The Grace of God, The Love of God
This morning we are going to continue in the Book of Romans, looking at Romans Chapter 3 -5.
In the past 2 weeks as an overview, we looked at chapter’s one and two. In chapter one we looked at God’s view of sin, and how Hhe deals with the unrepentant. Also, about the Apostle Paul writing in Romans 1:16 a powerful statement that really opens up a theme for his letter:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed —a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.””
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans to receive revelation of God’s righteousness.
In the 2 Chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, we looked primarily at the first part of the chapter concerning Paul’s view judging other people. He starts the chapter by saying don’t judge others for their sin, when basically you do the same thing. My point, we shouldn’t point fingers at others for their sin, when we are bogged down in our own.
Remembering as I was typing this, Jesus with the adulterous woman in John Chapter 8, and Jesus speaking against the religious crowd who wanted to condemn the woman. Jesus saying, “Let any one of you who are without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.”
These men who accused the woman may have fulfilled every letter of the law and were blameless to it, but they were still sinners in the eyes of Jesus, because they may have been blameless on the outside, but were judged by Him because of their dark inward appearance that only God would see.
That at times, we tend to be those people. We become good actors, but the inward truth is known by us and also the Lord. That’s why we need Jesus and revelation from Him.
So to the continue, I would like to look at bits of Romans Chapter 3 hopping into Chapter 5.
I’m going to start with Romans 3:9. I’m not going to read it, I’ll let you, but in this section of scripture that I actually read a couple weeks ago, the Apostle Paul points out to us that no one is righteous. Period!
We already know that God has made it plain to us in Romans 1, that He has made Himself known to us. That we cannot be ignorant of the truth and that we are under the authority of His word, and the Apostle Paul makes it clear that none of us can do anything to be cleared of unrighteousness, not even by being good or through our heritage. He was addressing the Jews here, but that being religious can’t save you.
Romans 3:19-20 (Passion Translation) “Now, we realize that everything the law says is addressed to those who are under its authority. This is for two reasons: So that every excuse will be silenced, with no boasting of innocence. And so that the entire world will be held accountable to God’s standards. 20 For by the merit of observing the law no one earns the status of being declared righteous before God, for it is the law that fully exposes and unmasks the reality of sin.”
God has a standard for our life, and we must meet that standard. The issue is, we can’t do on our own. We know we sin, but we cannot on our own remove that sin from us. It is glaring to those who know the truth. Then the Apostle continues.
Romans 3:21-24 (Passion Translation) “But now, independently of the law, the righteousness of God is tangible and brought to light through Jesus, the Anointed One. This is the righteousness that the Scriptures prophesied would come. It is God’s righteousness made visible through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And now all who believe in him receive that gift. For there is really no difference between us, 23 for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. 24 Yet through his powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away his righteousness. His gift of love and favor now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!”
And out of that, Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” One of the most referenced texts in the Bible concerning those who need Christ as Savior. All of us have sinned. All of us are guilty. And we are people without excuse, as it states in Romans 1:20 because God has revealed Himself to us since the beginning of creation.
But in verses 24 and 25 the Apostle Paul continues to tell us, though we have sinned and fallen short, God in His mercy, sent His one and only Son Jesus to die for us, and though His death and shed blood, rendered those who believe in Jesus, totally innocent. We are righteous, made morally right because of our belief, by God the Father, and it is by His grace that we are morally justified, or morally made righteous in the sight of God.
Romans 3:25 (Passion Translation) “Jesus’ God-given destiny was to be the sacrifice to take away sins, and now he is our mercy seat because of his death on the cross. We come to him for mercy, for God has made a provision for us to be forgiven by faith in the sacred blood of Jesus.
This is the perfect demonstration of God’s justice, because until now, he had been so patient—holding back his justice out of his tolerance for us. So he covered over the sins of those who lived prior to Jesus’ sacrifice.”
And all of this is because of the love of God. God loves us so much that He wants no one to perish, so He made a way for us to be righteous before Him, and that is what Paul is emphasizing.
God is love, and that love has redemption in it, His mercy, but it also has justice in it. It is hard for many to understand that. Because God loves, He chastises us. We may not like it, but it is in our best interest. He wants us to live in the fulness of His Spirit Life.
If we reject Him, because of His love, we will perish. There is no darkness in God, justice is light, not darkness. God is only light. He does no wrong, He can’t, it is not in His character or His nature. We think that judgement is bad, but in God’s eyes it is good. That’s a hard word. God will eliminate everything that would hinder His creation from moving into complete holiness.
God’s goal is that we live fully as He intended in the beginning at creation. He does expect that we will live a holy life, in purity.
As we know God more, and know His nature and His love in a growing capacity, we move farther away from our sin and farther away from God’s justice, as our flesh gets crushed under the weight of the love of God and we are freed from it. We have to remember our God is Holy God, and His holiness is His love, so He cannot contradict His Holiness. Again, God will eliminate everything that will hinder us in His love.
It is through our response to God and His love nature that we seek to move away from any hint of darkness in our lives. That should be our pursuit. God is a God of righteousness, and He wants us to live a life in his righteousness.
Let’s get back to Romans. Remember what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 1: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, it is the power of God to salvation, (salvation meaning deliverance, God delivering man from the consequences of our sin through Jesus Christ.) For in it God’s righteousness is revealed.”
God’s righteousness was revealed through Jesus Christ. The word righteousness in the Greek is“dikaiosunē” “dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay” and it means the Character of God is revealed, that He is a just Holy God and He is equitable, fair and impartial.
That it is revealed to the faithful as we draw nearer to Him, but that righteousness will also be revealed to the faithless into utter darkness.
In chapter one, God’s righteousness is revealed to those who reject Him through judgement.
For us, the righteousness of God is revealed to the faithful, and the faithful are those who have made a choice to follow Christ.
Liberation from guilt and sin only comes from a profession of faith in Jesus Christ alone. That is our deliverance.
As we accept the “Good News” of our salvation or our deliverance, three things happen:
We are justified. Being justified is to look like we have never sinned. By the Blood of Christ, we are made innocent, and that is a legal position that we have received. We have been saved. We were saved from that point.
In the Greek, the word saved is Sozo (sode-zo), you have probably heard that word before, it comes from the word “safe”. It means saved, deliver or protect, preserve, and be made whole. This Sode-zo, or being made safe is a focus on our Spirit.God has saved us from His eternal wrath through Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
We are sanctified. In the Greek, Sanctified, or Sanctification is the word hagiazō, hag-ee-ad'-zo to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: - hallow, be holy, sanctify. It comes from the root word hagios, meaning sacred, physically pure, morally blameless, ceremonially consecrated, holy, being a saint.
The Apostle Paul spoke of sanctification in 1 Corinthians 6:11, after speaking about those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God due to their sin, but we who have turned from our sin, he says,
“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
This is our current living condition. That is what we are doing right now. You can say that we are being saved at this time. We are living in the process. We are living out our deliverance set apart unto God.
We receive and see the full glory of God. That is our eternal reward. That is our future. We will be saved totally and completely. The process will be completed. We will have a glorified body, and rule and reign with Christ for eternity.
1 Corinthians 2:9, “But it is just as the Scriptures say, "What God has planned for people who love him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!"
Philippians 3:20-21 (HCSB Free) but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.
So as we live in the fullness of Christ now, we have even a more future glory awaiting us.
So, a quick overview.
From Chapter 1 of Romans, we know that God hates sin.
From Chapter 3, we know that we are all sinners and fall short, we need a Savior.
God being a loving Father and faithful to His Word, gave us a way for deliverance.
Jesus was our sacrifice for our sins. Romans 3:25
Now we must have faith in Christ to deliver us from sin.
This leads me to Romans 3:27-28 (Passion Translation) “Where, then, is there room for boasting? Do our works bring God’s acceptance? Not at all! It was not our works of keeping the law but our faith in his finished work that makes us right with God. 28 So our conclusion is this: God’s wonderful declaration that we are righteous in his eyes can only come when we put our faith in Christ, and not in keeping the law.”
We receive deliverance from our sins by faith. What is faith? The word faith used in the letter to the Romans is the same word used in the letter to the Hebrews verse 11:1, the faith scripture.
Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB Free) Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:6 (HCSB Free) Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
That is salvation faith. Faith in the Greek is the word “pistis”, from the word persuasion, its moral conviction of religious truth. It is actually truth itself. When we believe, we are believing the truth. God is truth.
In other words, from my understanding from my personal relationship with Him, He will show you that He is real. Romans 1, states that, but when you have the Holy Spirit within you, He reveals Himself to us. So, when we seek the Lord, the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in us to a point that we cannot not believe in God. It was that way with me. I cannot deny Him.
And the hundreds of children in the Middle East and Africa that are being slaughtered today, are slaughtered because they cannot deny Jesus. Why? Because they have seen Him.
So, we step out in faith to believe in Christ as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit is revealed in us, and we begin to walk out the free gift of our salvation, and if we choose, we grow in the knowledge of Christ through the Holy Spirit which increases our faith.
Now that we believe, we are declared righteous. And that is the kicker. Our sin is vanquished.
Now that we have faith and believe, a door is opened, and we are declared righteous by God because of our profession.
The weight of sin is removed and we should be free people. That is a choice too. We can carry around our past, or we can give it up. It has already been removed in God’s eyes, we need to drop it too, and live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
And lastly, I’ll close with this, we are saved by grace.
Ephesians 5 says: “It is by grace we have been saved by faith.” God’s love again in full display.
The word grace, means unmerited favor and it is first seen in Genesis 6:8, where it says that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He found favor, and God saved him and his family.
The word grace here in the Hebrew is “chen” “Sen”, graciousness, kindness, favor, or well favored. Sen comes from the root word, “chanan” “Sen-nan’, it means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, to show favor, to show mercy, and have pity on.
God in His love and mercy, because of what Jesus did, basically said to us, “You do not have to do anything for me take away your sin. You do not have to work anything out with Me, you do not have to pay penance, you have to do nothing except to profess your faith in My Son.
That’s it. Seems to easy.
But our God’s love is huge, and He when He establishes His Word, it stands on it, and we need to follow it, live it. Jesus did. Jesus did exactly what the Father wished and let Himself be sacrificed for us. What the blood of the sacrificial lamb could not do, He did once and for all. Now we have freedom.
But I ask what are we doing with it? Are we still acting like we are bound in our sin? What is our faith like today? Strong? Wavering? Weak? Is it because we have allowed the cares of this world to smother us other than building up our faith in Christ because we are in Presence allowing His nature to be our nature?
The Apostle Paul was directing the Church to receive a continual revelation of God’s righteousness so we would be empowered in His promises to live out a salvation with power.
The Apostle Paul knew the power of the overcoming life, and he wanted us to experience it too. But we need to walk from our sin, and walk in faith in the promises of God. Amen!