Participants: Mark Howard & Jim Howard
Series Code: GBOTB
Program Code: GBOTB00003B
00:05 Welcome back to Books of the Book and we are studying
00:08 the book of Galatians and we have been talking today
00:10 about justification.
00:11 It is the powerful and beautiful core concept and
00:17 it is the gospel.
00:18 Justification is a key part of the gospel.
00:20 You have the role of justification and sanctification
00:23 which all comes through faith in Christ of which
00:25 we will be talking more about.
00:26 We are talking about how justification is needed because
00:32 of the condemnation that the law brings.
00:34 Justification is for the purpose of bringing our hearts
00:38 into harmony with that law and with the will of God.
00:41 Which is expressed in that law.
00:43 We have been talking about the need of justification
00:47 and I want to look at the gospel of Luke.
00:49 We are going to Luke 5 and find a passage here in the
00:53 words of Jesus that really draw out this issue,
00:57 the importance of sensing
00:59 the need of the justification of Christ.
01:03 You will find in Luke chapter 5:30 with me.
01:07 Matthew, Mark, Luke chapter 5:30 and it says in there,
01:10 "And the scribes and the Pharisees complained against
01:14 "His disciples saying, why do You eat and drink with
01:17 "tax collectors and sinners?"
01:18 We will comment on that in just a moment.
01:20 "Jesus answered and said to them, those who are well have
01:24 "no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
01:29 "I have not come to call the righteous,
01:32 "but sinners to repentance. "
01:35 The point that Jesus is making here is that the ministry,
01:38 His ministry was not to those who didn't need help
01:42 but to those who did.
01:43 Not only to those who didn't need help per se,
01:46 because everybody needed His help.
01:49 His ministry was to those who sensed they were sick,
01:52 who sensed their need.
01:54 I want to appeal to the viewers about the beauty of
01:57 God justifying the ungodly.
01:59 It is not uncommon for people to think, well I am so
02:04 wretched, I'm so sinful that I couldn't ask God, I couldn't
02:09 expect God to accept me, He would never accept me.
02:12 That's exactly, exactly who Jesus came to serve.
02:15 That's why we see Him and it is the reason they are so
02:18 upset because He was with tax collectors and sinners.
02:20 In their mind He was hanging out with the type of people
02:23 that were the worst of the worst and you would never be
02:26 found in the a company of these lowlife people.
02:28 But those were the very people that Jesus was always with.
02:32 They sense their need of Him.
02:34 That's right, that's right and you know when you think
02:37 about that, there are two ditches that we can fall into.
02:40 The one is thinking that we are not worthy of that
02:45 justification, that somehow we are not able to bring
02:49 ourselves into the presence of God because we cannot
02:53 imagine Him seeing all our flaws and not recognizing we
02:57 must be brought into the presence of God in order to have
03:00 those flaws removed in order for Him to
03:02 cover us with His blood.
03:04 Having said that, there is another subtle deception of
03:09 our heart that sometimes happens when it
03:11 comes to justifying ourselves.
03:13 That is that we recognize we are guilty, we admit that
03:17 we are guilty and we are proud we are guilty.
03:21 It makes us feel humble sometimes and if we are not
03:24 careful we cannot look at this in the right light.
03:27 One of my favorite passages is where David says when
03:32 he is writing after his own sin, a very serious sin.
03:37 About his repentance when he says,
03:40 "I acknowledge my trans- gressions" there in Psalm 51.
03:43 Well the point that I would like to make is David did not
03:46 just acknowledge his transgressions, he acknowledged
03:49 his transgressions to be transgressions.
03:52 In other words, it's one thing to know what
03:55 you are doing is wrong because God says it's wrong.
03:58 It is another thing to believe and understand in your
04:02 heart why it is wrong, to believe in your heart that it
04:05 is wrong, if you only believe it is wrong because
04:08 God says it's wrong and you try to fix it,
04:12 you are not going to understand why and you won't put
04:16 your whole heart into it.
04:17 In other words if you only think that
04:19 God thinks it's wrong.
04:21 So God things it's wrong and I know God thinks is wrong
04:24 so I won't do it, but in your own heart if it wasn't
04:27 because of what God said He would say that it really
04:30 isn't that big a deal to me
04:31 but I guess it's a big deal to Him.
04:32 That's right for an example like as a parent if I tell
04:37 my daughter don't ride out where the cars are, so she
04:41 takes her bike and instead of riding right where the cars
04:45 are she rides right next to where the
04:47 cars are and where they park.
04:49 She's thinking I don't know why they don't want me out
04:51 there but I can be here because she does not fully
04:54 understand the danger I'm trying to tell her about.
04:56 So because she doesn't understand that
04:57 she pushes the envelope.
04:59 A lot of times people push the envelope in terms of
05:02 the will of God because they don't really acknowledge
05:05 their transgressions as transgressions,
05:07 they don't really accept God's will and I think about
05:11 justification through faith in Christ.
05:13 We are talking about the cross of Christ
05:16 that justifies us.
05:18 It is our substitute, Jesus has taken our penalty for us.
05:22 At the same time we are acknowledging that, that penalty
05:27 He is taking for our sins, we are also accepting His will.
05:32 The act of acknowledging our sin crucified the Son of God,
05:37 at the same time if we truly are acknowledging that
05:40 we are going to accept His will as expressed in His law.
05:44 We are going to accept that to be a new way of life
05:48 otherwise we are not really acknowledging
05:50 that sin was sin.
05:52 That's right, that's right it reminds me of the parable
05:54 of the Pharisee and the tax collector.
05:58 It's in Luke 18 and again you have it in
06:01 the context of justification.
06:03 Luke 18:9 that "Jesus spoke this parable to some who
06:10 "trusted in themselves that they were righteous
06:13 "and despised others. "
06:15 The idea is when God says something is right or wrong and
06:20 I feel at liberty to do something different, in essence
06:25 I'm trusting in myself that I am righteous.
06:28 This is a hard concept to get through as Christians
06:32 Because as Christians we are taught
06:33 a lot of cliché religion.
06:36 We know we are not supposed to say we are righteous.
06:39 Christians, no, no I'm a sinner we say, but it is possible
06:42 for the mouth to confess the poverty of soul that
06:45 the heart does not recognize. - right, right!
06:48 Here is the case with this Pharisee who he trusted in
06:51 himself, the root word of righteousness is right.
06:54 He might not have felt he was perfect, but he thought he
06:57 had some good ideas, good enough to at least put him
07:01 above this tax collector.
07:02 And that is what we find in the parable.
07:03 as they go up to pray.
07:04 The Pharisee prays and he says, thank you God that I am not
07:08 as bad as other people, but the tax collector it says in
07:12 verse 13, "standing afar off, would not so much as raise
07:15 "his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying,
07:18 "God be merciful to me a sinner!"
07:20 I think of that, why does a person beat their breasts?
07:25 But he really feels a soul anguish over his unworthiness.
07:30 And Jesus responds to these two and says in verse 14, and
07:34 "I tell you, this man" the one who beat his breast, the
07:38 tax collector, "went down to his house justified rather
07:42 "than the other; for everyone who exalts himself
07:45 "will be humbled, and he who humbles
07:46 "himself will be exalted. "
07:48 - Amen, Amen, it sounds a lot like another story in
07:51 the Old Testament, Cain and Abel.
07:54 I always think about that story because Cain and Abel
07:58 were the sons of Adam and Eve and they both were taught
08:01 to worship God.
08:03 They both did worship God, God had already given them the
08:06 instruction on sacrifice, animal sacrifices that would
08:09 point forward to the death of Christ.
08:11 So they were already in the process of erecting an altar,
08:15 worshiping and we have the story in Genesis 4 were they
08:19 both worshiped God, they both set up an altar but Cain
08:24 instead of offering a lamb as God had prescribed,
08:28 he decided to offer the fruit of the ground.
08:31 He was a farmer and thought that was as good as the other
08:34 after all he was worshiping God.
08:36 He was for the most part, as it were we might say today
08:40 a good person, but it said that God did not accept or have
08:44 respect unto his offering, only on to Abel's offering.
08:49 So here we have a perfect picture of this idea that as
08:54 long as I do most things okay, that is really okay.
08:57 It is the same thing that the young lawyer tried to
09:02 justify himself said, he said hey as long as I consider
09:05 these people my neighbor do I really have to consider
09:08 everybody my neighbor?
09:10 So the idea of justifying ourselves is we weave into
09:15 our own element the worship of God or into obedience
09:20 to God, being clearly obedience might seem as a sign of
09:25 weakness almost rather than following God faithfully.
09:32 - Well obedience is treated by some to be something
09:38 that is contrary to faith.
09:40 In other words if you obey strictly you must not believe
09:44 or something of that nature.
09:46 What we see is the belief prompts this trust that what
09:52 God says is right.
09:53 Justification comes to the man like the tax collector
09:57 who can accept that what God says is right and yield his
10:00 own desires, or his own concepts of what is right.
10:05 We find that where we looked at Romans 4:5 where
10:09 it talked about God justifying the ungodly.
10:12 Again in Romans 4:5, "but to him who does not work but
10:16 "the believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith
10:19 "is accounted for righteousness. "
10:23 It is talking about Abraham two verses earlier Romans 4:3
10:28 says, "Abraham believed God and it was accounted
10:33 "to him for righteousness. "
10:34 Abraham accepted God's assessment of his own condition
10:39 and God's assessment of the remedy.
10:42 He didn't try to ultimately manufacture that.
10:46 He ultimately came to the point where he accepted what
10:49 God said and he acted on it, and he obeyed it.
10:53 Because of his attitude of obedience to God,
10:57 his allegiance to God, the Bible says his faith
11:01 was counted as righteousness.
11:04 I like that word attitude that you used.
11:06 It really describes well the issue when it comes to
11:11 justification because there are many people who wonder
11:17 if I am a sinner and Jesus died for me to cover my sins,
11:23 then why do I have to worry about obeying?
11:25 What makes the difference?
11:27 How is one person justified who is a sinner and
11:29 another person is not?
11:31 Well the issue has everything to do with attitude.
11:33 The example of Abraham was perfect because if you look in
11:36 Romans 4:20 it says something very interesting.
11:42 "He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief. "
11:46 Now the idea there of not wavering at the promise of God
11:50 is a little bit funny because we know he made mistakes.
11:53 You can read them in the book of Genesis where he made
11:57 mistakes, so why did he say I did not waver.
12:00 Or why could he say he did not waver?
12:02 Well the reason is because Abraham never really looked
12:05 back, Abraham never gave up.
12:07 Abraham never turned back on God.
12:09 Abraham always was seeking to move forward and even
12:13 though he was making mistakes, those mistakes could be
12:16 covered because he was pressing and on in the work of God.
12:19 He was pressing on in his efforts to follow God.
12:22 That is right so whole issue we are talking about
12:25 justification, what is key is the realization
12:28 of the need for it.
12:30 As Paul was pointing out that a man is not justified
12:32 by works of the law but by faith in Christ.
12:35 The reality is this, a person who trusts in the works of the
12:38 law, does not see their need.
12:40 They feel the ability to meet their requirements of God
12:44 in their own strength and this is why verse 15 it says,
12:47 "we who are Jews by nature and not sinners of the Gentiles. "
12:51 The challenge was because Jews where religious felt that
12:54 they were above the Gentiles and they had some
12:56 righteousness in themselves, the way that too often Christians
12:59 today are tempted to feel that they have something
13:01 they really don't have.
13:03 Paul was trying to make a point, you are as much in need
13:05 of justification as the most common ungodly sinner.
13:09 But if we sense our need and we sense our guilt then
13:13 Jesus is willing and ready to justify us.
13:15 Absolutely right, it all comes down to realizing
13:18 our need of Christ.
13:19 Also Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:15, "Christ Jesus came
13:22 "into this world to save sinners of who I am chief. "
13:25 If you feel like the chief of sinners Jesus came for you.
13:28 Accept Him today.