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Justified Freely

Romans 3:24



Justified = just as if I'd never sinned

A one time event that happens at the moment of salvation.


Sanctified = an ongoing process of growing in the Lord.


Righteousness breaks down along the above lines...

Imputed vs. Imparted

Positional vs. Practical


Why do we need righteousness?

see. v. 23 -- we come short!


v. 24

Justified freely.

        The word freely is the Greek word 'dorean'.

John 15:25
But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

'without a cause' is 'dorean' in this verse. 

Jesus:  to know Him is to love Him.  To know Him better is to love Him more.  He's the only person you can say that about.  Familiarity breeds contempt usually.  But many get to know Jesus and hate Him...but without cause.


Apply the same concept in v. 24.  We are justified 'without a cause'. 


ill.--a surgeon needs to do a transplant.  He needs a healthy heart.  I say, I know of one, and lead him to a graveyard where a man has been buried for years.  I dig him up and open the lid.  Can the surgeon use that heart?

        God opened up the lid on my life and looked inside and I was dead in trespasses and sins.  But He loved me anyway, and did not walk away, but did a spiritual transplant on me!


Imagine you painted a beautiful portrait, and got an expensive frame.  You put it in the main room of the house, and you'd think it would appreciate how you treated it, but each time you walk by it reaches out and slaps you. 

        When God created us perfectly we responded with rebellion and sin...what a slap in the face to our Creator!


Ask me why I love my wife and I'll have laundry list of reasons she's lovable.  But Jesus loved me while I was yet a sinner.


Justified by His grace.

Grace is a key word...used 100x's by Paul in his writing.  Not by means of baptism, works, hope, offerings, service, etc...but by grace!


God's love wasn't enough to save us.  It took His grace.  Because we cannot get to heaven without perfect righteousness.  Grace is receiving something you don't deserve...and we don't deserve to be considered righteous, for we are not!


Some accuse those of us who preach salvation by grace as promoting 'cheap grace.' 

        If being saved seems too easy to you, consider that Christ did the hard part.  Salvation is free, but it wasn't cheap.  There's no such thing as cheap grace.


G. Campbell Morgan was preaching in a small coal mining town.  He preached salvation by grace alone.  A miner approached him afterward and said, your salvation is too cheap.  Morgan asked the man, how do you get down into the mine?  The elevator.  'How much do they charge you to ride it?' Nothing. [it cost the company a high price, but all he had to do was get on board, and put his faith in it to take him to his destination.]


Justified through the redemption...

Redemption has roots in slavery where slaves would be auctioned off on the block.  What a great picture of our situation and how Christ purchased us w/ His blood...and upon redeeming us, set us free...free to sin?  No!  Free to serve!


ill.--there's stories of some in times of southern slavery who would buy slaves and set them free.  They were often resented for doing so.  Sometimes this is how Christ is seen by others who haven't experienced freedom for themselves.  I like the stories where the slave set free CHOOSES then to go w/ their redeemer as their new master!


'Thank God I am free, free, free from this world of sin.'


Free from the power of sin, the penalty of sin, and someday, from the very presence of sin!


Justified thru the propitiation.

v. 25        We are not saved because God overlooked our sin, turned a blind eye, or swept it under the rug. 

ill.--ever told your kids you're going somewhere special, but they have to be good?  You know you're going anyway...but then you see them do something wrong...and pretend you didn't?!  God doesn't do that!


Jesus is the propitiation thru Calvary.  Justice had to be done, payment had to be made, no exceptions.


ill.--if I got myself into debt and couldn't pay, I would be held accountable.  It wouldn't matter if my creditor was my friend, family, or anyone, they couldn't write it off...someone has to pay! 


The propitiation is the appeasement of God's wrath.  There's only one way a man could appease the wrath of God on his own...by going to hell for all eternity.  But someone who was innocent died in our place!


v. 26        At Calvary God became both just and the justifier.  His morality was satisfied and so was His mercy!


ill.--the mercy seat was in the holy of holies in the OT tabernacle.  Inside the ark of the covenant, for which the mercy seat was the lid, is the 10 Commandments [and 2 other items].  The blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat and it covered us where the law has us condemned.


Hebrews 9:2-5
2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

mercyseat is the Greek 'hilasterion'

back in Rom. 3:25, propitiation is 'hilasterion'.  He is our mercy seat.  Jesus is the public display, not behind the veil any longer, that we may approach boldly!


You see, the dilemma w/ salvation is not how to get sinful man to a holy God, but the opposite--how to bring God to man w/out violating His moral justice!


Now Paul ends the chapter w/ a series of 3 questions and conclusions about what we have learned about justification...

v. 27        Where is boasting?  Excluded!  We have nothing to do w/ our salvation, and we have no bragging rights as a result.  No self congratulations.  If it were justification by works, church attendance, etc...you could boast.

27b          by the law of faith

ill.--if you were drowning and a lifeguard saved you, no one would congratulate you for how well you clung to the lifesaver.  All credit would go to the lifeguard!


2:17 shows the Jews tendency to boast.

2:23 takes it further.


So we cannot boast, but this is good news, because this means that salvation is not by me holding out but by God holding on!


If we boasted in heaven it would turn it into hell.  That's how it all started for Lucifer before he fell.


v. 29        Jews only?  No, Gentiles too!

v. 30        He's one God, and provides one salvation, for the one group He created, His fallen children of all colors.


v. 31        Law voided?  God forbid!

The gospel establishes the law - it confirms it - it completes it - it satisfies it ... keeping the law is perfection and Christ is our perfection ... our righteousness!


The law demanded a payment for sins - death.  In the garden coats of skins had to be provided, and Cain and Abel were instructed to bring a blood sacrifice.  At passover, the blood had to be applied.


Jesus satisfied the law thru His death, and then conquered death for us all!


Romans 8:2-4
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


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