But Now

Chris Gardner

April 16, 2017

First study and I couldn't. So if you've been here since we started the book of Romans man it has been a rough book to go through.

Romans chapter one hey what end is this is all it is and here's what he says this is awesome.

And then he goes in to say hey you Gentiles which is the vast majority of us. Guess what. You're wicked.

You don't. It's not that fun to get the news that you're just wicked. But then the next chapter he goes into goes Jews you've got the same problem. You're wicked too.

And then he goes through Chapter Three brings everybody together and he says hey guess what not just it doesn't matter the way you can tell if you're wicked or not. You do this and you give it a heart beat. The answer's yes you're a sinner and you're wicked. And so we get to that part and we come to Romans chapter three in verse 21 and what a great passage to start Easter with our journey's been kind of a painful one because as we've traveled through these verses we've heard the words nun and all many many times and it seems that we're always on the wrong side of the equation.

Like every time he's using the word subparts like everybody does everybody that nobody says no you're always on the wrong side of the equation. I'm on the wrong side of the equation. We've seen that. No one can be right with God by our works. That's what we've seen. Nobody can be right with God by their word. Do you have a hand out if you don't have a handout. Raise your hand we'll have that. Oh lord help me I forgot about that. See that's it. I forget stuff too easy. Justin Higginbotham. Hold your hand up and you get one hand out there. We always leave him on the last show on the table back in the back. But we've seen that debate. You can't be right with God. But how do you work. You can be right with God by how you work.

And if you filling them out you're going to have two sentences that are off evidently just because. Or no water bill way back for you. So you can see it there. We've heard the words nine and the words all and we always seem to be on the wrong side of the equation. OK. We see that nobody can be right with God by our works. There's literally it's an impossibility to be right with God by our works. And this by the way is the heart of the Bible the heart of the Bible and the story of Jesus is the story of sinful mankind. Is a story of people that are wrong. It's a story of people that need a savior. And so we can reach that reach God on our own. And so if God is going to have to reach down to us that's the story of the Bible we cannot reach God.

So he will have to reach down to us. The passage that we're going to be studying today is what many people call the center of the Bible. If you study this passage you're going to find that many many people believe that these verses verse 21 through 26 are the absolute center of the Bible like this. These verses the whole Bible revolves around these verses in Romans Chapter 3. This passage is a majestic and an amazing view of our God. And we're going to see it today. If you've been here in the past I don't have to explain this to you but if this is your first Sunday with us me in these last few weeks have been rough. Are you're sitting there and if you find this gloomy outlook on the fact that we are sinners we're sinners it kind of reminds me a lot of the trips that we used to take in Peru and we used to go to see one of the one of the Seven Wonders of the world as Machu Picchu and if you ever go to prove you've been there many times it's one of those places that you just have to go to your beach is just beautiful consider one of the Seven Wonders of the world.

Now I've had the privilege of giving giving tours. There are quite a few times and the trip to my beach is interesting trip. It's an interesting trip. You're like where in the world of Machu Picchu when you see it you can be like oh that trip you're talking about you first you fly over the Andes mountains so the Andes Mountains you're flying over them and you're going from the city where we were from or to keep it's a 45 minute flight from keepa to school.

And if you had it if you had extra time you want to take a bus to save a few bucks.

45 in an airplane ride or a 16 hour drive through the Andes Mountains like literally going back and forth and back and forth of the mountains and back down to you wake up at 3 a.m. when you arrive to school to be able to get to the train station about 4:00 a.m. to take a train out of the city. You want to take this train through the most beautiful scenery you've ever seen you get on the train it takes seven hours to get to the seat and I was calling in this. So there's a give me an idea of the train and what a train looks like the train is sitting there and it's you're going through these this this beautiful picturesque place there. The city and this little city has one single purpose so even a slight up of the city the city has one single purpose and that's only that house people you can see it's in a crazy place like literally there's nobody it's there.

There is a building on every single square. The building can be built on. There's a river that hugs it on this side and into the mountains on the other side. And every single square inch is taken out and there's only one purpose for that seemed to be there so that people can go see much preaching. And so indeed the city is situated in the middle of these mountains and it's got one main street down the middle of the city. One Main Street in the middle of the city and has a double purpose the double purpose is sometimes it's a street and sometimes a train track when the train is there. There's literally no Main Street left. It's crazy how tight everything is.

And you can see you can literally from the stories going on out the the little the train will come this close to hitting the overhangs as it as it goes by just really really tight place. The train comes by and that you see that train there and indeed usually spend time in this in this we call it the city. It's not really a city but you spend the night there. And that little place there and then the next morning you head out to explore Machu Picchu. Now here's a picture of the road that you take from the sea to get to your beach.

Now by the way the trip on a bus to get from got to keep it a close call. Not much different. It's like you know you watch the road runner and you're like there's no such thing as roads like that. Yes there are. They're just in Peru South. You go up these roads right here. And then after going to Machu Picchu over 30 times I've been there 30 times and let me just tell you. It is an exhausting trip. Seven hours on a train 45 minutes on an airplane you don't sleep the night before you get out once you get on a bus. And it's funny because if you're with people that are afraid of heights they'll literally pay for two seats because that's what I tell them to do because they don't want to be sitting on the side where they can see over them and they literally will go and sit on the side of this soon to start turning their run for you can they sort of run this up because they're so scared of this road going up and there's always a bus coming down and a bus coming up and there's room for about 1.3 buses going up this road.

That's just like what it's really like. But the I've been there for over 30 times.

But when you crest that last hill it's majestic 30 times in over 30 times just as you crest the hill. This

is what you see it is the most amazing breathtaking view ever.

You see that what's happening in the book of Romans. You're exhausted you're sitting there going mad look at what the Bible says about me but let me just tell you.

You're about to crest and you're about to see a view that honestly shouldn't blow you away at how great our God is. You can see nothing but this wind you wrote and then all of a sudden you crest the hill and as soon as you do you see Machu Picchu and here's what happens. Romans chapter 3 verse 20. And you're sitting there going is there ever any hope for me.

And now preparer's you crest that hill and see the beauty of what God says for us and about us what we're about to see is a breathtaking view of the gospel. It's a breathtaking view of the gospel. The last chapters have been rough chapters that have been stated beyond a doubt that we are sinners and then we cross this hill and we see this passage.

Paul is saying that the law is awesome is awesome but not to be justified with that's when he's literally saying the law is amazing but you're not going to be justified by this law. And so here this next coming up it may be what the law does is this it promotes the knowledge of sin.

Have you ever thought that you looked OK and then you look in the mirror and you notice that your hair's not right here. I try to keep my hair short and I don't have to deal with that. But you know this young lady are funny how did I get to clean this up I've got to do this. This is that's what the law is for you the law just shows you where you see and it makes you accountable.

And here's the deal. You know the big thing that the law does it shuts everybody out. Everybody thought that there were something around all there Mr. Goody Two Shoes and they were just good just good enough. You look at the law and you're like OK I'm not near as good as I thought it was. It contains no justification. There's

no way to be justified to talk about what justified means today as well. Most of them. One of the most important words you'll find in the Bible is the next word that you find in verse 21. It's a key word that always introduces a new thought and usually marks a contrast from what was there before. There's nowhere in the Bible that that seem more clearly than it is in Romans 3:21. See Paul is illustrated how the death of our lostness up until now he's told us how lost we really are and how lost are we. Where is lost is lost can be. There's no hope. This conjunction word this word but in verse 21 says. But now and that word but is going to change everything about the weight of the passages that were before you in Romans 1 800 320. So one of the most important passages the most beautiful passages in the book of wrongs.

See this is a passage that's like a hinge where everything changes.

If you've been here for the last several of weeks you've been under a dark cloud of the reality of mankind time and time again it's been proven that you're never going to please God with what you do. The weight of the last few weeks has been pretty heavy. Let me just tell you. Hold on because everything's about to change. Now I want you to read these next two words with me Romans Chapter Three and verse 21 I want you to read those first two words. Remember the weight.

The depths of your lostness. How bad off we are how there is no one that is righteous before God.

And that weight is on you and then you hear these words help me out these next two words it says.

But all of a sudden.

But now those words are powerful powerful words. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifest.

So without the Lord now work you are able to see the righteousness of God being witnessed by the law and the prophets and if you're filling in the blanks number one you see the word apart because here it is apart from the law is where we see this powerful statement is totally separated from the law. Are those words not beautiful.

But now you're in trouble. You're hearing it time and time again. You're Witkin your bible you're a sinner that stands before a Holy God with no hope at all. Jake if you give me those two chairs out and help me if you to go ahead and set those out and made those words you're beautiful but now because you see what it says this is what you used to be.

But now this is what you used to be but now you have no hope. Help me out.

But now OK. You had no future. How do you now you had know you that you were condemned. But now. Everything is about to change. You are helpless under the power of sin. But now things are different.

You are powerless to escape the wrath of God.

But now things are about to change.

Martin Lloyd-Jones one of the great preachers of the past said that there is no more wonderful words in all of Scripture than the two words found right here but now but now the righteousness of God say what is righteousness. Righteousness is the act of doing what God requires.

But we are throwing a law we cannot do what God is required to say. But now the righteousness of God righteousness is doing what God requires doing what is right.

So here's what happened over here you have. Romans chapter 1 verse 18 through chapter 3 and for the first 20 and over here is our reality of who we are and the reality of who we are.

We are sinners and on the other side you have the holiness of God and there's nothing more different than the holiness of God and the sinner that is mankind.

There's nothing more different than those two things. The word righteousness is one of the most important words in the book of Romans and here's what he says.

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested. You

can have the righteousness of God but without the law. When the law then that was a witness. And

here what he said. This is not some new fangled idea that came up. This is something that was witnessed all the way back in the law and the prophets especially after all we've seen leading up to this passage. What we must understand is that our our base that our salvation is apart from the law not because of it.

Our salvation is apart from the law not because of it not because of what we do but simply because of what he did. Both the law and the prophets testify about this. This

isn't some the old testament pointed to a work of God that would be in the future to provide us with salvation. Now that is stated by the way is not God saying OK everything changes and I'm throwing the law out.

That's not at all what God say because here's the deal. Our God cannot lower his standards and his standards are that he demands perfection.

Anybody in here want to sign up to prove that you're perfect. It's not a guarantee that much. And yet I would say ask my wife what you all know me well enough to know I'm not perfect like you just been Italian. None of us are perfect. That's a god to me just perfection and there's absolutely no way through the law that we can reach God's perfection.

The law of the Old Testament had two parts to it. He was going to save people from the ruin of Santa had to be done in a way that does not violate the law.

God didn't take the Old Testament throw it out. God didn't put you in the Old Testament had no value he did not do that at all. He actually hit the Old Testament is amazing because it was the one that was testifying of who I am and what's going to happen.

Law and the Old Testament had two parts to it. There is a moral law and that moral law was to show us that we are sinners we're sinners. But not only was there a moral law there was a ceremonial law and this is to provide temporary cover for the sin that the moral all show this.

So of course there was this moral law that says you can't do this can't do this you should do this don't do this.

We all are going to fall short. And so the ceremonial ceremonial ceremonial law was to cover the sins. This

teaches people this is going to teach people that he intends to cleanse and cancel sin no matter what the cost is he's going to clear and he's going to cancel soon no matter what the cost is.

Paul says you can have righteousness Absolutely but the only way to have righteousness is apart from the law. Look

at this next slide to give you an idea of what we're talking about. It's apart from the law God's own righteousness. The

prophets have talked about the law I talked about it is for Jews and Gentiles alike. And with that you have God's own righteousness that is brought to you through Jesus. In

this passage room to see the miracle of righteousness the miracle of righteousness. And here if you are filling in the blanks on your paper this is the one to fill in God's total answer is sufficient for man's total failure. God's total answer is sufficient for a man's total failure. So

he says apart from the Lord the only way there's only one way to have the righteousness of God and that is apart from the law.

Number two you see available to you for money and you see available Romans chapter 3 verse 22 3:26 we see what it means for this to be available.

You can see when you look at it you look at this. I wish the gap could be wide enough to show you how separated we are from God but there is absolutely no building in this country big enough to show the gap between God and us. His Holiness is perfect our sinfulness. We are perfectly simple as well. We are no doubt about it as sinful is sinful can be separated from God first 22. The

Bible says not just just said but even the righteousness of God which is by say you didn't measure up to the law you're not righteous.

You didn't do what you're supposed to do. You're not righteous. You didn't even do what your conscience told you to do. You're not righteous. You were not righteous you were not righteous that's what Romans said. All the way up to verse 20.

But he says now which is by faith of Jesus Christ and to all and upon all them that believe for there is no difference.

Isn't that pretty cool. We've always fallen on the wrong side of the word all and all of a sudden now he says to all that.

Now I'm on the right side of it. Thank you Lord. It's like this. Everyone in this room owes a hundred dollars to the preacher you know for a laugh like you. Bye bye. OK. You're like I don't want to be on. That side. All the people in this room are going to get a hundred dollars from not the preacher but we like being on my side of the aisle and here's what he says through Romans Chapter 3.

When you're on the wrong side of all of that you get Romans 3 3 1 or 3:22 and he says this now it is for all who believe as you shown to the book of Romans of the year there's absolutely no way for us to achieve our own salvation even in the righteousness of God comes to us through faith in Jesus Christ. It's only by faith. Faith is we believe and we place our faith and our trusting God alone for our forgiveness.

We realize that there's nothing we can do. There's absolutely nothing we can do to achieve salvation. You're not going to arrive at salvation. Many people have missed what they are speaking of because when they hear the word faith they think that he's talking about how much faith they have in life.

So how much faith do I need to have. And he goes kind of like this. David can you help me out. We all have faith they struggle. Feeling like I don't know if I had enough faith but see what if what we don't understand is not about your faith.

So I brought up the tallest guy in the church to say the amount of faith that they never truly understand I understand joy that comes only through Christ alone and what happens. Do you have faith in that chair.

It doesn't matter how much faith he has. The

question is do you have enough faith in the church to say that you don't know that we go for heresy.

And as a matter how much faith because see what matters is not his faith and the amount of his faith and how much faith he has. What matters is not what he places his faith in the message.

You know there you go dancing a jig in the chair.

Thank you David. You see the difference there. A lot of us as Christians really are really bad because my faith I don't have enough faith.

You understand that it's not about your amount of faith it's about what you place your faith in. The problem is that when people do this they are having faith in their faith instead of placing their faith in home alone. You can't have faith in your faith because guess what you're messed up.

But I don't think that David was sitting there thinking do I have faith in my faith to sit in the chair. He's sitting there going no on to the chair hold me up.

Faith. Faith alone the second mistake is similar and has to do with the object of faith. Faith is only as good as where we put our faith. Now David would you like to sit down and just hold your back and you think I can hold you up or not. Probably. He's a lot smarter than you looks see. That's what you put your faith in.

It's what you put your faith in because the faith is a common denominator in life. We all have faith. We could not live a single day without faith. Every single one of you had faith that the chair was going to hold you. You're

sitting down this morning. We take people at their word. We believe that when what we read in the newspapers we believe what we read in a book we trust that to put our money in the bank the doctor with the chiropractor the hairdresser. We eat at a place that's when they put put when they put food in front of us we all live by faith.

We all trust but see it's not about trusting It's about choosing where to put your faith.

You can be crazy enough to glue some feathers to your arms and believe that with all of your might you could jump off this building and fly over to the baseball field.

You can have as much faith as you want. Guess what. That's faith in the wrong thing.

And if you do that I'm going to record you and if you make it over there guess what. It's going to be viral on YouTube and the church is not going I'm just going on I don't have any financial problems anymore.

We are going to choose which one to have faith in what you believe in matters.

Some people I know don't have much faith in an airplane but they get on the airplane anyway. And guess what happens. The airplane takes some supposed to go.

Most of the time faith isn't what saves faith in Jesus the right thing. That's what really matters. Where do you put your faith. So here's what you have to understand. When you when you boil it down to this this is what it boils down to. Faith isn't your salvation. Jesus is your salary. Faith is not your salvation. Jesus is your salvation. And there's a very big difference here. Faith becomes saving faith only when we place our faith in Jesus Christ.

Because here's the deal. All men trust something maybe only themselves but they all trust something. Christians we trust Christ. Christians trust Christ. Everyone believes in something but God only justifies those who believe in Jesus.

Then all of a sudden we land on the my side of that word all the time hunted us up until now is for all who believe because there is no difference. Think about how big of a deal this is. There's no difference now between Jews and Gentiles. There's no difference. We all can be saved but we all can be saved by faith by faith alone. Gentiles are used to be looking silly and look down on.

But now there's no difference.

Charles Hodge comments on this passage he says we Gentiles may now look up to heaven he confidently say Thou art our Father through Abraham though Abraham be ignorant of US and Israel acknowledges not you are our Father. Romans 3:23 and will cut off their day because of the time of Romans 3:23. The Bible says this. Why do we have to have righteousness that comes through faith for all that believe it comes down to one thing. Romans 3:23 for. Me out again.

All. And here it goes again as if he's not done that enough all the way up to 320. For

all have sinned and come short the Lord God all of them come short of the glory of God.

There is not. There's no difference at all between a Jew and a Gentile now you know why.

Look at all of.

Guess what. Jews and Gentiles have in common. We're all sinners. We're all sinners. That's what we all are. We've all seen. Guess what people in Acworth have in common with the people and I don't keep up brew. We have all seen yes it would be mad at people for having come to the people in Burkina Faso Africa.

We have all said for all of us and come short of the glory of God. Now this is the time we like not focusing on much but honestly this is the foundation of our need. If we don't realize that we are sinners that we do not realize the need that we have of a Savior is like I don't need any help. We don't realize the need of our Savior because here's the deal we have all come short so we have a standard we have to meet we must meet the glory of God.

Good luck with that one.

You're staying over here and your sinful and your wicked and your vile and you're supposed to reach the glory of God to perfection.

Good luck with that.

Here's what the Bible says we all what do we do. We've all seen and we've all fallen short of the glory of God.

Here's what we don't get. He's really the way it works right here when it happens is this. You have a guy like this right here you've got a bridge from here to over here to be perfect to have righteousness and you had this guy and this guy is really not good at all. If

you want to ask him how good he is this is what he says. If you can't read it it says I'm not Hitler. Like like like that. That's as good as it gets. You know he's not that he has. Guess what he's done.

He's fallen short of any ability to ever go from where he is the reality of where he is to get to where he wants to go.

He just is not happening there's no way for him to get there.

Then you have the next guy the next guy is the guy that says hey I am better I'm better than most. Have you ever met that guy. Have you ever been that guy.

I'm better than most. I'm not as bad as that guy. I'm not as bad as adversity gets when he goes in he goes for all have sinned and all have. OK you got to resist this. Oh sorry I can't make it either I'm better than most.

There's no way in them. And then you get the guy and none of us like the guy none of us like is this Mr goody two shoes. Like

when he was a kid he was Mr goody two shoes when he was a teenager. He was Mr goody two shoes when he became an adult. He's Mr goody two shoes and guess what.

He thinks that he just so he's in all of that and an ice cream cone like there's no doubt about it the guys are awesome. There's only one problem with this guy. Guess what happens. He also falls. Short of the glory of God and it doesn't matter whether you say I'm Mr goody two shoes or I'm not Hitler or I am the third one I'm better than most.

You all fall short of the glory of God because you understand what I've done in my community. I

don't care what you've done in your community. Nor

does God because that will not allow you to bridge that gap and we want to find in Romans is.

There's only one way to bridge that gap and there's only one that can do that.

And he can he goes from wicked vile sin from sinful mankind any bridges the gap over here and his name is Jesus.

And the problem with Mr goody two shoes is he just thinks that he's almost good enough enough I tried just a little bit more. I'm a 98 percent sure no the Bible says that 98 percent is wicked and vile before God.

Your point is short. That's who you are your fallen short and this is where you can get nervous because you look at me today. I've done a lot of preaching the Bible but I've not done a lot of construction work and I'm going to use unelegant this morning. So this is where you're worried that you stand on the front row.

See this is where you're like hey I think I might want to move to the back. I think I'm going to streaming from my car. OK but here's what happens. What

happens is there's only one that can take you from this side over here to this side over here there's only one there's no way because you have to be perfect and there was only one that was perfect and his name was not Chris Gardner and his name was not John Moore and his name was not Justin Higginbotham. It was not Ryan Hendricks there's only one that doesn't fall short.

His name is Jesus and he says you know what this is you know what you are and there's only one way that you can knock off shore.

There's only one way that you can get through it and you can read them a little bit more don't worry more common.

But here's what he says. He's just you know what Mr. Goody Two Shoes has to do. He can't pay. He still can't cross he's not big enough he's not good enough. There's no way that he can cross. There's only one way. According to Romans street 22 and 23 Mr. Goody Two Shoes has only one hope and that one hope is he's going to say.

And guess what happened to that day when all of a sudden he placed his faith in Christ. Yes how much is Mr. Goody Two Shoes.

It matters it doesn't matter at all because nobody even remembers the news Mr. Goody two shoes because he say by what do you say Buy he's not say buy anything or faith.

And guess what happens to the guy who's better than most. But God it's better than most. Guess what. There's nothing to brag about because even though you're better than most you don't. The same way for you to get to heaven is the same way that everybody else gets to heaven when you look at it and you say and that is by faith and he says who are you going to take this and I'll put it right here and now. You look at it and you say who were you and the answer to the question of who were you is this.

I was a sinner. If it were not for the grace of God why was he sinner.

Mr. Goody Two Shoes. I can't even find you worry anymore because guess what it doesn't matter. There's only one thing that will allow you to go from the wicked vile man that you want to be justified by faith and that's not what you've done is that you are placing your faith in Jesus Christ. And

guess what. What's so funny about it all is this right here is even the not Hitler dude. When it's all said and done with.

Guess what people going to give can testify about Hitler.

Nobody even knows what he used to be. Chris you don't understand who I am. No you don't understand. Jesus is the only way for righteousness just to place your faith. And guess what his faith was placed in Christ and His faith was placed in Christ because both of them have fallen short because there is no way that they could ever be justified before Christ. A very important word the word justified means just as if I had never seen just when you look that he looks at me and he doesn't see not hit me and he doesn't see Mr. Goody Two Shoes and he doesn't see I'm not as bad as everybody else what he looks has looked at and he says Oh you've placed faith in my son and that is what truly matters. So he said Chris you don't understand how good of a person I am.

No you don't understand the divide that is between you and what God demands of you. Chris you don't understand how bad I am. Oh no I don't have to understand how bad you are. All I have to understand is this.

Have you placed your pay have you place your faith in Jesus and if you have guess what you are now have the righteousness God Himself and your life not because of what you've done but yet the righteousness of God in your life. You know what I can tell you this morning and I thank you for your work.

I ask you that you would help the Lord as we grow that we grow in you and how good you've been to us.

With that we realized that our faith has been placed in you and we're thankful for all that you've done. I thank you for your word and I ask you to everything that is done today honor and glorified in Jesus Name I pray.

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