Read - Romans 3:21-22
Message - Alan Burke
We all know that words have meaning and I know that I am stating the obvious, yet it can be easy to assume that everyone understands what is meant when we use a word. I want to take a word that is used here by Paul and make sure that we know what it means before we try to unpack what it means for us. Before we do that, remember what Paul has been doing, he has been bringing us face to face with the reality of our fallen condition. He has left none of us in any doubt about it, of how that we have no hope in ourselves before a holy God. He has given us bad news after bad news, revealing that all that we deserve, that you or I deserve is the wrath of God.
BUT now is the time for the good news, and it is great news, for what we are told is “But now a righteousness…”. The word that we are going to think about before we go any further is righteousness. Righteousness, a biblical word that in effect means to have right standing before the Lord our God. It is not on anything that we have done or can do, actually the only thing that we contribute to the salvation we receive is the sin that made it necessary. Rather we have right standing before the Lord through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ that is imputed to us. Imputed means that it is given to us.
For us there is a righteousness from God that comes, v 22 through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. To explain this in the past to children I’ve used two simple gestures that we are all so familiar with, thumbs up and thumbs down. When God looks at us because of sin, what we get is a thumbs down, but when God looks at us because of faith in Jesus Christ and what has done for us we get thumbs up. The wrong has been made right. It is the righteousness from God that enables us to come before Him. It is not in ourselves, for even our best efforts in this life are fifthly rags, our best efforts are worthless for we are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, none of us can hope to stand before a holy God in our own righteousness. For us and all people everywhere the only way that one can come before a holy God is through the righteousness He provides. Our Lord and God justifies the ungodly, not the well intentioned.
Sinner, this is what God does for you and the key to receive this righteousness is not is not doing more, trying harder, it is through faith. Faith involves believing in what God has done through Jesus Christ, it involves trusting in God, in what He has said he would do and what He has done. Faith is a sure confidence in who God is, in His character, that He is who He says He is. Faith is based on assurance and that assurance is based on God’s character. Faith is a belief in God, not in what we have done but in God alone and faith is the vital organ that enables us to see the invisible order, to be sure of what we do not see and to wait for it with patience, even though we do not see the promises materialise yet, and in this we demonstrate true faith. It is not just head knowledge, it is total dependance of the person and work of Jesus Christ, that is seen in our obedience, an obedience that comes from faith (Rom 1:7).
Q15 What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein thy were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen. 3:6)