But Now 2

Chris Gardner

April 23, 2017

I'll have enough time and hardly anything but see a Christian makes it a priority to do these things because they really matter. So I've had them printed just finished in time with with Dan over the last couple of years. And he serves here at the church and I'm thankful for him for our friendship. And we were able to finish our discipleship book a couple of weeks ago and so what we've done here is I've gotten this baton here and what we've done is I signed it because I was the one that started with him and the idea is that we're going to take this and we're going to celebrate discipleship. We're going to say I'm excited that somebody finished the discipleship book because this really matters and so I will give it a day here after the service. But but we are a church that is all about discipleship So it's all about taking people into the word spin in time by the way this means that you've arrived by the time you finished the discipleship you've arrived at 40 percent.

You know it's not it's not like this is like this gigantic leap but this is just a token from our church to say hey we appreciate you spending the time. And honestly anybody who spent that much time with me over these years deserves more than that. It's not like he's got a gold inside it. And

then we might be talking but but just think for Dan and for the one I love about discipleship is this I built a friendship with him and I'm thankful he's my friend and we've been in this time together. I'm just so so thankful for him. I miss Thursday morning. Now I'm like I'm supposed to be doing something today. Hope we're not meeting anymore. So I'm just thankful that I've been able to spend time with Dan over the last few of the last few years.

Let's open our Bibles. Don't forget make the Bryant gift card for the Davenports. We need it. You got the gift card book right there. The Davenport's just had their child and now they have another child that broke a shoulder. Where is the child. Oh there he is. Mark has a broken shoulder mountain biking. And so needless to say them gift cards will come in mighty handy over the next few weeks. So if you can help out with that that would be awesome. Romans Chapter Three we like going through the Bible verse by verse Romans chapter three and we're starting with a passage today that's amazing as we've been talking about last week but now but now so we talked about Romans chapter one just an overview verse 18 through chapter three in verse 20 are like heavy heavy heavy passages because I'm talking about these passages basically say welcome to the club.

You are a sinner. OK good. I get it. Now let's go to the next subject. But he didn't do that. He just goes at it and he tells the Gentiles Gentiles. You are a sinner. And then he tells the Jews in case you're wondering Jews you are also a sinner. So we went over to that no one talked all the way through Romans 3 and we got to chapter three and verse 23 last week if you were here last week you're probably glad you don't see any wood and nail guns up here. Now just in Santa Barbara City and then he wished you wouldn't have because I used a no gun and some two by fours and I'm gifted at some stuff I guess but that's not one of them and just to look up in the face is like I'm so glad you're through with that.

Nothing to do with that is going to Romans three. And we'll start in 21 323 and then we're going to start the first 24 where we left off last week. The Bible says chapter 3 verse 21.

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested. You can not be righteous before God but without the law without the law you can be right just before God being witnessed by the law and the prophets. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ and all and upon all them that believe there is no difference no difference at all. Faith

in Christ. That's what matters. And then we come to verse 23 in verse 23. The Bible says for all of sin and come short of the glory of God. That's where we left off last week. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There's not one single person who has not seen it. It's funny to me when you ask people they everybody knows they are a sinner. They just don't think they are that bad. They're just not that bad. You know they're not as bad as other people and what they might be true. The truth of the matter is we are sinners not as in the first 24 and we won't go as far as we can go today. Verse 24 the Bible says. This is amazing. If you've got a Bible and you can underline underline these three words right here.

These words are also in the Bible. Start off by saying. How can you now be justified freely. Everybody sin no doubt about it. Everybody is a sinner. I didn't start this next verse and he said this but now you are justified and you're justified and man that's an awesome word you're just about how free doesn't cost you anything. Chris you don't understand how bad I am. No it doesn't matter how bad you are you are justified in your unjustified free he should be justified freely and then he says by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. He is being justified in the course he has. Yeah that sounds really cool because I like anything free.

You know you get free out on the sidewalk right there is guy with a sign that says free I mean even a small letter saying some of them probably coming in because something is free. Everybody likes free stuff.

Everybody's like being justified free that's cool but what is the word justified all about. This is amazing on your paper I put it to where I put important word or where you can remember. This is a very very important word in the book of Romans. Justification means this just as if I had never seen.

Now he's taking chapters to tell us that everybody is a sinner. Everybody is lost without God. Everybody not one single person is the exception to this rule and then he says.

But now you are justified made as if you have no sin. And that's done freely freely by the grace of God. What he's saying is this. He declares us not guilty for our sins. What he's saying is this. He declares us not guilty for our sins.

But I thought he told us all through chapter 1 verse 1833 20 how guilty we are. He

did were guilty. Guilty were guilty. Then chapter 3 in verse 21 says. But now everything changes but now everything changes. Now you're justified freely. You are as if you had never seen. In case you're wondering I'm a sinner and if my life's not that one would guess what another is your information. You're a sinner but if you've placed your faith in Jesus Christ. The

Bible says that you are now justified. Now let me just say this. I don't always act justified but I am justified before the only one that truly matters. As if I had never seen. Justification is a legal informal acquittal from guilt by God as our judge had just told us in chapter 1 verse 18 through chapter and verse 20. He

just said you're walking into the courtroom you Gentiles and you gentiles.

You are Yohji Jews you walk into the courtroom and guess what as I look at you Jews need to understand one thing.

You are guilty. He wants everybody to get together check for 3 Verse 1 through 20 and he says you are guilty.

And then Chapter 3 when you won those two beautiful words but now but now you are justified for being justified freely.

He has pronounced us righteous in his sight. And now please don't misunderstand this because see as soon as you get to this there is this misunderstanding and it comes. There's a big difference between forgiveness and justification. OK people will write with justification forgiveness no justification forgiveness justification is totally a different thing.

You can be forgiven and still not be able to act normally. How many times have you been done so. I know that you won't have to stretch to think about this or maybe think of your neighbor or your friend or your brother or your sister or your cousin. How many of them have done something that was just as bad and then they came and ask forgiveness and you said ok I forgive you.

What happens between the two people. It still takes a long time for them to be back to normal. Have you ever noticed that.

Is not like oh you're forgiven hey hey give me your life.

You stab me in the back once and I forgave you for sending me in the back once but let me just tell you. I turned my back to you anywhere but I forgive you.

That's not at all what happens with justification. Justification

is totally different than justification totally different. Justification is so much deeper. Maybe this illustrates the hope you think and understand what I'm saying by this fact that justification is so different. On June the 23rd of 2000 not long ago. Of if your kid a deaf couple stood before a judge. Donald McDonogh in Fairfax Virginia court. They stand before the judge. Real thing went down. They offered no rebuttal to the landlord's complaint that they were behind them in their recent marriage resulted in the loss of disability benefits. They kept the word they used they used to keep the roof over their heads. Now they are$250 behind I had no hope of making up the deficit.

They kept saying we can pay our rent we get there's just no way. Don't have any extra money to be able to catch up. Judge McDonogh couldn't disagree because here's the deal. The landlord was due this$250. The couple was guilty of nonpayment and there was no way they could set aside justice they're guilty.

The judge decided there was no way he could drop his gavel out of compassion he said I just can't do that. Once the attorney closed the case the judge left the courtroom. The jury goes. Just the minute he leaves the courtroom a few moments later he returned from his chambers and$250 in cash and handed it to the landlords for the property. The landlord's attorney said From now on their rent is paid. There's a real happening in Fairfax Virginia. In the year 2000 what he said was this with a transfer of funds from the judge to the unjust.

The debt was paid and the case is dismissed. And that's exactly what happened.

You know what these these people can't pay the rent anymore. They don't have to cower when they're around their landlord because the landlord has been paid in full there's nothing lacking. There's no way they can look at him any way different than what they have now been justified not forgiving that were justified this also. And he says being justified freely being justified freely the law means satisfy the defendants were being considered righteous or justified in the eyes of the court in the same way we have a transfer of righteousness from the count of one account to another to cover our sins and so as we walk into the court room of heaven how afraid of you are of seeking God how afraid of you.

Are you standing before God and you look at it you're like there's no way I'm not holy like my God but what you don't understand is you are because you are justified.

Just as if you had never never sinned. How did it happen. The Bible says it happened for me and it didn't happen really by marriage because that no longer would it be free. It didn't happen by marriage. It happened freely. Look at the verse first 24. You can put it back up there please. The Bible says that you are justified freely by his grace.

How are you justified not because of how good you are. How many of you guys feel like you're not quite good enough. You're not quite. Let me just tell you. As your pastor.

There's nobody in this room that falls short of the mark of what a good Christian ought to be than the guy talking to you about the Scriptures today. Thank God I wasn't ever justified by my marriage. I was justified freely. That's Grace. You know we come to church we put these nice faces on.

Hey brother how are you know even talking James when you walk in the door. It's like crazy the way we do stuff. And then we walk out and we're totally different people and what you don't understand is this you don't have to act a certain way.

You are justified you are justified.

And since you are justified it is just as if you had never ever seen from a freed from a human standpoint the land that God put in place was a rabble. This was a crazy crazy thought. This is a crazy plan because it excluded anything and everything new that's for them to fill in excluded anything and everything that people by themselves could do.

To obtain it.

It excluded anything and everything that people by themselves can do to obtain. Here's the deal.

Do you realize what would happen if I were to say for every man in this room they can do 120 pushups without stopping. He can be saved that all the media start practicing to get 220 pushups because I can attain it. And that's the human way and an amount of pride.

We start our jobs that way if I could just get a job and you get a job if I could just make 750 now and make somebody you know if I could only make 10 an hour and then if I could only make 30 dollars a year if I could only make 40 dollars a year is not going to make or if I only get six figures. We all want to attain stuff do we not.

That's the human experience. But what God did it excluded anything and everything that people by themselves could do to obtain it.

So what can you do to obtain justification. And the answer is nothing because it's way too expensive. I thought it was free. Yes it was free but it was not cheap. You were going to look at it here the righteousness God provides has its origin and what God did not and what we might be able to do here which you have to understand about justification justification is receive not justification is received or not earned.

What makes the gospel the good news is that no one would have ever come up with a plan where they couldn't contribute to their own salvation. I want you to think about it for a second.

When we get all the deacons and elders from River Church and Rome get some of the leaders here at our church who are going to sit down at a table and we're going to devise what the plan of salvation is going to be for mankind. Guess how much of a chance there is that we would come up with a plan that God came up with only about. Me. Kerry the former Zero percent. There's no way we would have ever come up with a plan that God came up with.

God and God alone. Because guess what. This is the big thing about this plan. This plan isn't fair at all.

This plan is not fair at all.

It's not fair. You know we love to talk about fairness. ROMANS 3:24 has one of the most amazing group of words ever we are justified and then freely and that can only be done by grace this summarizes the plan of God's salvation.

If you want the summary of the Salvation that can only be brought by God that's it.

Being justified freely by his grace.

Well Chris is going to say I've been to church fifty thousand times. Congratulations. I'm glad they the name the church after you. But it doesn't have to be justified because I was baptized. Congratulations. I hope your back has about a hundred times but guess what. Still you're not justified. There's

only one way to be justified and that is Friedly by his grace. Jesus fully discharge all of our obligation there's no legal ground for charges against us anymore. We have and this is a mind boggling to even write it. This is the reason that I'm going to make you write it in that line there. We have perfect standing before God.

So what about Chris Christie before God God looks over and he goes he's justified his perfect I don't mean you everything God you don't know everything.

I know I'm not perfect and you guys so you were justified. Really were justified freely by grace. We have perfect standing before God and we were acceptable in his side. This next line here could be four messages in case you're wondering. I'm not going to make it for messages. Guys don't worry about it.

Justification doesn't mean that God makes us righteous. Justification doesn't mean that God makes us righteous.

I want you to finish right so you can get to I want to say to him please don't let your pain take your mind away from what you're about to write. Justification doesn't mean that God makes us righteous.

It means that he declares us righteous.

He says you are righteous. God puts the righteousness of Christ on our record in the place of our own sinfulness. Nobody can change the record in case you're wondering. Nobody can change this record.

The judge. You always go if you get if you get found guilty of something. Of course you can always go to the Superior Court.

Guess what more is more superior than God the creator of mankind. The Creator of heaven and earth. The one that said let there be light and there was light also with that same mouth declared not guilty. You

are now justified. Nowhere else to go. I justified just like anyone in this room who has believed in Christ. Of course you understand I'm not good at it but when I ask you what you're good and what you meant it the question is this. Have you believed in Jesus Christ and if you have you are justified all the way from the pastor to the child to the criminal to the deacon. We are all justified through Christ and onto him. Absolutely no one that stands any closer or better before God than any other one.

As long as we are both justified to the point that the Bible says that we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus then we have the same Father God the Father we are coheres with Jesus and the perfection of Jesus is now on us. Sanctification is different than justification. Here's the here's what we have to understand. Justification a lot of people think oh ok. You can justify that means you're perfect. No that means your standing is perfect in God's court but sanctification is a process where the God of God makes the believer more and more like him. And would you say that's a daily process of becoming more like Christ. That has nothing to do with justification justification is a once and done ordeal. You are justified before God santification. Justification is vertical sanctification is horizontal santification you know what Seth can look at you today and tell you Chris has not been sanctified in this area. And guess what. There's only about 102 percent chance that he'd be right.

But I can also look at it and I can tell you he's not been sanctified in that area. All of us can do that with each other because we know our flaws and as we grow. Sanctification

is me learning to walk as a justified man that I am justified. Now learn to walk as if you were justified.

My pipe all I've told this story before I came to the states. Have a farmer big ole ham hocks hands like when you shake his hand your hand and go around like a big old dude had 40 acres open and no I'm sorry. Eight eighty eight acres of it and a daredevil. I asked him I said when do you have enough property. He said when the only thing that's around me is asphalt. I want to own from one piece of asphalt to another piece of asphalt. And I want that to be the fence around my property. That's how much property and the title comes from Tennessee. I came back to the stage my panel looked at me and he said son you're a gardener. You better act like one.

I'm justified. I am a believer in Christ which makes me a Christian and santification is saying this and now. What you are. The segment of Scripture is the most theologically important segment in the New Testament. But here's the deal. There's only two religions in the world. Did you get that. There's only two religions in the world. No Chris a lot. No

there are two religions all the religions in the world have one thing in common religion number one says this do do or if you want to be a Christian you've got to speak in tongues if you're only a Christian you've got to be baptized if you want to be a Christian you've got to knock on doors if you want to be a Christian.

You've got to be good to your neighbor if you want to be a Christian you have to love those that don't deserve to be loved. If you want to be a Christian they this list of things if you want to and it doesn't matter whether it's Christian or not no matter what it is there's always a list of do's and don'ts. If you do this then you will achieve.

If you do this then you will achieve that. That's religion number one. It doesn't matter who you are you are in one of two religions a religion that says repeatedly this word.

Do do do they all affirm that salvation is to be earned. You all have to earn salvation. The second group is one that doesn't use the word. Do it all.

We use the word die.

Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary. The payment has been pay it has already been done. Now let me just say this if it's already been done in your life then you can say I have been justified by justify once and I swear freely by grace. If you're still saying do that let's just go and tell you you are not justified because you've taken to freely and you've taken the grace out of it. There's

no way to be justified. Romans 1 803 20.

Without it being free and by grace God looks at the sinner that is trusted him and declares him to be justified declares him to be justified. He offers salvation and he offers it freely. His deal is either this is either free or it's nothing at all.

You can have it 100 percent for free or you can have it. There is no in between his Dillons either for you're not doing this is Paul's progression of thought. So you have a slot coming up here to where you can see Paul's progression of thought a righteousness of God through faith. Who's that for.

In verse 23 to 34 for all who believe in it. Really why. Because now there's no Jew and Gentile distinction. Why not. Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

So what's the solution and the solution is being justified as a gift of God's great That's who we are we have been justified freely by his grace. All of this is done with one word that makes it all possible and that word is grace. So in your words the important words there Grace is favor. We do not deserve grace this favor. We do not deserve in a day and age where everyone is demanding their rights. We are thankful for grace. Guess what you really don't want what you deserve.

I know you've been told on TV and all of your TV shows and all the books you read talk about how you want what you deserve. You don't want what you deserve. I promise you but because what we deserve from God is eternal punishment and damnation in hell because of our rebellion.

Now do you really want what you deserve. You really want to stand up for your rights and tell me what you deserve. Because let me just say this boy said that he deserved because that's what I deserve and I don't want what I deserve.

But I can be justified freely by grace salvation is given freely and cannot be purchased. It

cannot be earned with every fiber of our being. We want to earn God's favor but that's impossible because God's favor is given freely given freely.

How we justify or justified freely by his grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus is what the verse says.

So here's another very important word in the Bible we've got a bunch on the chapter 3:21 3:26 is like literally the center of the epicenter of the New Testament and of the Bible. It is God's plan of redemption in there and it's amazing redemption.

Is this to be purchased out of a slave market and be set free to be purchased out of a slave market and to be set free. We were set free as a result of him. Yes we are free from sin and we are free from the penalty of that sin in Bible days if a person were to get the debt he would lose his land and he would be in a place where no one could help him. The

only possible means of avoiding a debtor's prison or starvation was to become the property of someone else that was wealthy.

So David where is that money you owe me. You don't have it. What do you have a block and take over. No don't have you. You have a house and I don't have a house. Guess what you are not my slave. That is exactly what I used to have. You now are not and even saying that you are wrong. Can you or are you allowed to say that in church. That's what it was. You're now my slave and listen you no longer belong to your self.

You now belong to me. You are my possession. The way I own a car I own you. The way I own a MacBook I own you. The way I own a phone I own you. You are nothing but a possession of mine that's who you are. You

are my possession.

He would have had what he would say is this as he came he said as it paid off their creditors in exchange for his slavery. Normally

the years of debt would be determined by the amount of the debt that needed to be paid. So you know you owe me$5000. How much how long you will have to sell me five thousand dollars and this is the way it would work out. You know I won't let you make 20 dollars a year and he's like oh great. Know what the problem is it's going to cost you. It's going to cost you nine thousand to live in a house that I'm right for you. So now you're down to 11.

Know how much do you owe me. What I start with. 15 20.

I want to make sure I was off. I'm not bad at math. I forgot my proud proud man first. So now you're down from 29 down to 11 you're going to have a yacht. No no no. But your food I want to give you. That's going to be worth another nine.

When I get down to two. Oh and guess what. Don't forget the electricity and the water and the clothes don't want to buy for you won't do that. We'll do that. How about seventeen hundred a year and you're like OK well I've only got 300 bucks a year. Exactly. Now you got to serve me for the next 20 years of your life because guess what. You're

my possession. I'm never letting you go and that's exactly what would happen. Truthfully though greedy or cruel master could keep slaves perpetually indebted and hopelessly enslaved forever. If someone were my unimaginatively be kind. Here's what he would do.

He could be a slave he could purchase him for himself and then he could look at the slave and say I know you owe Jeff that money and he put you on the market to be sold. I went ahead and paid your price. Jeff there's your money. And

David you're now set free.

This is what it would be said the. This is where it would be said that the slave was redeemed.

And here's what he says. We are we deed through Jesus Christ. What was the payment of sin in payment of sin. We read it. Romans 1 18 to 320 it was.

And Jesus walked into the slave market of this world and laid his life on the cross of Calvary to die the death of a sinner rose from the dead walked out of the grave and said Now I'm in the position to redeem anybody who believes I pay that price. Nobody else could have paid that price. I paid the price and now you are no longer the possession of sin you are now redeemed.

What an amazing word.

He offers us salvation through his son that cost him an absolutely unthinkable amount on Calvary.

What an amazing concept. My salvation is free. It's anything but G salvation might be free my friend but it isn't cheap. It costs the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We are justified freely by His grace through the price and Jesus Christ than we did from our master and our master and Jesus walks in and says guess what. I had paid the price for each and every individual that walks the planet Earth. And so I alone can read and proclaim that you are now redeemed and that's where the Christian rest in the arms of Jesus and says it's not about what I do it's about what has been it's about what has been done.

You know I have if you know Christ you are there when I come to you this morning thanking you for your redemption.

Lord it's very difficult to even talk about the implication of that one. One verse we went over today being justified. As if I had never seen it was free to me but it cost you your son.

And Lord I come to you today thank you for what you've done. Across from. Thank you for reading me. From. Thank you for doing all you have done for one who deserve Denish and helping us to walk out of here today thanking you for your redemption. Forgive us for treating salvation as if it wasn't a big. One to help us to focus. Thank you Jesus.

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