TEXT: ROMANS 3: 19-26
READING: JOHN 1: 1-18
SUBJ: The hopelessness of the man under the Law makes justification by grace through faith an absolute necessity.
AIM: That we might know and experience the Grace of God that saves through Christ our Lord.
INTR: Consider that the "Romans Road," so-called, while good in that scripture is quoted leaves much to be said as we fill in the gaps. Such passages are presented as a sales tool that presses logic without true repentance and faith.
1. Two things are minimized in the minds of many. The Law of God and the greatness of salvation as it is in Christ Jesus.
2. Men often move from verbalization to memorization to symbolization.
3. The experience of true believers includes the awfulness of guilt and the graciousness of forgiveness. Neither should be taken lightly.
THESIS: The terms of salvation are given to us with a sense of finality. These are the last days. There is no free trial offer made here. He has spoken to us by His Son. Christ is the final Word.
I. The last word on guilt (vv. 19-20)
1. Consider three periods of Law since the fall: Adam to Moses, Moses to Christ and now, the revelation of Christ. Acts 17:30-31 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
2. All arguments are silenced (especially in believers). The Lord's case is presented and there is no rebuttal.
3. Consider then the awful prospect of being guilty before God and c. Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
1) Guilt is emphatically declared
2) And in those coming to Christ, it is experienced.
4. There is no justification by the deeds of the Law:
1) The declared purpose is that men be brought to the knowledge that sin is sin.
2) That which is the instrument of condemnation cannot be the means of salvation.
II. The last word on God's way of salvation (vv. 21-23)
1. While the Law is disqualified as a means to be saved, righteousness must be manifest.
2. In the Old Testament, while obedience was demanded (and still is), forgiveness was always seen in a sacrifice and that in a prescribed way since Christ was being pictured.
3. The coming of Christ was the manifestation of pure righteousness in truth and practice.
4. The same message is directed to all and is found upon all that believe. God given faith is the means whereby these things (His righteousness) are received and put in practice by men. "...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."
5. There is no difference (Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, moral and immoral, educated and uneducated are all the same in this light) - and all believers know that they have sinned and do sin.
6. In and of themselves they fall short of the Glory of God, and He is glorified in true salvation.
III. The last word on how God saves (vv. 23-26)
1. What is confessed by believers is that they have personally sinned and come short and that, unhappily, sin continues in them.
2. They know, also, that they are justified freely (without a cause). And justification is essential.
3. Redemption says that their salvation is purchased and the object had to be bought out of bondage.
4. Christ is the propitiation (mercy seat - review the O. T. figure of God meeting with and forgiving Israel).
5. And to those with such a faith in His blood, there is remission (sins are passed over).
6. Thus we are moved from the object of God's forbearance to salvation - "...while we were yet sinners Christ died for us believers."
7. How could God be just and save a wretch like me? But, by inflicting the penalty for my sins on Christ, my substitute His justice is satisfied, and I am declared innocent.