pregnant: You either you are or you aren't! It's not a matter of trying to be a Christian; it's a matter of trusting. It's by faith.
Two mistakes we make when it comes to faith.
1 - we say we don’t have enough faith. That’s not what’s important. It’s the object of our faith that’s vital. mustard seed move mountain. You had faith the pew would hold you up. We all have faith. What’s important is the object of our faith.
2 - We put faith in faith. Your faith isn’t what gets you to heaven. Your faith in Jesus is what will get you into heaven. Faith in Jesus Christ is what will get you to heaven. It’s not faith in God, even the devil believes in Him.
Faith - means to trust in; cling to; rely on; adhere to.
ILL - I believe in Hitler, but I am not a Nazi. However I believe in Jesus and I am a Christian… commitment is the difference. We have to have faith in JESUS.

5. Salvation is available to everyone who believes.

Romans 3:22 NIV84
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
Salvation is available to everyone who is alive. Everyone needs salvation.
The one thing we have to do it to BELIEVE. It’s not believe and work real hard, it’s believe.
ILL - Elevator illustration - ride 3 - walk 3
Many people approach salvation that way. I’ll trust some and then work some.
Salvation is available to all who believe (trust in, cling to, rely on, adhere to)

6. Salvation through Jesus is necessary.

Romans 3:23 NIV84
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
It’s necessary because we all fall short of God’s ideal for us.
have sinned - past tense
fall short - present or ongoing sin. we are continually falling short.
Sin - archery term that means to miss the mark. When we sin, and we all do, we miss the bullseye God put out for us to hit. We have all missed God’s standard for our lives.
Glory of God - either Jesus, and we always fall short or it’s the way God originally designed us in the Garden. But we sinned. Adam and Eve sinned and the glory was lost and we are born with a sin nature.
Because of this, salvation is necessary.

7. Salvation is un-deserved.

Romans 3:24 NIV84
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Our salvation is not earned or deserved, it is given to us by GRACE. It is given through the redemption of Jesus.
He freely gives us justification. Freely means without cause. God justifies us when there was no reason to do so. It was done freely. Kind of like when your kid asks you why and you go - because.
Why did God choose the Jews? Because
Deuteronomy 7:6 NLT
6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.
He just decided to choose them and to love them and to bless them...
That’s what Paul is saying about our salvation. There is no reason that causes us to deserve to be saved.
We are justified through Jesus.
Justified is a key word in the Bible. In just three chapters we've seen this word three times as a verb and four times as a noun. It's one of the key words in Paul's letters to the Romans. Justified, justify, justification. It's a legal term -- a term used in a courtroom. It literally means "to declare not guilty." It means to be acquitted. To make right. It is the legal act of God declaring guilty people guiltless. It changes our standing before God. We need to be justified because we all have fallen short. We are justified three ways:
1. We are justified by Grace.
Romans 3:24 NIV84
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
It’s a free gift that we do not deserve.
2. We are justified by his blood.
Romans 3:25 NIV84
25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
Hebrews 9:22 NLT
22 In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
the source of our justification is grace; the ground of our justification is blood; and the condition is
3. We are justified through faith.
Romans 3:28 NIV
28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
We are justified 3 ways: Grace, Blood, and faith.
Justification is more than just forgiveness. It means that there is absolutely, no longer, any case at all against you. It's wiped out. You are in a perfect standing with God. All the charges are dropped. It's not like you're just forgiven. The charges are dropped! There's not even a case against you. It is forgiveness plus righteousness.
Justification is something that God does to us. He declares us innocent, not guilty. We don't earn it, we don't work for it. It's just something that God does to us.
Imagine yourself standing before a judge and you know 100% that you're guilty and you're waiting for the verdict. Your knees are trembling. The judge looks at you and says, "You are acquitted." That's justification! God declares you Not Guilty for all of the sins you have committed.
It comes through faith in a person… Jesus

8. Salvation comes through a person, not a religion.

Romans 3:25 NIV
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
Salvation doesn’t come through baptism, etc. It comes through Jesus.
The second Key Word - Redemption. Redemption means to release by paying a ransom. It was used to refer to slaves. Over half the population in Rome were slaves. When they went to the slave market, they paid a redemption fee and you could either take them with you or set them free.
An example of this is
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NLT
19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Jesus bought our freedom and when we accept him, we are set free. Stamps...
God paid the redemption fee and sets us free.

9. The last thing we can say about our salvation is that it cost God a lot.

Romans 3:25 NIV
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
Atonement - Jesus satisfied the price for our sin. When you break God’s law, you you pay God’s price and God’s price for sin is death. Jesus satisfied the price.
Day of Atonement - picture of what would happen when Jesus paid the price for our sin. The penalty was paid, just not by us. It was paid by Jesus.
Leviticus 16 explains the Day of Atonement. It was a Jewish Holy day that was a symbol of what was to happen thousands of years later when Jesus Christ came to earth to die for an atonement. In Leviticus 16 we have the story that one day a year they were to go out and get two goats. The high priest was to take these two goats as a symbol. One of the goats he was to sacrifice as an offering, representing someone giving their life for the sins of the whole nation. The other goat the priest would place his hands on him and pronounce all of the sins of the entire nation of Israel for the previous year and symbolically put them on that goat and then they would take that goat out to the wilderness and let him go to represent that all of the sins were being forgotten and going out into the wilderness. That goat was called the scape goat. The scape goat was the goat that symbolically took all of the sins onto himself and then was thrust out into the wilderness and that was to be a symbolic thing that God was forgiving it all and putting it all on one person. That doesn't mean a whole lot until you look at John 1
John 1:29 NLT
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus is our scapegoat. he took all of our sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV84
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
God took all of our sin and put it on Jesus. Why? Because he loved us.
Romans 5:8 NLT
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
That’s atonement.

III. Why did God create his plan of salvation? (Romans 3:25-26)

Romans 3:25–26 NLT
25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

to take care of the past beforehand.

In the past, their sins’ forgiveness was in the future… when Jesus would come.

To take care of the present and future.

Jesus death on the cross covers past, present and future sins.

IV. Results of God’s plan of Salvation (Romans 3:27-31)

There is no reason for Pride.

Romans 3:27–28 NLT
27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

There is no reason for Prejudice.

Romans 3:29–30 NLT
29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

There is not reason for presumption.

Romans 3:31 NLT
31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.
the law is still valid. because it reveals our conscious. and it points us towards Jesus.
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