Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Righteous by Faith 10/12/2014
Dear friend,

May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you now and always, Amen.

Last week we began a short series in Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans since it is the month in which we celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation, which began in the year 1517, some 497 years ago. This letter to the Roman congregation has been called a mini bible and which means that if one had only this letter, the essence of our Christian faith would be at one's fingertips.Last week I encouraged us all to read the entire letter, but for this study I am shortening our assignment, asking us to read chapters 1-8. It is my plan to bring two more messages from this letter, from chapter 5 and from chapter 8.

What does it take for me to stop looking at the sins of others as greater than mine?


Today we will use the third chapter for our basis of study, but before doing so we will connect last week's scripture (Romans 1:1-18) with todays text through an overview of what is written in Romans 1:18-2:29. I will attempt to make it as brief as possible, but yet clear so that the context of our text today will be kept intact.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

After this important assertion that we are made right with God through faith in Christ, the Apostle begins to point out as to why the Gospel is necessary. It would be important for us to place verses 19-25 here.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

This is the overall state of mankind after the fall, having changed the truth of God into a lie, therefore worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator. Paul goes onto list the downward spiral into ungodliness and unrighteousness in the remainder of this chapter.

In chapter one, the letter is written in the third person, which is like "those people", and now as we take a look at chapter 2 we see the writer addressing the hearers in second person, "you guys." He is telling them that you have no excuse if you are judging "those people", while you are doing the same things they are doing. He goes onto say that there is a problem with your understanding of God when you judge "those people" while excusing yourself. You are interpreting God's goodness, forebearance and longsuffering as God being soft on sin, not knowing that it is God's desire to bring all people to repentance and to worship of Him.

He then points out that the Gentiles, the non Jews, have their own system of right and wrong, even if they have not received the outward law of ordinances, for not all sense of conscience was lost in the fall. The judgment that they receive will be according to that which they have received, which at the very least goes back to verse 20 of chapter 1.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

In the last portion of chapter 2, the Jews are addressed as the one who have received the oracles of God, have trusted in them, and have boasted in God in all their teaching responsibilities, but neglected to learn for themselves. The true Jew is then pointed out as one having an inward change of heart.

2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

So far we have heard about the sinfulness of "those guys", of "you guys" and now Paul anticipates the questions of the Jews after they just got their mouths stopped. Here are the questions and his answers.


KJV Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.


3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Even if all the world does not believe, God remains true.

5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

Well, the Jews say, if God is glorified through sin, why should we be judged sinners? Is God unjust to punish us for our sins? Absolutely not, for God is God who alone has the right to judge the world.

9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; No, you are not, for all are under the same judgment of sin. Comparisons, comparisons.....


What does it take for me to stop looking at the sins of others as greater than mine?

What does it take for my mouth to be stopped, to the place where I have nothing to say to God, but to ask for His mercy?


10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. {guilty...: or, subject to the judgment of God}
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

So far it was "those guys', "you guys," and now it is "me." We are going to hear much more about the law as we continue in our study, but for now it is important to understand that the law if like a line that is drawn as a boundary. If one steps over the line, one is guilty and therefore under the judgment of God. We have heard the words, all and none repeatedly. All are guilty and none are righteous. Am I, are you included in that judgment or am I, are you still looking at others sins as greater than mine, yours and therefore remain "not guilty?"

As we come to this place, Oh Lord, help us to see our complete bankruptcy of soul and of our need for your provision to be made righteous in your sight. It is clear that there is nothing of my own that I can bring to the table, but sin. Is that my only qualification, Lord, to bring to the table, my sin and the acknowledgement of it? Yes, I think so. Upon receiving that there could be no sweeter words ever heard by one than the next words.......


What does it take for me to stop looking at the sins of others as greater than mine?

What does it take for my mouth to be stopped, to the place where I have nothing to say to God, but to ask for His mercy?

What does it take to begin to praise God for His forgiveness?


21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {set forth: or, foreordained} {remission: or, passing over}
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Here the Gospel that the Old Testament prophets saw in shadows is poured out, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary righteousness is bestowed upon us, upon you, when we believe upon that which God has done for us. For all. For anyone who believes.
He is just, for He punished sin, but not in us, but in His Son. He declares us not guilty because His Son took the guilt for us and through faith we are not guilty.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Therefore I can only boast in what He has done, of His great mercy and pardon. And we retain the law but use it for that which it has been given. We have crossed the line and deserve death and condemnation. But.........We remember the words of the song we sang earlier today....

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

May His rich grace be realized by us all today for the forgiveness of our sins, for our righteousness in Him by faith.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala



Posted on 12 Oct 2014 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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