Creflo Dollar - The Gift of Righteousness
Well, if you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Hebrews chapter 5. And, you know, we've been talking about righteousness and how important it is for us to understand it. Last time we were together, we were talking about how important it is to understand righteousness, and I don't think a lot of people really get it. I don't think they really understand what righteousness is, so we wanna talk today about the gift of righteousness, the gift of righteousness.
You know, a gift is something that you don't work for. A gift is something that you don't earn, and in a lot of cases a gift is something that you don't deserve, and yet the Bible makes it very clear that righteousness is a gift. Let's begin here in Hebrews chapter 5, and I'm gonna read it in the King James and the New Living Translation. He says in verse 12, "For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that uses milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness," underline that. "Everyone that uses milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he," the guy that uses milk still, "is a babe," or he is immature.
So interesting that he says you've been saved long enough that you should be teaching right now, but now you have need that somebody teach you. He's talking about this issue of you being immature where righteousness is concerned. Look at the NLT, let's read that real quick and then I'll make my point. He says, "You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's Word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right".
So, this issue of being immature, and what he says is that you are still immature until you understand the life of righteousness by faith and not righteousness by works. Until you can understand the life of righteousness by faith instead of righteousness by works, he says, you're still immature. He says when you're understanding righteousness which is by works, he says, you're on milk, man. When you keep seeing it as, you know, "Everything happens because of what I do," you keep seeing it as, "Everything happens because of my self-effort, that I've got to do this in order for God to do that," he says you're on milk. He says you've been saved long enough, and 30 years you've been saved, and you're still immature because you're not skillful in the word of righteousness. And he says you're immature and you will remain immature until you understand the life of righteousness by faith versus righteousness by the works of the law.
See, most Christians understand righteousness by something they've done to be righteous, and so most Christians say, "I'm righteous 'cause I did right". And this righteousness which is by faith is not you being righteous 'cause you did right. It's you being righteous because of what Jesus has done, because you've accepted Jesus, and you're righteous because of Jesus. Now, again, we're talking about the gift of righteousness, so think about it. If you're righteous because of what you did, you probably did something to earn it. This is a gift, a gift is something that is extended towards you. You didn't earn, you didn't work for, you didn't sweat for, it was given to you. You didn't even deserve it, okay?
Now look at Romans chapter 1, verse 16 and 17. We are really gonna dig in this, and I'm gonna challenge your thinking, I'm gonna challenge you to look at your life this morning and to really decide whether you are still immature in righteousness because you're unskillful in the word of righteousness. Romans chapter 1, verse 16 through 17. He says, "For I am not ashamed," now, watch this carefully now. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ". Now, he's very specific. He's talking about the gospel of Christ. He's not talking about Mark's Gospel, John Gospel. He's not talking about Matthew's Gospel. He's talking about the gospel of Christ. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it," the gospel of Christ, "is the power of God". For it, the gospel of Christ, is the power of God.
Well, how many of you wanna have the power of God operating in your life? Well, in order for that to happen you've got to understand the gospel of Christ. "For the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation," and that word "salvation" deals with deliverance. It deals with soundness. It deals with healing, so he says the gospel of Christ is the power of God that will bring you salvation and healing, deliverance and soundness, all of those things. He says, "To every one that believeth". He says, "But you gotta believe the gospel of Christ". And if you believe the gospel of Christ, it brings power unto salvation. He says, "To the Jew first, and also to the Greek".
And look at verse 17, "For therein is the righteousness of God". He said, so therein, in this gospel of Christ, in this good news about Christ, he says, therein is the righteousness of God revealed. So, in this gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed. Not your self-righteousness, but the righteousness of God is revealed, and it's revealed from faith to faith. "As it is written, The just shall live by faith". Now, the word "just," who are the just? The just are those who have been declared righteous. The just are those who have been declared righteous.
You see, you gotta understand that I'm righteous because I've been declared righteous. God looked at Abraham, I'll show you in a moment. Abraham was righteous because God declared him righteous. The just are those who have been declared righteous. The just shall live by faith that he is the righteousness of God. The just shall live by faith that he is the righteousness of God. Now, let's define "gospel" in this context here. The word "gospel" here, it means, and I like the way one of my brothers define it, It means "nearly-too-good-to-be-true news". It's nearly-too-good-to-be-true news.
Somebody says, "Well, the gospel is good news". I agree, I agree, but what good news? What specifically is the good news here? He says it's the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news. This gospel is the power of God, and that comes by grace. It's too good to be true, this gospel, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the good news, the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news about Christ. So, I want you to understand that this word "gospel" and "grace" are used interchangeably in Scripture. The good news is the good news about grace, God's unmerited favor. The good news is the good news about the grace of God. It's the good news about Jesus and that unmerited favor.
You see, grace is not just a curriculum. Grace is a person. His name is Jesus, and the gospel is the good news about Jesus. It's this unmerited favor that is extended to us from Jesus. It is this unearned favor that comes to us through Jesus, and throughout Scripture you see the word "grace" and "gospel" being used interchangeably. Lemme show you some things. Acts chapter 20, verse 24, and then let's go to Galatians chapter 1:6. Someone says, "Why are you teaching us this"? You know, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. And sometimes, you misbehave because you're not thinking right, and wrong thinking determines wrong living. If you think wrong or if you think the wrong thing about God or think the wrong thing about the Word, it's gonna produce, you know, bad behavior.
Look at this. He says, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord," this is Paul talking, "to testify the gospel," what gospel? "Of the grace of God". To testify the gospel, what gospel? Of the grace of God. So, here he defines "gospel" as the grace of God. What specific gospel is he referring to here? Of the grace of God, all right?
Now, let's go to Galatians chapter 1:6. Galatians chapter 1:6. Now, you'll see why it's used interchangeably. He says, "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel". So, here this verse refers to the grace of Christ as a gospel, but he says that "I'm surprised that you who have been called into the grace of Christ unto another gospel". Verse 7, and verse 7 says, "Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert," watch this, "the gospel of Christ".
See, the gospel of Christ and the grace of Christ are the same thing, so I submit to you that when I use "gospel" in this teaching, I'm talking about the grace of Christ. The gospel of Christ is the grace of Christ. The gospel of Christ is the grace of Christ. So, as I teach on righteousness and I refer to the gospel, I want you to think, "He's talking about the grace of Christ". Or if I make reference to the grace of Christ, I want you to understand, "He's talking about the gospel". That's how I want you to see this, that's what the Word says.
So, out of this gospel of grace, out of this gospel of Christ, you see that? Out of this gospel of grace, out of this gospel of Christ, watch this, you find the gift of righteousness. The gift of righteousness comes forth and is made available. It is made available. Grace releases the power of God into your life. This gift of righteousness is made available by Jesus Christ, by this unmerited favor. In other words, it is a gift. This righteousness has been made available not because you deserved it. This righteousness has been made available not because you earned it. This righteousness has been made available through the grace of Christ, this gospel of grace. Through this gospel of grace, out of this gospel of grace, the gift of righteousness comes forth and is now made available, so it's available.
I guess the next thing we need to look at is for who. It's available. You can't work for it. You can't earn it. It's available. You know, I called, one time, American Express, and I wanted to apply for the black card, and they immediately told me, "You can't apply". And I said, "What do you mean"? "This card, you can't sign up for it. You can't apply. You have to be chosen". And that was kinda interesting, but it's similar to the gift of righteousness. You don't earn it. You don't work for it. You don't deserve it. It's made available, and you get it by receiving it by faith. You get it by receiving it by faith.
All right, now, let's go deep into Scriptures. Romans 5:17, and then verse 19. Now watch what he says here. Romans 5:17 and 19. "For if by one man's offence death ruled or reigned by one; much more they which receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness," stop right there, notice what he said. Righteousness is a what? Gift. Righteousness is a what? Gift. "And of the gift of righteousness they shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ".
Now, notice what he said here, he said if you receive, they which receive, they which receive the gift of righteousness. He didn't say "they which earn". He said "they which receive the gift of righteousness," so this gift has to be received. If I give you a gift for Christmas, in order for you to have it and take possession of it, you have to receive it. They which receive the gift of righteousness, but notice, you receive the gift of righteousness because you had favor that was made available. You were favored. It's a favor. You have an abundance of grace. You have an abundance of favor. It's a favor, and out of this favor of grace you get a gift, and then with the gift, now, here's why I'm teaching on righteousness, with the gift of righteousness you reign in your life by one, Jesus Christ.
So, if you wanna reign over your debt, you wanna reign over your sickness, you wanna reign over fear, you wanna reign over those trouble that knocks on your door, you can't do it without receiving the gift of righteousness. There is something about the gift of righteousness that equips you to reign in life, and this righteousness that equips you to reign in life comes by Jesus Christ. This righteousness that equips you to reign over fear and reign in life comes by Jesus Christ. You know what the Scripture says here? You don't get the gift without Jesus. You don't get the gift without Jesus. You don't get the gift of righteousness because you work hard, and you're in the street feeding the poor every day, and you're doing all of your goody-goody things. I mean, I'll give you an applause, but the only way you can get the gift of righteousness to reign in life is you gotta get it by Jesus Christ. You gotta get it by Jesus Christ.
I am telling you, you cannot do this without Jesus Christ, because if you don't receive Jesus, you don't receive the gift of righteousness. If you don't receive Jesus, you don't receive the gift of righteousness, please hear me. Your righteousness, the righteousness by faith, comes only by receiving Jesus Christ. You don't receive Jesus Christ, you don't receive the gift of righteousness.
Now look at verse 19. Verse 19 says, "For as by one man's disobedience". Who was that one man disobedience that many were made sinners? People were made sinners because of what Adam did, that's the one guy. "One man's disobedience many were made sinners". You didn't become a sinner. You were born a sinner because of the disobedience of one man. You were born into sin, shaped into iniquity. So, you didn't become, you were made a sinner by one man's disobedience. One man's disobedience made you a sinner, so, likewise, he said, "So by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous," all right?
So, what he says here, if Adam's disobedience made you a sinner, then the obedience of Jesus made you righteous. But in any case, you didn't do nothing to become a sinner. You didn't do nothing to become righteous. See, you believe you didn't do nothing to become a sinner, but somehow churches have convinced you that you can do something to qualify to be made righteous. And let's look at the Scripture. One man's disobedience made you a sinner. One man's obedience made you righteous, so your righteousness is by one man, Jesus Christ. Glory to God, just like your sins, you being a sinner was by one man, Adam. You didn't do it, he did.
Please get this. Your righteousness is by one man, Jesus Christ. Now, you gotta believe that. And here's the contradiction. You're still trying to do stuff to earn righteousness. You're still trying to qualify for a gift. You're still trying to do something that you can only get by one man, Jesus Christ. Are you listening to me now? These Scriptures are clear. The gift of righteousness from grace, and I thank God for my notes, because if I don't have these notes then I'll preach for five hours. And praise God my notes is what's rescuing all of you from having to sit here and listen to a five-hour sermon, but praise God.
You know, the gift of righteousness is from grace. Grace is not righteousness. Grace is not power. Grace is not salvation. Grace produces or makes righteousness available. Grace produces or makes power available. Grace make salvation available, so here's the question I want you to think about, 'cause I know lots of people struggle with this when I teach on this and I don't know why, except you just got to get away from this self-righteousness and this self-effort, that you're doing what you need to do to qualify.
So, here's the question. Think about this question. What did you do to become a sinner? When the Bible says you were born into sin, what did you do? Did you sin when you was in your mama's womb? Did you kick her too hard while you was moving around? You didn't do anything. You were made righteous because of one man. What did you do to be righteous, huh? You didn't do anything to be righteous. It was not because of any action of your own, but it was because of Jesus. Your righteousness is not because of any action of your own. Your righteousness is because of Jesus.
Now go to 2 Corinthians chapter 5:21. 2 Corinthians chapter 5:21. Now, again, listen to this question. Why are we righteous in God's eyes? Lemme ask it again. Why are we righteous in God's eyes? Because we do right? No, you're not righteous in God's eyes because you do right. No, you're righteous in God's eyes because of Jesus Christ, period.
Look at 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 21. He says, "For he that made him to be sin for us". This is so amazing. Jesus was made sin because he'd never sinned. The Bible says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," who is righteous. So, he's trying to compare this thing of Jesus was made a sinner without sinning. Wow! Think of that. Jesus was made a sinner without sinning, so I've got to ask, how can you be a sinner without sinning? Think with me for a moment, because the question would be, you know, Jesus was made a sinner without sinning, and all of us who sin, we think we're sinners because we sinned. Boy, take that home, take that to prayer with you and thinking about it. Then he turns around and he says we were made righteous without doing right, huh!
We were made righteous without doing right. Just like Jesus was made a sinner without sinning, we were made righteous without doing right. Oh, man, that religion is getting on you right now, but this right here in the Scripture. Jesus was made a sinner, who knew no sin. Jesus was made a sinner without sinning. You were made righteous without doing right. Pshh, get it. Get it, man, get it, get it. You're gonna get it today, get it.
Lemme show you some Scriptures. Go to Romans 5 in the New Living Translation. Romans 5:1-2 in the New Living Translation. Let's search the Scripture and see what the Scripture said, and in a minute I'll deal with, you know, your whole sin-tragedy doctrine that you, you know, it's a lot we gotta talk about, but, anyway, let's look at verse 1. "Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith," we've been made righteous and right by faith, he says, "we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us".
So, we've been made right by faith. We have peace with God not because what we did, but because of what Jesus Christ has done. He says, "Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand". We are standing as a privileged child of God, with the gift of righteousness. We're standing in a place of undeserved privilege. We didn't even deserve it, but because of Jesus, he made us this way.
Well, what is righteousness anyway? Let me give you three perspectives, definitions of righteousness. And this is where we are, folks. So number one, the first definition you're most familiar with, it means right standing before God. I am standing right with God. Righteousness means right standing with God. The second definition, righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of our Father as if we never sinned.
How do you do that? When you know you've sinned, how do you stand in the presence of the Father with this whole ability, the fact that I've never sinned, I stand in the presence of the Father as if sin never existed? Because when I received my gift of righteousness, Jesus is not looking at anything else but he's looking at that righteousness. He sees me through that gift of righteousness. He sees me through Jesus. And I stand before God, I'm the righteousness of God as if sin doesn't exist. I'm standing before God like sin doesn't even exist. That's what righteousness means. Can you stand before God as if sin doesn't even exist? If you're standing before God like "O God, I'm not worthy," and "O God, I just feel such a shame," and "O God, I'm a nobody," or "O God, is what I did last night, I just can't bear to come before you. I'm ashamed".
See, you hadn't received the gift of righteousness 'cause when you receive the gift of righteousness, you stand as if sin doesn't even exist. That's powerful. Think about that. Now, if you can't stand before God as if sin doesn't exist, you have not received that gift of righteousness. And here's the third definition, the ability to stand in the presence of our Father without any sense of guilt, fear, shame or inferiority. You see, the fear, and the guilt, and the inferiority and the shame is there because of sin.
Inferiority is there because of sin. You fall short of the glory of God. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". Falling short of the glory of God is inferiority, and it's caused by, what? You all have sinned. And now you're conscious with that. But when you receive the gift of righteousness, you stand before God without a sense of guilt, without a sense of fear, without a sense of shame, without a sense of inferiority because by faith, you say, "I'm righteous".
Now, I'm telling you it may sound easy what I'm talking about, but man , when you have done something stupid but by faith you know that you're the righteousness of God, then you stand before God and say, "I will not stand before God in fear, I will not stand before God in guilt and shame, I will not stand before God in inferiority," that's when you know you are solid in this righteousness. You're solid in receiving this. And I know some of you screaming, 'bout pull your hair out, man, but that's what it means to receive this righteousness by faith. The day you receive this righteousness by faith, watch this, you will rule and reign over fear, and guilt and shame and inferiority. But you're trying to rule over fear, and guilt, and shame and inferiority, you know, without receiving the gift of righteousness.
That's why God gave you the gift of righteousness. It is your new identity. And if you'll believe that you're righteous, then you going to start doing right. But every day of your life you struggle with being righteous because of what you've done and how you behaved. And if how you behaved can get you to stop receiving and believing that you're righteous, then you don't know who you are. You don't know who you are. I am the righteousness of God and the day I believe it, and when I hold onto it, I'm going to start doing right because I believe I'm the righteousness of God. Amen.
Now if you think that was radical, look at Romans chapter 4, verses 1-8. I mean, for some Christians who've been in church all their life, to hear this teaching, it sounds scandalous. It sounds like, you know, you're ready to do a argument, you're ready to be through with me forever. "Bless God, I used to like Creflo Dollar but right now he can just, he can just go to hell all I care. Bless God. I ain't receiving that stuff. I don't believe none of it". And just, you know, you're just immature. You need to be weaned away from living your life under the law, weaned away from sin consciousness, weaned away from trying to be righteous based on your self-effort and works. And when you are weaned away from that, then you will understand what it means to stand as the righteousness of God. You'll understand what it means to live that life.
Now look at Romans chapter 4, verse 1. Now, follow me carefully. I'm just reading the Scripture right now and explaining it to you. He says, "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, has pertaining to the flesh," or a synonym here in this context is works, and it would prove itself out in verse 2. "What shall we say then that Abraham, our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found"? So in other words, what should we say that Abraham, our father, has accomplished through his own works? He says, "For if Abraham were justified," now that would justified means declared righteous. "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God". He said, now if he's righteous because of what he did to become righteous, he said well, "God doesn't get any glory from it". He doesn't get any glory from it because he got what he got through his works and not by believing in Jesus Christ.
And then look at verse 4, he says, now to Abraham, "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt". Now listen to me carefully now, if the blessing of God is a reward for good behavior, then we get the credit for earning it. If the blessing of God is the reward for good behavior, then we get the credit for earning it. But if the blessing is a gift, if the blessing is a gift, then Jesus gets the credit. If it's a reward, we get the credit. If it is a gift, Jesus gets the credit.
And for most of church people, most church people believe that the blessing is a reward for something that they are responsible for getting and they get the credit for that reward. They go around and tell you, "Well, the reason why I'm blessed is I did these five things. The reason why I'm blessed 'cause I did these 10 things". But if the blessing is a gift, then Jesus gets the credit. Wow, wow, think about that. I'm going to say that one more time now. Listen to me now. If the blessing of God is a reward for good behavior, then we get the credit for earning it. But if the blessing of God is a gift then Jesus gets the credit.
Well see, the Bible calls righteousness a gift so Jesus gets the credit, and we keep trying to earn it, work for it, deserve it, and then we get the credit. Boy, this is a serious thing. It's serious. And remember the objective is so you can rule and reign in life. So you can rule and reign over your trouble, over your sickness, over your poverty, over your shortage, over your lack, when you receive the gift of righteousness. But as long as you're immature babies where righteousness, unskillful in the word of righteousness, still thinking that it is something that you have to earn instead of a gift, you're still on milk and you won't reign in life. That's why I'm talking about this.
All right, now let's go a little deeper. He says in verse 5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly". "To him that worketh not, but he believes on Jesus," he's the one that justifies the ungodly, he said, "his faith is counted for righteousness". He said, "He is now righteous because he had faith in Jesus Christ. His faith is counted for righteousness". Verse 6, "Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, 'Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.'"
Now look at what he says here. This is so, so very important. The word impute, notice what he says, back up there, look what he talks about imputeth. He says, "The man is blessed to whom God imputeth righteousness". So God imputes righteousness without you having to work for it. What does it mean to impute? It literally means to charge a person with or to credit a person with. And so he says that, "You're blessed," David says he saw this, "You're blessed because God credited you with righteousness without you having to work for it, that God charged and put righteousness on you without you having to work for it, without you having to work, deserve it and earn it". He said he just made you righteousness and put it on you. Wow.
Now, look at the next verse. Verse 8, he said, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin". This is so awesome. The Lord imputes righteousness without works but he will not impute sin to the righteous. You know what he's saying? He's not going to hold sin against you, he's not going to charge sin against your account, he's not going to hold sin against you receiving the gift of righteousness. So he says, if you believe, and you believe in Jesus, you're going to receive the gift of righteousness.
And he says, "I'm not going to hold your sins against you". In other words, "I'm not going to come to you and say, well you can't be righteous because you did what you did last night. You can't be righteous 'cause what you did several years ago". No, no, no, no, no. He says, "I will not hold your sin against you. For those of you who believe in Jesus Christ, I will charge righteousness to your account and I will not charge sin to your account to hold your sin against you, so you won't receive your righteousness". Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. To impute, to charge a person with.
Now, why impute sin on a man who doesn't sin? Why impute sin upon a man that doesn't sin? We have a forever gift of non-imputation of faults or sins. This is a gift. It's another gift from God. Now that you're righteous, there is no more imputation of sin. We have a forever gift of no imputation of faults and no imputation of sins. God is not going to hold your faults against you to stop you from receiving, glory to God, your gift of righteousness and everything that comes with it. It's mind-boggling because in church you're so busy trying to learn how to earn everything. And we have a forever gift of non-imputation of faults and sins. God will not impute sin upon the righteous. We have a no imputation of sin policy.
So you cannot go to God and say, "Well God I'm sick 'cause of my sin," or "Oh, I'm broke because of my sin," or "O Lord, I'm no longer righteous because of my sin". He says, "Uh-uh. The day you made Jesus, Lord of your life, that's the day you received the gift of righteousness and that is also the day where I gave you another gift of no imputation of sin". He said, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not". That's a very interesting sentence because when he says this word "will not," it's a very interesting word because he says by no means. I mean this word means with no conditions, and no with conditions.
In other words, he says, "I will not, by no means, never will it happen". I will not, by no means, never will it happen. That's a strong when he says, "I will not impute sin". He says, "I won't do it with no conditions or with conditions. I will not no, never. I will not by any means, never will it happen, impute sin or faults and hold those things against you". That's strong. That's strong. This is strong. I know it is because you got to break that religious mentality.
Now look at another place where he uses this same phrase, I will not, is in Hebrews chapter 13:5. Turn there real quick. Hebrews 13:5, he says, "Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have, for he said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" It's the same word here. I will not, by any means, never will it happen. Never will I ever leave you nor forsake you. I will not, no way, no how, not by any means will I leave you nor forsake you. The same emphasis is on I will not impute sin upon your account. It won't happen.
"Well, Brother Dollar, sounds to me like you're just giving people a license to sin". People don't need a license to sin. They've been sinning without one. "Won't they go crazy though if you start teaching people this kind of stuff"? Listen, when you don't know the truth, that's why you will do crazy sinning. It's when you don't know the truth. If you believe the right things, then you can live the right way. Wrong believing is what causes wrong living. Right believing is what causes right believing. Right living. And people are doing wrong 'cause they believe in wrong. And people who live right are doing right because they believe in right. When you don't know the truth, then you will live in sin. When you don't know the truth, you will live in sin. That's what's been happening ladies and gentlemen.
Let me show you something, go to Romans 1:18-19. Let's go King James and then Message. Romans 1:18-19, Kings James and Message. You see, you see why I'm doing this series on righteousness because there are many layers, even in talking about this one subject of righteousness and that's why you don't need to miss a Sunday. What I didn't cover, some answer that you maybe, had in your head. Don't get frustrated, that's why I decided to do a series we can cover all this, all right. He says, verse 18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and ungodliness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them". It sounds to me like these guys already know something.
Look at the Message translation. Now listen to this very carefully, "But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust, and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth". Huh, that's the wrath of God. He says, people trying to cover up the truth. People trying to cover up the truth. "But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is. By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes," go back. "Able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into stillness and confusion, so that there was neither sense nor direction that was left in their lives. They pretended to know it all but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines that you can buy at any roadside stand".
Son, that is strong. That is strong. It's like on the inside of you, you already know what's right and what's wrong. On the inside of you, you know what's right and what's wrong. Let me keep going. We'll deal with that in a little bit more detail later on. You knew what was right, you knew what was wrong by intuition. By intuitive knowledge you knew what was right and you knew what was wrong. All right, now, the reason why God won't impute your sins on you... why won't God impute sins on you? Why didn't he decide, "I will not nor will I ever impute sins on you"? Here's why, because he's already charged your sins on the body of Jesus Christ. He's already charged your sins on the body of Jesus Christ. So why impute sin on someone where the sin has already been taken care of? Somebody's got to pay for the sin or God wouldn't be just.
So what he did was he took all of your sins, he charged it to the body of Jesus so you wouldn't be charged. Wow. He charged all of my sins and your sins on the body of Jesus so you would not be charged. That's powerful. That's why he won't impute sin. Is that to say that God won't judge your sins? No. For God not to judge your sins would make him unjust. He has judged every sin on the body of Jesus. Every sin that you have ever committed or will ever commit, God has already judged it on the body of Jesus Christ.
Wow, wow. And you mad at Jesus, and you don't want to have nothing to do Jesus. And you want to excuse Jesus out of the equation. And every one of our sins, God has already judged on the body of Jesus and says, "Since I judged all of your sins on the body of Jesus, I'm turning off the sin meter on your life and I will not charge any sin or hold any sin against you because Jesus, Jesus took everything". He took everything. He took it all. And that's why love him. That's why I will not do without him. That's why I would defend the gospel, that why I will preach the Word because Jesus. Wow, wow, that's a powerful thing.