But Now For Some Good News
By Bobby Blakey on October 24, 2022
But Now For Some Good News
By Bobby Blakey on October 24, 2022
Well, who wants to hear some good news this morning? I invite you to open your Bible and turn with me to Romans chapter 3. And today we're going to get to the good news of the gospel of Jesus. And so, we've been going through Romans 3 now the last few weeks in a series, “What the Bible Says about You,” and we have heard some convicting things from the Word of God. In fact, there's a handout there in your bulletin, if you want to pull that handout out and start taking some notes. We want to review what we've been learning so far from Romans chapter 3. It's kind of famously quoted from Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” And in this chapter, Paul proves to us who we really are.
So, in the first 8 verses, we saw that “You deserve to be judged.” That's what we saw a couple of weeks ago, if you were here, and Paul quoted David, from Psalm 51:3-4, saying that God would be right, he would be blameless to judge him for his sin.
If you were here last week, we saw Paul prove, using many different Psalms and the prophet Isaiah, that “You are under sin.” That's Romans 3:9-18. We saw that you are under sin. We deserve judgment because we are under sin.
And what we're going to learn today is that “You are under the law.” The Law, the righteous standard of God is what shows us that we have sin that deserves to be judged. And as we learn about being under the law, we're also going to learn how to be righteous before God. So, we're going to get to the good news here. After learning a lot of things about ourselves, we get to the good news of Jesus.
So, our text today is Romans 3:19-24. And out of respect for God's word, I'm going to ask if we would all stand up for the public reading of Scripture. And in fact, I want to invite everybody who's watching this online, I know we’ve got some people home, sick, recovering. I know we’ve got some people out of town; if you're watching this online, please open your Bible stand with us. I love hearing reports of people standing at home. Let's all stand together. And we're going to read. This is Romans 3:19-24. This is good news, not only for you, but everybody needs to hear this good news. So, let's give it our full and undivided attention Romans 3:19.
“Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
That's the reading of God's Word, please have your seat. That's as far as we're going to be able to get in our time today. There's so much more we'll get to next week, and we'll take communion to celebrate our study of the chapter. But there's two words that are going to be the key words of our sermon this morning, words that when I say them, I would imagine some who have been here at church or gone to a church for some time, when I say the words, Legalism, or I say the words justification, you think I've heard those words before! And as we go through them, you might even think, Oh, I'm familiar with that. I know what that is. But my question I want to ask you before we even get started, is could you the person who's gone to church, and is familiar with the concept of legalism, or you understand the idea, at least you think you do have. Justification? Do you know it so well that you could teach it to somebody else? Because that's the goal. If you don't know it that well, then you need to learn it better than you know it right now. These are two serious things. There are people maybe, even people here this morning, caught up in legalism and they need to have justification clearly explained to them. There are many good people, they think they're good people who are outside of the church. And they are thinking that they're going to be saved by doing the works of the law. But verse 20 just said, no human being will be justified by doing works of the Law. Could you explain to them the dangers of legalism and the beauty of justification?
So, point number one in our sermon today is, “Legalism is...” And then point number two is, “Justification is… If you think you know what those things are, could you write out a definition? Could you use Scripture to explain them to somebody else? Because there are many people that you know, that need to hear this text right here. So, we want to make sure not only do we have it clear for ourselves, but we have it's so clear that we could go and share this good news with somebody else who desperately needs it. So, let's talk about Romans 3:19-21. First of all, let's talk about legalism here. Look at verse 19. It says, “now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law.” So, if you go back to Romans 3:9, we saw that whether you're a Jew, or a Greek, we've been learning this from chapter 1 and chapter 2, and chapter 3, whether you're them out there who don't know God's Word, or whether it's you in here, who does know God's Word, we're all going to be judged, because we are all under sin. That's the charge in verse 9. Well, now in verse 19, we're saying, hey, yeah, we're under sin. And how we know that is, we're under the Law. And there's going to come a day on that day of judgment that every mouth is going to be stopped, every mouth is going to be shut, nobody's going to be able to defend themselves, nobody's going to be able to say, hey, it wasn't really me. I'm innocent. Like, everyone, when they stand before God, if they're still under their sin, if they're still under the Law, well, they are going to be judged, they are going to be held accountable. It says to God, the whole world, every living soul, that this is the direction they're going. And then it makes it very clear, you should know verse 28. In fact, Romans 3:23 is the famous quote, but it would be good for a lot of us to memorize Romans 3:20, because this is really the definitive statement that ends what we've been learning all the way from Romans 1:18 about “God's wrath” against sin. What should you do about sin? Well, here's what a lot of people try to do. But it doesn't work, because by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight. Just trying to do what God says, just trying to keep the law, you will never get saved by the works that you do. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that? Okay.
This is something that's got to be clear to all of us. Now, Paul, if you got to hear Paul preach, this is one of the main themes of the teaching. And that's what Romans is. It's his teaching, he didn't get to go to Rome yet, so, he sent them a letter with all of his teaching. And this is what Paul is famously known for, as a teacher. He talks about the law and how the law cannot save you. Okay, so this Greek word for law that is used a few times here in these verses, is this word Nomos. It's used 176 different times in the Greek New Testament, and 74 of those times are here in the book of Romans. So, the book of Romans has over 40% of the teaching in the entire Greek New Testament about the law. It’s all here in the book of Romans. We've already seen some references to the law leading to judgment in Romans two, but this is the clearest teaching about it right here in Romans 3:19-20. And we're going to keep learning about the law as we go through Romans.
Go over to Romans 6 with me. Let me just give you a glimpse of where we're going to go. What else we're going to learn about the law. Here in Romans 6:14 is a very encouraging idea, when it says sin will have no dominion over you, sin has no authority or power over you, since you are not under law, but under grace. That's the move we're all wanting to have in our lives. We want to go from being under the law to under grace. And then Romans 6:15 picks up that idea what Then should we go and sin because we are not under law, but under grace? “By no means”! So, we can see here already, you can get an idea of what it means to be under the law, because it's the contrast to being under grace. Now look at Romans 7. Chapter 7 is going to be probably our most detailed study of what it means to be under the law and to think a wrong way. And it says here in Romans 7:1, “Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?” So those of us who die with Christ, we are dead to sin? How do we then think about the law? We're going to get really into it in Romans 7. And then go to Romans chapter 10. Maybe you've been reading through Romans with us. We're reading it right now, during the week on our scripture of the Day Bible reading. We just read Romans 10 on Friday, and Romans 11 is tomorrow, and maybe this verse, maybe you skipped over it. I don't know. Maybe it stood out to you. But look what it says here in Romans 10:4. It says that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Okay, so this is the law that shows you your sin, so that you can see grace. The law is a teacher that you have sinned in your life and that you need Christ to make you righteous. That we can see right there in Romans 10 makes it very clear that the end goal of the law is to lead you to Christ; it was never just supposed to be the law. The law was always leading us to Jesus. That was the point. And that's what he's teaching us in Romans.
So go back to Romans chapter 3:19, and let's get this down for our definition here of legalism right there in verse 20. This is a verse I'm encouraging you to memorize. I'm recommending you memorize Romans 3:20. You might find yourself quoting it just as much as Romans 3:23. For by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight. So, it's impossible, just by keeping the law to get right with God. There is nothing you can do that will make you right before God on the day of judgment, or even in God's sight. Right now, you cannot earn or merit any favor. Any right standing with God cannot be achieved by anything you do.
So, legalism is “trying to get righteous by doing the works of the law.” That's what legalism is, it's somebody thinking that they can get right through what they do in keeping the law, it is a false teaching, it is very dangerous. You don't want to be a legalist. You don't want anybody you love to be a legalist. This is something we all need to be on guard about, we need to watch out for. This is a trap that a lot of people can fall into. And you don't want to be one of them, where you're always trying harder, always looking to do better. And you're actually thinking in your own mind that I've done something that makes God pleased with me, that's not true according to Romans 3:20.
Turn with me to the book of Galatians chapter 2, verse 16. If we're going to talk about the law, Romans is our spot. And then the also the book of Galatians is a spot where Paul really does his teaching about the law. Even though Galatians is only five chapters, nomos, the Greek word for law is used 32 times in these five chapters. So that's 18% of all the usage in the Greek New Testament. That means just in Romans and Galatians, you get 60% of Paul's, of the use of the law and the whole New Testament, just in these two spots of Romans and Galatians. So, in Galatians, this was a place where Paul had preached the gospel, but then some other people had come in after Paul left, and these other people were telling the Galatians that they should get circumcised. So, they were just adding one work. Okay, you guys believe in Jesus, okay. But you guys also need to get circumcised if you're really going to be right with God. Just one work that they're adding to the Gospel; Jesus plus one other thing. And Paul, he uses some fiery language here. He tries to make it very clear, it is not acceptable to think that you can add any work on to the work of Jesus Christ. Okay. This is really important. Paul goes off on this. Look at how clear he's trying to be. Look at Galatians 2:15. Look at the length that he's going to to explain himself here. And he's saying the same thing here in Galatians. That we've seen in Romans. It doesn't matter if you're a Jew, or if you're a Gentile, it doesn't matter if you grew up going to church or you're new to church. No, “we ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, yet we know”— and it because this is true for all we know that a person is not justified. And we'll get to what that means more later. But it means to get right with God. A person is not righteous before God by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus. Now, does that seem pretty clear? Well, apparently, he wants to say it more clearly. So, we have also believed in Christ Jesus in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law, no one will be justified. So, he just said in one verse three different times, that it's not by works of the law, but it's by faith in Jesus. How many people get right with God through a work that they do? The answer is nobody. It's impossible. It never happens. Okay, so that's something you got to think about. And you're thinking, well, I don't know. I mean, this is kind of old stuff for the Jews. I'm not thinking I’ve got to get circumcised. Do you realize how many people I've met here at this church who thinks that getting baptized was important in their salvation? Do you realize how many churches out there are aggressively telling people that they need to get baptized if they're going to be saved? Do you realize that people all over the world are baptizing babies and young children because they think that maybe it will help them get God's pleasure, get right with God. So, baptism is definitely a “work” that a lot of people are doing, thinking it's getting them right with God, when both Romans 3 and Galatians 2 are trying to tell you here today, there is nothing you can do to make God pleased with you by the works of the law, by any good thing you do. No one finds righteous standing with God through their own works. And in fact, look at this awesome verse Galatians 2:20, where it says, “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me, I do not know that by the grace of God for his righteousness, we're through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”
I love that thought right there (me, too!). If we could do something to get right with God, then why would he send his one and only Son to die on the cross in a brutal agonist way? Why does Jesus have to go through all of that pain and judgment if we could just go and do something? Do you realize that when you think you can do something to get right with God, you're putting yourself on the same level as the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's not a place that any of us belong. See, a lot of people are really thinking too highly of themselves, and not highly enough of the grace that we have received in the face of our Lord Jesus Christ. The thing that makes us right with God is Jesus and Jesus alone. We don't add anything else to it. And we say Amen here this morning. But do you realize how many people want to tell me about how many missions trips they've gone on? And how many places they've served at their previous church? And how many different times they've done this? And I'm thinking, why does this person feel the need to pull out a resume and tell me all the good things that they've done? As if that's going to make me think higher of them? I begin to wonder, do they think that that means God thinks higher of them? See, there's a lot of that going on? We’ve got to be very careful. We’ve got to be very guarded. Paul had a resume in Philippians 3: Hey, he was circumcised on the eighth day as to the law. He was a Pharisee. As to the law, you couldn't find something wrong with him as to keeping the law and he says, hey, I, “I counted that all as loss.” I gave away my resume, he says in Philippians 3:9. I want it to be “found in him.” I want it to be found in Christ, “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” Paul is like, I used to have a resume. And then I realized that Jesus is so much better than my personal resume or anything that I have done. Remember, it's the people who walk up to Jesus, and they say, Jesus, look at what we did for you. And those are the people that Jesus says, I never even knew you. The resumes don't work when it comes to getting right with God. There's only one resume that God is pleased with. And that's his son Jesus. And we've got to stop thinking there's anything that we have done.
Now, maybe you're thinking, I know this, I don't think I can do anything to be saved. I am trusting in Jesus. We'll look at how it says it here in Galatians 3. I really want our whole church to really think about what he says here in chapter 3. Let's start in verse 1. It says, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.” I came in there and I preached, I didn't preach for you to do works. I preached Jesus, look at him, they're dying on the cross, look at him, they're bleeding out on that tree. Look at him paying for your sin. That's what I preached to you. And so then look what he says here in verse Galatians 3:2, this is a great question for all of us. “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit? Did you receive the Spirit?” So that's going back to how we got saved. When God gave us a new heart, and God did a work to save us, and God put his Spirit in us when you receive. “Did you receive the Spirit— Notice the question here, “by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” What's the right answer to that question, everybody? Hearing with faith. Galatians 3:3-5, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” So, he's asking, okay, so you say that you believe it was by faith, not by works? Well, let's talk about how you're living your life right now. Are you still thinking that you're going to grow up and you're going to build on the foundation of Christ in your life? Are you now trying to do that by your own works? Or is it still by God's work? By hearing with faith by the work of the Spirit? Have you now made your Christian life a list of things for you to go do? Because that's not how you got saved! And he's asking, is that really how you should now live your Christian life? Because you didn't get saved that way! So, why are you starting to live that way? I'm asking you, do you turn living for Jesus, your life of faith, a work of the Spirit that God does in you through when you hear the Word, when you hear read the Word and God has his Spirit stir you up to love and good deeds? Have you taken this process of God growing you? And sanctifying you? Have you made that a list of things that you can go and do? Have you made it a bunch of works for yourself? See, you don't have to be even people who may be understand how you get saved, can still start thinking a wrong way about the law. In fact, you might not only think a wrong way about the law, yourself, you might even say things to other people that make it sound like Christianity is just a bunch of things they're supposed to do. So, think about it. First of all, for yourself, are you making Christianity a to-do list of works? That's not how we got saved! That's not how we should live as saved people. But then think, are you talking to other people like it's a to-do list of works, we're here to encourage one another to do? We're here to build up one another, to build up the church by speaking the truth in love to one another. If you go to a brother or sister, and you say to them, hey, why aren't you serving in the church? Now, maybe you're meaning to say in an encouraging way, because you know that you love serving the Lord, and you wish that they would serve the Lord because you think they would love it too. But when you say why aren't you serving? That encouragement doesn't come across as very encouraging. In fact, what I've heard people say to that kind of encouragement, hey, why aren't you serving, brother? Why aren't you serving, Sir? Some people say, well, that sounds very legalistic. And you might think, well, I'm not saying you need to serve to get saved. Okay? But think of what you are saying. You're saying, hey, the standards up here, and you're not measuring up to the standard, you are putting that person back in a situation where they are under the law. Do you see why that would feel legalistic to them? See, that stuff, is that really encouraging to say? Here's where you should be, and you're not there? Have a great day, brother, sister. Right? God bless, be warm and be filled. Right? That doesn't sound like somebody coming alongside of somebody speaking into their life and saying, hey, let's both get there together. I’ll pray for you. You pray for me. Let's do this together. Hey, let's go and let's run. Remember what Jesus did for us? Let's remember we have the Spirit. Let's go read in the word together what we're supposed to do, and then we'll go and do it. So, we got to be careful that even if we say, well, yes, I understand it's nothing I did that saved me, well, are you starting to act like it's what you do as a saved person? Are you starting to put it on other people? Hey, why aren't you doing this? This is legalism; it’s a clear and present danger in the Church of Jesus. And everybody here needs to know what it is. And we need to search our heart and ask, am I being impressed by my own works? Do I think God is impressed with my own works? Because we're being taught very clearly, that's not the right way to think.
Now, go back to Romans chapter 3 with me. Go back to Romans chapter 3, because now there's a key transition here in verse 21. And finally, after weeks of us studying the wrath of God against sin, and the judgment that's coming on sin, and the fact that we are all under sin, is anybody ready for some good news here this morning? Romans 3:21. But now he says, this is a key transition in the book of Romans, and sermon is now going to be about what does it mean to be justified, this is the key doctrinal teaching that we're starting to get into right here, when he says, “But now” let's talk about this “righteousness of God,” how to get right with God, the fact that God is righteous, and how you and I can get in a right standing with him. And there's going to be a lot about this in the coming weeks. First thing we want to know here in verse 21, that we get righteous or we see “the righteousness of God,” it has been manifested apart from the law. So manifested means the righteousness of God has appeared. It has been made known, but it's been made known not through the law. And then I love this part right here. You need to think this through: “although the law and the prophets bear witness to it.” Okay, so he's saying, we're going to find out how to get right with God without the law, outside of the law. But notice, when he refers to law, he's referring to the works that people can do that show them they can't do them, that show them they have sin. And people foolishly think, well, if I do those works, I'll be saved.
But the point of the law is, it's a standard you can't live up to. And it shows you that you have sin in your life, that law that he's talking about that people are under until they believe in Jesus, the law that shows you the knowledge of sin in your life. He's saying, hey, the righteousness is coming outside of that law. But the law of Moses prophesied about this righteousness. So, one mistake that Christians today make people at churches like ours, is they say, we don't need the law. We've got Jesus. That's true. But then what they do is they throw out the law of Moses, and they throw out the prophets. And you'll hear people act like we don't need the Old Testament, because we've got the New Testament now. Notice how he's making a distinction. We're going to find out righteousness without the law. But the law actually told us about this righteousness. The prophets actually let us know this righteousness was coming. So, notice the distinction that Paul is making, and make sure you've made this same distinction in your mind. I'm not going to try to live up to the law, but I am going to still read and know the Word of God. So, he's not saying we should throw out the actual writings of God through Moses and the prophets, because those actual writings in the Hebrew Bible, they all prophesy that there is coming someone who is born of a woman, someone who's a prophet of God, someone who is the sacrifice, who is our great high priest, who is our returning King. No, the whole story is pointing to the glory of Jesus, who is our righteousness. We don't want to throw out the Scriptures. We just want to throw out thinking that we can do anything to get right with God.
So, make sure you haven't thrown out Scripture when that Scripture is pointing you to this righteousness that we get apart from the law. And in Romans 3:22, it says, “This righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ, for everyone here who believes” and just to make sure it's for all it says, “For there is no distinction. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So, I hope you can see that famous verse Romans 3:23, “All have sinned”; we often quote that verse and we kind of mean every single one of us, every individual has sinned. But now as we've gone through Romans 1, 2 and 3, we can see in context when he says all he means the Gentiles, them out there who don't know the law, and the Jews, or you here who do know the Word of God, whether you're out there or whether you're in here, whether you're Gentile or Jew, everyone has sinned and fallen short of God's glory. And then verse 24 is one of the great verses. It's like a John 3:16 kind of verse here. Romans 3:24, that “all are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” So, there is a righteousness of God. And justification is when you and I get declared righteous by God.
So, let's get that down for point number two: “Justification is God declaring you righteous because of Jesus”; that's what it means to be justified. And this is the only way that anyone can get right with God is through Jesus, through believing, through a response of faith. When you hear the good news of Jesus, Jesus is our righteousness, there is no other way to get right with God other than faith in Jesus Christ. And don't anybody dare at any human work because it's all the work of Jesus. And that's what all the Gospels are saying. Jesus, he got circumcised according to the law, Jesus, he got baptized to fulfill all righteousness, Jesus, he got taken by Satan into the wilderness, and he said no to every temptation, he fulfilled the law completely. He established a perfect track record of righteousness. Jesus is the only one who has ever been righteous on planet Earth. And it is only through faith in Jesus, faith in his death for us. That is how you and I get declared righteous by God. And when God justifies you. It's not like you have to wait till Judgment Day, and wonder, am I am I going to be right with God on Judgment Day. At the moment that you believe in Jesus, God on his glorious throne in heaven, declares you righteous in that moment, by your faith. God is pleased with Jesus; he sees his son as righteous. And when you transfer your trust from yourself, and you trust in Jesus, in that moment, both now and forevermore in heaven, God has said, you are righteous. And if God declares you righteous, you are righteous forevermore. That's the good news here. All you do is nothing. And Jesus paid it all. And when God opens your eyes to see that when you hear that Word, and you transfer your trust, and you believe in what Jesus has done, realizing you can do nothing in that moment that your trust goes from you to Jesus, God justifies you. Can we see why this is really good news here for everybody? That these verses right here have led to many people's salvation, they've led to the whole reformation, if you know the historical movement in the church. These verses right here, when you get this reality that I can do nothing, and Jesus already did everything that needs to be done for me to be right with God. So, I'm going to trust in Jesus. Boom, that is your salvation. That's justification. And it's all just by faith in the finished work of Jesus, when he gave his last breath, and he cried out to die on that cross. And Jesus is the sacrifice to pay. In fact, look what it says here. Two things. We're going to spend a week now talking about what Jesus has done for us, and what we're trusting in about Jesus, really looking forward to studying the righteousness of God. But let's just look at two things it gives us here in Romans 3:24, two clear things we want to think about one. It says we are justified, so that's God declaring us righteous, we are justified by his grace as a gift.
So, let's get that down for our first dash there: “By grace.” Okay, and you could write down next to that “as a gift.” This is one thing I sometimes get concerned about when I'm out to lunch with a Christian brother, and it's like, hey, let me get your meal today. And the brother is like, no, I'm paying for my own meal. It's like, hey, we should all know that nobody here is earning it. Nobody. He isn’t meriting it. Nobody here is being good enough to get there. We have salvation and it is a gift that we were given for free, not because of anything we've done, just because that's how good our God is. Yeah, everything you've got that's good in your life was given to you as a gift, you did nothing to earn it. And the best thing, the thing that opens up all the doors in your life is God gave his one and only Son, Jesus for you. And that is a gift of grace. It has a faith in Jesus and God giving his one and only Son for you. You need to be ready to say I did nothing. And God did everything because it is a gift. And it is all for the glory of his grace.
We just saw some precious kids here in the service. I can't imagine any of those dads are giving any of those kids away for anybody. That's what our Father did for us, out of his overwhelming love, out of his abundance of kindness, out of the glory of his goodness. See, grace is when not only does God not give you what you deserve, Mercy is when God holds back what you deserve. Grace is when you get something good, even though you don't deserve it. That's what Jesus is. Jesus is all by grace. Jesus is a gift. Don't let it become cliche. Don't save it all for Christmas day. Don't act like yeah, Jesus is the gift. No, no, you deserve nothing. And God gave you his one and only Son, the one that was righteous, his holy and anointed one. The one that the father says when he gets baptized, the one that the father says when he's on the Mount of Transfiguration in all of his glory, the one that the Father loves to say, “This is my Son, whom I am well pleased with.” He gave the only one he was pleased with; he gave for you who he was not pleased with. That's grace. It's a gift.
Go to John chapter 1 and look at how the disciple whom Jesus loved here in John 1, the eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus and the death of Jesus on the cross, John runs into the tomb and finds it empty here in the Gospel of John. So, he's an eyewitness to what Jesus said and did, how he died on the cross and how he rose again on the third day. John sees it all and before he can even start telling us the story. Here's what John wants to let you know here in John 1:14, he's saying that Jesus is the Word, Jesus was with God, Jesus is God. Jesus is the way that God is revealing himself. A God is making himself known. God is manifest in Jesus; Jesus is the exact image of God. And this Word of God, the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. And we have seen his glory as of the only Son from the Father, glory that is full of grace and truth. I have seen the one who came from God, the God-man, I've seen him and he's just like God, just like God is abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Jesus was full of grace and truth, like what he says in verse 16, for from his fullness, from the fullness of the deity of Jesus, we have all received grace upon grace, For the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, the only God who was at the father's side, he, Jesus has made God known.
This was always the plan. This was the plan from before Adam and Eve, this was the plan before the law of Moses, there was always going to come this fullness of time, there was always going to be, but now “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son.” The point of the story is the glory of Jesus. It's not about what you and I do. It's all about can you see what Jesus has done? This has always been God's plan. And John's like, I saw, I saw God's goodness, I saw the grace. And it's not just grace, its grace upon grace. There's an overwhelming flow of goodness that God wants to give to every one of us. Can you see it? It's not based on you earning it. It's not based on you doing anything. It's all for free. It's all a gift and it's all right there in Jesus. Can you see it? That's what John said.
After it says, By grace, the Second dash there under point number two is it's: “Through redemption.” It's through redemption. You could write down even next to redemption, the word “ransom”. Okay, so you're getting it as a gift for free. It's just being brought straight to you. It's just being delivered to you. You did nothing and, and here it comes. But if there was a cost that was paid to it, there was a real cost that the father felt when he gave his son and that Jesus felt when he gave his life now, this redemption this ransom, is that Jesus had to pay the price. Those who are under the law, if you come back next week, we're going to see this very clearly, God is righteous. So, God just can't say, hey, I forgive you. And we're going to be cool. Now it's all fine. God, because of his righteousness, because he is a just God, God is going to judge sin. But at the same time, God wants to declare you righteous, so you need to get judged for your sin. But God wants to save your soul. How does that all work? Jesus is how it all works. Jesus had to pay for your soul. So, you're getting it for free. But there was a great cost.
Go to 1 Peter chapter 1. Look at 1 Peter:1. There are so many passages we could turn to about this ransom, about this redemption. Even Jesus said in Mark 10:45 that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and “to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus knew that he was coming to pay the price for many souls. Even going back to Galatians 4:4, but when the fullness of time had come, but now see, there's this is the climactic moment that the whole history of the world has been building up to. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law.” See, that's the thing, this idea of redemption is like somebody's a slave. And this slave needs to be set free. And if you want the slave to be set free, you’ve got to buy the slave. There is a purchasing price, there is a cost that has to be paid to let that slave go free. And that's what the idea of redemption is that you were a slave to your sin under the law. And so, Jesus came to pay for your sin, so that you could have the price paid and be set free that now you could no longer be a slave. But you could be adopted as a son, or a daughter by the Father in heaven, there was a purchasing price somebody had to pay for your soul.
You see it clearly here in 1 Peter 1:18. And we'll continue from there. 1 Peter 1:18, knowing this is something we all need to know that Jesus paid for you. When you say Jesus paid it all out, but we got to make sure you understand. He was paying it specifically for your soul, for all of your sin, for your judgment. Knowing that you were ransomed you were paid for, you were bought from the feudal ways, inherited from your forefathers, see, all the way down from Adam and Eve, we've been passing something on from one generation to the next generation, and we got it from our parents, and we give it to our kids. It's the feudal way of living in sin where you cannot keep the love of God. See that feudal ways inherited from our forefathers, you had to get purchased out of that, and you got purchased, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with a cost, the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. Do you see all the pictures, all the pictures going back to Abraham, who's going to sacrifice his one and only son Isaac, to the Passover lamb that they would kill and put the blood over the doorposts to the sacrifices in Leviticus, where you take this pure lamb, and you lay your hand on the lamb and the lamb dies and the lambs blood is shed so that your sin can be atoned for. That's all been a picture of what God is going to do with his one and only Son Jesus, that God is going to sacrifice his son Jesus, because that is the cost that needed to be paid for your sin. Can you see the blood flowing down from the crown of thorns from the nails in his hands, there's the blood at the foot of the cross the blood that paid for your soul? You receive it as a gift for free.
But have you considered the cost of what Jesus paid to redeem you, to ransom you? And then it says this, here in 1 Peter 1:20, it says… This is it. This is the whole plan. It says, “he was foreknown before the foundation of the world.” Do you see all these verses are telling us the same thing, it was always going to be this way. There was going to be the law showing our sin. And then there was going to be Jesus paying for our sin. This was God's plan before there was the beginning. Before there was space and time, there was the gospel of Jesus. And it says he was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but “he was made manifest,” he appeared. But now it's been made known in the last times, for the sake of you who, through Jesus, are believers in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
See, my concern is that when we walk out of here today, people are going to be like, did you hear the good news? And there'll be like, what's the good news? Did you hear that in one week, we got over $2 million for the Double Double project? Do you see we've got better news than silver and gold here, everybody? We've got better news to go, we should all burst out of here ready to go say I had a debt that I could never pay. $2 million won't even be enough to pay the debt for my sin. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing you could do. There was nothing we could all do together, there was only one who did it. And he came down here and he paid it in full with his precious blood. And the good news is there is free salvation that has been paid for. But for all people for everybody, you know, Jesus, he paid for them. There's redemption in Christ, through his precious blood. This is something money can't buy, this is something works can’t accomplish. This is the good news of Jesus. And you should run out of here. And you should make sure that everybody you know, knows God's plan. But now, in the fullness of time, all the way from before the foundation of the world, God was just waiting to send Jesus to pay for you. It's a free gift. Can you see what Jesus has done? Let's pray.
Father in heaven, we really need you right now to open people's eyes to see the grace that you have given us in the face of Jesus. We need people to see that they got to stop trying, they got to stop thinking they've done something or they can do something. And they’ve got to get their eyes on what Jesus has done. And Father, I pray that this good news, this good news would burst forth from this church, that it would ring out, that it would reverberate, that it would echo, that everybody would hear that through Jesus there is a way to be right with God, and we can receive it as a free gift, because he already paid the cost with his precious blood, he already paid our ransom for our souls. Father, I pray that you would open people's eyes to see this good news. And I pray for those of us who know what Jesus has done for us that we would say thank you to him, that we would worship him, that we would give him all the glory, that we would say afresh here today, it's nothing that I have done. It's all because of Jesus, and that we would be so encouraged, we would be so stirred up in our souls with what Jesus has done for us that we would want to go tell everybody, this good news, that there is a debt that they could not pay, that Jesus came, and he paid in full. So, Father, let the gospel of Jesus be known, that more souls be saved, and let the name of Jesus be lifted high as the Savior, as the Redeemer, as the one who paid for our sins. Let the name of Jesus be glorified. We pray.
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