Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P58 (07-25-22)
It is God Who Justifies the Wicked, Not the Righteous
There is something in the human nature, our flesh, our pride in self that wants to believe that God justifies those that are righteous. We think, we are not as bad as someone else. Yet we are told in the Scriptures that God justifies the wicked, not the righteous. Why is that? Because there isn’t any one righteous in and of themselves. No one is good, no not one. No one is righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10). Only by a person’s faith in Jesus, the Only Righteous One, is a person declared righteous in God’s sight. And it is because of Jesus, and His righteousness (not our own) that we can be declared righteous in His sight forever.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly (the wicked), his faith is counted for righteousness.
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Listen in to today’s lesson with more in-depth teaching, from the Bible study booklet, A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ, available for purchase from our online Bob George Ministries ecommerce store.
Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.
And that’s when it gets back. Okay, then I love one another. So you get back to 1st Corinthians 13. You say, Well, what is God’s love? What is the kind of love that we’re supposed to exercise on behalf of other people? Well, it says, I’ll tell you, love is patient. Well, you just wipe 90% of us out didn’t we love is patient? How patient? Always patient. Are we always patient? No. Love is kind. Are we always kind? No. Love never keeps records of other people’s wrongs. Do you ever keep records of other people’s wrongs? I bet you got a list in your head right now, that could, could absolutely go around your house if you if you spread it out. But we do, don’t we? So the issue is, I cannot do that. But I do see that that was God’s purpose for me here on this earth is to allow his love to it’s just to be able to first of all, occupy me. So and then let that same love go out to others. So I can’t do it in the energy my own flesh. I can’t obey the law on the energy, my own flesh, I can’t be a man of integrity in the energy of my own flesh. Those things sound wonderful, but you cannot do it. And all you’re doing when you’re teaching people that you should, if I should, then somebody down there evidently thinks I could. And whoever thinks that they can is a deceived person, because they’re not doing it either. And so the problem with those things as good as they sound is that you cannot do it. There’s only one person that can can provide that kind of love in a person, and that is Christ Jesus. And when you and I are walking in love, we are fulfilling every requirement of the law, every principle, every promise, every everything is being fulfilled, when we walk in love toward another person doing unto others as we would have others do unto us and there’s only one person could pull that off. And that’s God.
Now, folks, if we don’t believe that, then tear these pages out of your Bible where it says no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law, but rather, it’s through the law that we become conscious of sin, pitch it out all principles that you have going to do the same thing. Try to live by principles, what’s going to happen, those principles are going to make you conscious of your own inability to even live up to the simple things you’ve you’ve come up with, you try to live by your promises that I just promised to be such a neat person, all those promises are going to do is to ultimately make you conscious of your own sin and your total inability to live up to them as as minor as they might be. That’s all they’re going to do is to show you your inability, God is going to keep at you, my friends, and keep at me, for as long as it takes in order to show you what he what he told us and that is Bob apart from me, you can do nothing. You can’t keep your promises. You cannot live by principles. You cannot live by the law. You cannot be a good Christian. You cannot be a good father. You cannot be a good husband. You can do nothing apart from me. Now, folks, that is a pretty helpless position, it appears to me unless there’s someone who can provide the help. And that one is Christ Jesus. He said you can’t Bob, but I can. That’s why I’m not hanging on a cross. If I was just hanging on a cross and all I came to do is forgive your sins, you’re left on your own. You said okay Bob, Your sins are forgiven now go sic em for Jesus. You’re left on your own. Bob, you can’t be left on your own. You were born into this world incomplete. You were born into this world two thirds whole. Until I come to take up residence in you you’re not complete. You’re not perfect. You’re not made as I made man to be. And then you say well okay Lord then come to live in me. He says, Fine. Now what do you want me to do there, go to sleep, take a vacation? If I’m coming to live in you, then I’m coming to live in you for a reason. And that reason is to live through you because you still can’t do anything. Even with me living in you, you can’t do it on your own. If I’m living in you, why would you want to do it on your own? Why would you want to go out to try to accomplish what only I can when I’m there to accomplish it? It just doesn’t make any sense.
And so we say, Lord, you’re right. And we come to the end of ourselves. That’s what’s called dying to self is dying to your own self sufficiency, dying to the law that demand your flesh to behave, dying to my promises, dying to my commitments, dying to buy obedience to the law, because you can’t be obedient to the law. Now, folks, again, if you’re living in a society, I’d rather live next door to somebody who’s faithful to his wife, and to their husband, who’s a good father, who spends time with his kids who’s devoted I, wouldn’t you? I’d rather live around somebody that then I wouldn’t somebody’s over there beating the daylights out of his wife and knocking these kids around the house and all that. But folks, you don’t have to be a Christian, to live that way. There are people involved in some of the most unbelievable cults in the world that live that way. There’s more morality in Muslim nations than there are in this so called Christian nation, outward morality. But Jesus went to the root of that and said, You hypocrite, he got yourself looking all good on the outside, but you’re dirty on the inside. You’re a cup that’s clean on the outside, but on the inside, you’re dirty. You’re saying I don’t commit adultery, but in your heart, you’re lusting like crazy. You say, I do not murder anyone. But in your heart, you’re angry at people all the time. And I look at your heart, and so folks, even though it is certainly nicer to live around a so called nice person than it is a grumpy mean one, it doesn’t have anything to do with Christ, you can be a nice person and not know Christ, from a spook. Now, I am so in saying that don’t let that be an interceptor to what is necessary. And that is that vital living relationship with a living Christ.
But I imagine that sometimes when people hear me speak, like, I’ve been speaking, and I sit back and analyze this, even in my own heart as to why that burden is there. You say, Well, what’s the difference? I mean, why? Why is why just, why not just go do these things? Why not just let people be involved in it? And of course, I have nothing to do with letting people and I’m not trying to discourage or encourage. But you say, what’s wrong with these things? What’s wrong with all this activity? What’s wrong with all this program, brochromatic what’s wrong with making promises? What’s wrong with trying to keep principles? What’s wrong with trying to keep the law? And again, you’re back to the Bible, folks, you’re not back to? It seems okay to me. And that’s what the Bible says that what seemed right in the eyes of man is an abomination to God. And what’s wrong with that, folks, is it is subtly ways to keep you off of dependency upon Christ, I don’t need to depend on Christ, I’m going to depend on my own self efforts. And folks, that’s what took place in the Garden of Eden. That’s what set off this whole chain of indwelling sin that you and I are living in bondage to today. It’s the thing that ultimately causes the society that we see going on today, is man making up his own mind what appears to be right, in his own mind. It’s man standing once again, at the tree in the Garden of Eden and saying, I know what’s best. And I don’t need you, God. And the problem with that is the repercussions. It’s what it does to you. It’s what it does to your family. It’s what it does to your children. It’s what it does to the world around you, not only in your generation, but in generations to come. And so when God says very clearly to us that no one is going to ever be declared righteous in the sight of God through the observation of the law, through the observing of principles, through the observing of your promises. He means that folks, and it’s not because he’s trying to be mean, he’s just being realistic, that no man can do it. If there was a possibility of anyone doing that. I’m convinced God would not have said it. But the only person who could ever pull that off was The man from heaven who came to this earth sinless Jesus, and was able to pull that off for us, pull it off for us. And so it’s through the law that we become conscious of sin.
Now, verse 21, but a righteousness from God, apart from the law has been made known to which the law and the prophets testify. So it shouldn’t be a mystery to us. The law testified to that fact and so did the prophets. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ, for all who believe there’s no difference, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And our look at that justified freely, how? By His grace, through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. And God presented him as a sacrifice as the one who had turned aside His wrath, taking through faith in his blood, he did this to demonstrate his justice and his forbearance he had left sins committed beforehand unpunished. And he did it to demonstrate his judgment at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. So he said, Where’s all the boasting? Where are we going to be boasting then? Because that’s what happens when we try to do when we believe that we can be justified in the sight of God or righteous in the sight of God or, or more holy in the sight of God by what I do. Well, the result of that has got to be either finding out that I can’t and wallowing in self deception, or being so deceived already that I think I’m doing it and wallowing in pride. It causes you It forces you to compare yourself with another. And it says, A man of compares himself by himself as a fool. But it forces me to do that. If have I have committed myself to say, Now, Bob, here’s what a good man does. I do this, I do this, I do this, I do this, and I do this. And here’s what a good man looks like. He’s got short hair. He’s got blue eyes. He’s got this. He’s got this. He’s got this. Now. Now, I’ve determined this is what a good man does is what a good man looks like. And let’s say so I look like all of those qualities, and I do all of those things. Do I rest there? Well, of course not. I start saying to you, how you doing? How you doing Bob? Your hairs little long, your eyes are brown instead of blue. Something’s wrong with you. What’s going on here with you? And there’s the I am forced to do that. When I sit down making a commitment, my commitment that I’m going to do something I am forced to get prideful when I do. And when I do, I am forced to try to lay that on to you. As good as it may sound, you say, Well, what’s wrong with everybody in the world? Doing this and this and this? And this? And this? What’s wrong with that? You say, where do you find that in the Bible? Where do you find that in the Scripture? And so what we have to do is to realize he says, Where’s the boasting we see when you’re justified by faith alone, not in what you do. But he what he did, was boasting. In other words, what happens to your pride? When you die to the law, you die to the law demanding your flesh to behave? And when you die to the law and realize that you still have received justification. All you can do is to say, Praise God. Can you boast in that? Well, of course you can’t boast in it. You die to that boasting because it didn’t have anything to do with any of this. It’s Grace. It’s God’s provision.
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That’s why we fight so desperately is because the pride a man says I want something to boast about. I really do. And look at look at what we boast of, you know, we make heroes out of people who can jump three foot high and dunk a basketball. I mean, that’s, that’s a real accomplishment. I mean, you stop to think about it or change the world. We boast of people put on pads and go out and blast the daylights out each other on a football field and just make heroes and that’s a real life changing event out there. (sarcasm) We brag at people who’s made their lives as a hypocrite called actors. Their whole life is acting, nothing real acting like somebody else. Our heroes, just unbelievable heroes, long term effect, they’re nailed thing long term about that. But that’s what we do. We boast over these things, we boast over how much money we make, we boast over those things man loves to boast. Now, when it comes to the things of God, we still want to boast. And God is saying, I’m going to annihilate that boast not by telling you, you shouldn’t boast. But by showing you that you had nothing to do with any of this. It’s all of God, it doesn’t have anything to do with you. It’s all of God and His mercy.
So it says, Where’s the boasting? Its excluded. On what principle is it excluded? See we then what principle there? On that of observing the law? In other words, is that what how did it get excluded because I observed the law? In other words, is that’s why? No, no, no, but on faith on faith. For, we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Justified, yeah, what do you mean? It given life restored to true humanity. His sins been put behind the back of God through the redemption that came through the Lord Jesus Christ, you were bought back. By what? By faith. And by faith alone, apart from observing the law. Well, it says here, is God that God of Hebrews only or is he not the God of Gentiles too? And he says, yes, the Gentiles to since there’s only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through the same faith? Well, do we then nullify the law by this faith said, No, we don’t know if I will uphold it. And I’ll see and you’ll get the legless come see, after reading just when we got through reading, they’ll see that upholds see there, we’re supposed to uphold the law. How do we uphold the law? By agreeing with God? What he just got through saying about it? The law is there. What’s it there to do? Make you conscious of sin? Has it? Yeah, well, you’ve upheld it. What else the law do show you that you’re never going to be acceptable in the sight of God through obedience to it. Do you believe that now, are you walking by faith, then you’ve upheld the law, the law has been upheld. Christ upheld the law when he died for the forgiveness of our sins, the wages of sin is death, the law declared it it was upheld through His death for us. And so we upheld that and said, does that mean? You don’t believe in it? No, I believe in it. The law was there to do its work. It was there. It says, For who? To those who are under it? Who was under it? Everyone born into this world? What does it do to everyone born under this world, shut your mouth, tells you it shows you you can’t do it. So that what we just read it, so that you become conscious of sin, so that you turn to Christ for salvation. So I don’t want to nullify the law, the law has a purpose in the world, it’s to show the last person that he can’t do it. It also fulfills a role to the safe person who’s trying to be under it, it shows you you can’t do it even as a safe person. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re lost or saved. You cannot fulfill or uphold the law in self effort.
Only by faith, only by faith lost by faith, saved by faith. Now, it says well, what shall we say then that Abraham, our forefathers discovered this matter? If in fact, Abraham was justified by works? Well, he had something to boast about, but not before God. Before man, oh, sure. For God, no. Well, what does the Scripture say? It said, Abraham believed God. And it was credited to him as righteousness. In other words, righteousness, was credited to this person. Now, when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but it’s an obligation, however, to the man who does not work, but trusts God, who want? justifies who? the wicked. The religion is, does he see himself as wicked? Oh, no, I’m a good moral person. So God has to justify me. And so he’s working at being justified through what he’s doing. And then God goes over there and justifies somebodywicked, and say, That doesn’t make any sense. He said, Take a look at yourself, brother. And you’ll see you need the same justification. Hebrew, Gentile, slave or free, can only be justified one way, and that’s by faith in the justifier of Christ Jesus.
Picking up in chapter four verse beginning in verse four. In the book of Romans, when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. In other words when you work for somebody and they pay you, you don’t say thanks for the gift. It wasn’t a gift. It was an obligation. However, to the man who does not work, but trust God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness, apart from work, and he quotes blessing are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man who sinned the Lord will never count against him. Is this blessedness only for the circumcised? In other words for the Hebrew or also for the Gentile. We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised or before? No, it was a it was not after but before. And so in other words, his righteousness was credited to him before he was ever circumcised before ever became identified with with being a Hebrew. And it says we received and he received a sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then is he the Father of all who believe, but have not been circumcised in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised, who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith of our father Abraham had before he was circumcised in other words, faith, salvation by faith came to both the Hebrew and to the Gentile.
Now, we will walk down to nor go down to verse 22. This is why it was credited him as righteousness, the words it was credited to him were written not for him alone, but for us also, to whom God will credit righteousness for us who believe in Him, who raised Jesus, our Lord from the dead. He, that’s Jesus, was delivered over to death for our sins, and was raised to life for our justification. In other words, Bob, the reconciliation is what took place at the cross. But our justification which encompasses our reconciliation, was made possible by the resurrected life of Jesus Christ, the life of Christ, is what saves us.
Now, therefore, chapter five, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace, in which we now, what? stand. It doesn’t say, we hop back and forth. It says, we now stand in the grace of God, stand in it, enveloped in it, surrounded by it, sealed in it, in the grace of God that we now stand that we gained access into by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, folks, we haven’t even gotten to question one, in this book we just been teaching through the Scripture. But I want to ask you the question, do you have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ? Peace with God is only going to come through our understanding that we have been justified in the sight of God through faith in Him not through faith in what we do. And folks, there’s many scriptures talking about having the peace of God that we’re talking about, don’t be anxious about anything but in all things with prayer and supplication, thanksgiving, let your requests be known onto God. And then what? That result, the peace of God that passes all understanding will quiet and your heart in your mind and Christ Jesus. But how can you have the peace of God until you have peace with God? To be anxious for nothing but at all things with prayer and supplication, thanksgiving, let your requests be known under God, I will only do if I realized there is a God who has justified me not on the basis of what I have done or haven’t done. But he’s justified me on the basis of faith in his Son who accomplished at all. I can’t cast myself upon a God that is looking at me conditionally. I don’t know how he’s going to handle my problems. I may not have performed quite right that day. And if so, he may not listen to me. He may say, No, I’m not going to help you today. You’ve been too bad. There’s all kinds of things that pop into your mind, when you don’t realize that all of this work that God is talking about has already been accomplished for you and me, in Christ Jesus.
So therefore, when we realize that we have been justified by faith, the result of that is a peace with God. I have a lot of people who have sometimes say, Well, I just don’t have peace. And we say, well, peace is not the issue. It’s peace with what we talked about, I don’t have peace, what are you talking about? You say, I don’t have peace in the world. Well, the world doesn’t give you peace. I don’t have peace with my husband. Well, husbands don’t give you peace. Neither is there’s a wife or kids. Only realizing that I have been made right in the sight of God will give you the peace of God. And that’s what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for peace in the world, because there isn’t any, I’m looking for peace with God. I’m looking with to realize that even though the entire world may turn against me, and even though the entire world may turn their back on you, and even though you like Christ, and the apostles and 1000s of people in the early days of Christendom might end up in a lion’s den, or on a chopping block. So you’re really not at peace with the world at all. But you’re at peace with God. And the reason you’re at peace with God is because you know that your relationship with God has been predicated upon him and what he’s done, and not you and what you’ve done.
So when we come to grips with our justification by faith, there’s a byproduct that if we truly know that, then that’s the whole key if I truly have entered into that by faith, and folks, when you enter into that, you’ve got to leave your other stuff behind. And there comes a time when God says, Let go Bob, let go. Because until you let that bar, go back to where it came from empty, you’re not going to be able to latch on and grab a hold of that other and go over to where the peace of God is.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
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