The Trial of the Ages.
Please allow me to set the stage here. We are about to witness a major trial and we are in the Court House. Can you see the Jury in your mind and the two attorneys about to argue the case?
We are in the courthouse of Law.
We have a trial in progress.
We need to introduce the Court Reporter. It’s the Apostle Paul. He comes with good credentials.
Paul declared the righteousness of God in these passages and it’s really what the book of Romans is all about.
- God is Righteous!
- God demands Righteousness!
- God provides Righteousness!
There must be a basis of righteousness in order for sin to be forgiven. If a judge wants to totally dismiss the charges against a guilty person he can but that’s not righteous. So God can’t simply tell you, “You are forgiven.” Not without that righteous basis. FOR GOD IS RIGHTEOUS!
For your sins to be forgiven there must be that Righteous Basis. And where is that basis found? It is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The sinner was sentenced to death (SINFUL MAN) and God established that righteous basis because Jesus Christ became the substitute. He took your sin upon Himself and He died in your place. It’s trading the righteous for the unrighteous. You are forgiven! He took your place! He died for you!
The righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH. As it is written,
“THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Verse 17.
And then we also see the WRATH OF GOD… which we will look at during the trial.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18)
Let’s look quick at the very first verse in the book of Romans:
“Paul, a bond slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.” (Romans 1:1)
So he was a servant… a bondslave… Paul was not his own person after being called. WE ARE NOT OUR OWN PERSON- WE BELONG TO CHRIST- HE PURCHASED US. We are debtors to everyone unsaved once we become a Saint and become separated unto the gospel.
He was called apostle. He was DECLARED! HE WAS SENT FORTH! In order to be an Apostle you must have seen the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul saw Jesus at least 7 times that we know of. And God called him directly. Keep in mind this is now 25 years after Paul first came to Christ. And he said, “Who art thou, Lord, that I may serve thee?” 25 years later he is still saying I am a bondslave! I am an Apostle. He made his calling and his election sure. We should do the same… whatever it is that God calls us to do we should do. Nothing more nothing less. Whether it’s to be a greeter or bass guitar player or a preacher. Whatever it is just do it.
My birth was no accident— Your birth was no accident— God desires to work the good works through his servants. (Bondslaves) He separated us unto the Gospel to do for Him…
Do you know the will of God for your life? I want you to know that 90% of determining the will of God is being willing to DO-IT. So just do it.
Separated unto the Gospel of God. – We are first separated from our mother’s womb and then separated from sin and the world to Christ as Paul is explaining.
Paul let us know in the written word the Gospel is not new and it’s still not new. (IF IT’S NEW IT AINT TRUE)
Paul presented the message of the Gospel right up front as he began to share the court record. Christ is the center of the Gospel message and Paul introduces Christ in a threefold way.
- He is the REVEALED ONE, the one “Promised Afore” (v.2), for the Gospel of God has its roots deep into the Old Testament.
- He is the REIGNING ONE, He is “Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (v.3) The New Testament opens and closes with Jesus referred to as the “Son of David.”
- He is the RESURRECTED ONE, the one “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (v.4)
It is all about Christ’s Deity… Jesus was 100 % God, 100% Man, 100% of the time. And Paul is making that clear.
Paul had complete confidence in the Gospel because of its sufficiency and its supremacy. He wrote, “It is the power of God unto salvation.”
John Phillips in his commentary on Romans wrote, “The world does not need a better system of education, more social reform or new ideas in religion. IT NEEDS THE GOSPEL! The Gospel message grips the mind, it stabs the conscience, it warms the heart, it saves the soul, and it sanctifies the life. It can make drunken (or drugged) men sober, crooked men straight and profligate women pure. It is a message sufficient to transform the life of any who believe.”
“IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION “TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH.” Could anything be any simpler than that? It is simple, trust in God’s Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, as your personal savior from sin. Simple as that!
The Just shall live by Faith.
The Gospel MUST be received by FAITH.
Habakkuk 2:4- The Just shall live by Faith.
Romans 1:17- The Just shall live by Faith.
Galations 3:11- The Just shall live by Faith.
Hebrews 10:38- The Just shall live by Faith.
THE COURT RECORD
Lets look at the COURT RECORD– First 3 Chapters of Romans.
If you look around, it’s even likely here within our group, there are two kinds of people throughout the world.
- People that have been delivered from the Wrath of God because they have sought God’s righteousness.
- Everyone else, whom the wrath of God abides upon.
Paul indicated that those that are called and delivered from the wrath of God are to be called Saints. (v.7) This is not some special class of people within the church, but it describes all that have trusted Christ as their savior. It means, “One set apart for God.”
You are either a Saint or a Sinner. More appropriate is to say a sinning saint or just a sinner for no one is righteous, no not one. I am a Saint, but… I am also a sinner.
J Vernon McGee used to say, “There are two kinds of People in the world, The Saints and The Aints”
During this trial God’s righteousness will be revealed, but then God’s Wrath will also be revealed. Throughout the New Testament we see both God’s Righteousness and God’s Wrath.
God’s Righteousness was/is revealed to man by Nature, Human Conscience and by Human History. There is no excuse for being unaware of God.
God’s Wrath was/is revealed by His Word, the Natural World, and by The Cross.
Paul lets us know that the bad news of human sin comes before the good news of salvation. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (V. 18)
Paul said Gods wrath is revealed for three reasons: First it’s revealed because of human ungodliness, second because of human unrighteousness, and third because of human unbelief.
I think it important to give some clear definitions at this point:
Wrath of God: Please note God’s wrath is not due to Anger on His part, it is a reaction to unrighteousness. The wrath of God is His judgment regarding sin and is a standard that reveals His displeasure toward sin.
Ungodliness: Having the wrong attitude toward God and having spiritual failure.
Unrighteousness: The wrong conduct toward God and fellow man and moral failure.
Stay tuned for the “TRIAL OF THE AGES.”
Join me in the next post as we proceed on to the court record as the trial begins…
God bless you,