Faithlife Sermons

Springing Forward in Faith

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views

Paul displays how faith brings about justification from our brokenness

Notes
Transcript
Romans 3:21–31 NASB95
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; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
So far in our study, we have looked at some unpleasant pictures - the unrighteousness of man, turning from God to idols and wickedness of all sorts; and the hypocrisy of the church- condemning people while maintaining a sinful life. And through these first few chapters of Romans, I can see how you might get the idea that it can only get better from here. And it does!
Today, we get to the third chapter and now begin to turn our attention from general assessment toward the fix- I even have a white-board that we get to use.
And so, I want to use a picture that I’ve used a few times in sharing the Gospel- in fact we taught the youth to use this last year and I hope that after today, you will see more clearly the message that Paul was so eager to share.

God’s Design ()

In verse 21, we see Paul express the truth that God’s righteousness has been manifested or revealed. This means that God is right and holy, and he has made it known to man. Not only that, but because He is right and holy, our interaction with Him should reflect that which has been revealed.

God has a perfect plan

Let me say it like this: I have tools that are specifically designed for certain jobs. My weed-wacker is designed for trimming grass and such in areas that I cannot get my mower. My chainsaw is designed to cut down trees. I cannot use my weed-wacker to cut down a tree and my chainsaw doesn’t really work for trimming the grass next to my sidewalk. But when I use my weed-wacker and chainsaw as they are designed, the manufacturer of these tools is honored because they are fulfilling their purpose. He honors the warranty and stands behind the product.
As we think about our lives, we must acknowledge that God has designed us for a specific purpose and as we live according to His design, we bring glory to Him.
God has a perfect design and plan
In Eden, we see this established and throughout the Law and Prophets (we might just say OT) we see that God revealed His purpose (21). Even apart from the Bible, God’s righteousness is revealed in creation (we saw this in chapter 1) the NT testifies that God still has a plan and He still desires to work that plan in mine and your life.
This means:
He has a perfect design and plan for your marriage and family
He has a perfect design for your job and how you manage your resources
He has a perfect design for our church, for our purity, and for our worship
Your life is designed to bring God glory in everything you think, do, and say.
The problem, however is:

Man’s Departure from the Design ()

(Also )
Because of sin- and we’ve seen this in the last couple of weeks, we are outside of God’s plan.
We are unrighteous
We are disobedient
Our hearts are hard
This puts us in this sphere over here which we’ll call brokenness. So this is when we take the weed-wacker and, because it seems perfectly reasonable to us, go try to chop down a tree with it. When that doesn’t work, we try something else. We CAN’T live according to God’s design because our sin separates us from Him.
This is difficult for many people to admit. We’d rather call God unfair or assume that our sin is no big deal than to recognize how our sin places us at enmity with God. We’d rather excuse our actions as justified or argue about what love is than to accept this condemning statement. But that’s just it- sin blinds us to the truth. We all fall short of God’s glory.
I recently read about a guy who went into the courtroom during the trial of a man charged with heinous crimes. He desired justice and knew that this man was guilty. Toward the end of the day, as the man on trial was interviewed, the spectator abruptly left the courtroom and fled outside, tears streaming down his face. A nearby reporter assumed that he was angered of the criminal’s actions, but when questioned the man replied, “No, I’m not angered over his actions, but distressed because my heart is just like his.”
That’s what Paul is saying here- we are broken. And in our brokenness, we attempt to self-diagnose and self-medicate.
We know that something is wrong- we don’t have joy or peace, so we go looking to fill those gaps with things we believe will bring happiness.
“Good works,” Drugs, sex, money, better job, fame, power, etc.
And we find ourselves in a cycle where we pursue these things over and over only to find that we remain broken.
I recently read about a guy who went into the courtroom during the trial of a man charged with heinous crimes. He desired justice and knew that this man was guilty. Toward the end of the day, as the man on trial was interviewed, the spectator abruptly left the courtroom and fled outside, tears streaming down his face. A nearby reporter assumed that he was angered of the criminal’s actions, but when questioned the man replied, “No, I’m not angered over his actions, but distressed because my heart is just like his.”
Paul explained that this is level ground. We ALL have sinned and thus all have found ourselves here- in the brokenness sphere, pursuing our desires and attempting to correct what we cannot correct. We attempt adjust our actions, but they don’t stick. We try to change, but we find ourselves back where we started. Why? Because our hearts are sinful. says The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
And this is where the Gospel comes in.

The Gospel ()

Here’s what he says, and there are a couple of big words here, so bear with me.
We can be justified through Jesus Christ (24)
Justification means that we are declared innocent.
Our brokenness is a result of our guilt- our sin is what has placed us there.
The Gospel is that Jesus, God the Son, came to earth- Don’t miss this- He came to us in order to live the life we could not live (According to God’s design- sphere 1) and take upon Himself my guilt, shame, and sin and pay the debt that I owed on an old Roman cross (That is what the word ‘propitiation’ means). There, God poured out His wrath, as Paul says in verse 26, so that “He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus”
Sin was judged. And as proof that the debt was paid fully, Jesus rose from the dead and now is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
And ALL who repent- that is change. Change your thinking, change your life. And believe- trusting in WHO God is, in WHO Jesus is and in WHAT He did (what we call faith) All who repent and believe are declared innocent- they are justified.
And actually we see that Paul spends a good bit more time- all of chapter 4 fleshing this out.
Here, he reminds his readers of Abraham and how through Abraham’s trust in God- to go where God sent him, to trust God that He would make him a great nation, to trust that God would provide a sacrifice to take Isaac’s place… ()
Just as Abraham was credited with righteousness through his faith, Paul says in
Romans 4:24–25 NASB95
but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
And, back to our picture here, being justified, we are restored and with the help of the Holy Spirit and the church functioning as it should, we then PURSUE God’s Design together- to recover God’s purpose for our lives.
What we see here in , is that God is God over all. Whether you are a Jew or not. Whether you grew up in church or not. There is no advantage gained in God’s sight. No matter how good you think you are, no matter how religious you are, no matter how conservative you are- friends, no one is justified by these things. reminds us of this.
God is God of all and He alone justifies ALL who believe.
And by the way- this is a good reminder for us who have trusted in Christ. Truly, we need to be reminded that we too were broken and separated from God. And the Gospel is still good for you and I
So let me close by asking you this:
What are you chasing this morning?
Happiness? Success? Attention? Affirmation?
What are you
I urge you to look to the cross instead. It is in Christ alone that we will find what we truly need- love, joy, peace, hope
Related Media
Related Sermons