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2021 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - And Now For The Gospel - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - And Now For The Gospel - Part 2


Robert Jeffress - And Now For The Gospel - Part 2
Robert Jeffress - And Now For The Gospel - Part 2
TOPICS: Grace-Powered Living, Righteousness, Salvation

Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress and welcome again to Pathway to Victory. In the 16th century, Martin Luther started a revolution that forever changed the way we view the Gospel. He showed us with scripture as his foundation that nothing we can do earns favor with God. Yet well-intentioned people still wrestle with wanting to be good enough to deserve God's forgiveness. Well, today I'm going to show you why no good work can ever stand up to God's demand for righteousness. My message is titled, "And Now For The Gospel" on today's edition of Pathway to Victory.

I imagine every preacher has this experience of preaching things you wish you could take back. Perhaps you've heard this before, I've preached it before, trying to explain justification. I've heard people say and I've said it myself, justification, the way to understand it is this. Justification means God looks at us just as if I had never sinned. Have you ever heard that before? Justification, just as if I have never sinned. In other words, God is pretending something to be true that really isn't true. He looks at me as if I never sinned. No, no. A holy God can't do that, he can't make something up to be true that's not true. The reason God declares me not guilty is because I am not guilty if I have trusted in Christ as Savior, isn't that great? He's not pretending that something is true that isn't true. God says when you trust in the righteousness of Christ, God slams that gavel down in heaven and declares you not guilty. That's what God has done for us through Christ.

Now, how do these three words work together? I came across this diagram in Dr. Boice's work on the book of Romans and it really summarizes what Christ work means to us. Look at this chart here. What did Jesus' death accomplish for me? Notice how first of all, the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Christian, Jesus Christ has redeemed us by his blood. But when he redeemed us, notice what that did between Jesus' relationship and God the Father. Jesus' redemption of us resulted in Jesus' propitiation to God the Father, he satisfied the demands of God the Father. And what's the demands of God the Father were satisfied? Look at what God has done for us. He has justified us, he has declared us not guilty. What is Paul saying in this chapter? He's saying, first of all, God's righteousness is offered as a gift. Secondly, it is based on Christ work.

Number three, and this is so key, God's righteousness is received through faith. It is received through faith. Now, look at verse 26. For the demonstration, I say, of his righteousness at the present time, that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. What does it mean to have saving faith? If faith is the way I receive God's forgiveness, what does that mean? Now, I want you to listen to me as carefully as you've listened to me this whole morning. If you haven't listened, start listening. Because what I'm about to explain to you in the next five minutes will determine whether you'll spend eternity in heaven or hell. That's how crucial it is. What do we mean when we say, "Faith is the means by which I'm saved"? Write this down. Faith is not the basis of my salvation, it is the channel through which I receive salvation. Let me say it again. Faith is not the basis of my salvation, it is the channel through which I receive salvation.

Now, the English translation sometimes takes that word, Greek word and translates it by, by, by. That's not the correct interpretation, it is through. Throughout the scripture, you have this formula for salvation. We are saved by grace that is received through faith. Faith is not the basis of my salvation, it is the channel through which I receive salvation. Let me illustrate that for you if I can. In your house, behind your television set is probably a cable somewhat like this. This cable is not the basis for which a television program is shown, it is simply the channel through which a television program is received. For me to see a television program, it means first of all one end has to be connected to a transmitter, a cable box and the other end of it has to be plugged into a receiver, a television set. This cable doesn't produce anything, it is simply a channel through which I see what is produced.

Now, saving faith is the same way. You know what, it don't matter how long this cable is, you're not going to get a television program out of it. And it doesn't matter how much faith you have, faith alone saves no one. Instead, faith is the channel through which I receive God's salvation. On one end, it has to be attached to God. On the other hand, it has to be plugged in my own heart and it is only when I have saving faith in Christ that Christ's salvation is poured into my life. Isn't that what Ephesians 2:8-9 says? For by faith you have been saved. That's not what it says. Ephesians 2:8 says, for by grace you have been saved through faith. Grace through faith is the way I'm saved and that's why Paul is saying in this passage, God's gift of righteousness is received through faith.

Now, what does it mean to have saving faith? Write these two things down on your outline. First of all, saving faith demands truth. Saving faith demands truth. Just as that cable is only as effective as the object to which it's attached, the transmitter box so my faith is only as good as the object to which it's attached. It's the object of faith that counts and in this case is Christ's redemptive work. Faith demands truth, it demands truth but secondly, saving faith demands trust. It demands trust. For example, I talked several weeks ago about the parachutist who accidentally strapped on a bag of concrete instead of having a chute that was filled with a parachute, but let's just suppose our parachutist was up in the plane and he actually straps on the right knapsack, there is a parachute in there. So, he's standing on the edge of the open door getting ready to make his leap, now, is that parachute saving him at that point? No, no. Even as he dangles one foot out the side of the plane, is that parachute saving him? No, it is only when he takes that final plunge out of the airplane door, he cast himself completely into the air and pulls that ripcord, only then does the parachute actually save him.

Now, don't miss this truth, you can believe intellectually all you want to that Jesus Christ is your Savior but he doesn't save you until you throw yourself completely upon him and say, "God, I know I can't save myself, I believe that only Jesus is capable of saving me and when I stand before you one day, I'm trusting in his righteousness alone so that I might be faultless before the throne". It is only at that point when you're completely throwing yourself on Christ work for you that you're saved, it's not having one foot out and one foot in, it's not saying, "Okay, I believe that Christ died for me but I'm also interested in my good works, my church membership, my baptism, my family heritage". No. It's only when you trust completely, solely on the finished work of Christ. What is Paul saying to us about the reality of God's righteousness? First of all, it's offered as a gift, secondly, it's based on Christ work and thirdly, it is received through faith.

Now, what's the result of that truth? What's the result of God's gift? Look at what Paul says beginning in verse 27, first of all, the fact that salvation is not a reward but a gift demands humility. Look at verse 27. Where then is boasting? It's excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. Can you imagine how miserable heaven would be if we all worked to get there? If heaven were as a result of works, all we would do is brag to one another about what we did to get there. We'd stop each other on the golden streets and say, "Hey, how did you get here"? And before the other person answered you said, "Well, let me tell you what I did to get here". It'd be one long, eternal bragimony. But it's not going to be that way in heaven because nobody has anything to brag about. There is no boasting and you know what? There are going to be some people you're going to be surprised to see in heaven. That how in the world did he make it there?

And there are even some people who will be more surprised to see you there. The fact that you made it there is simply and solely by God's grace. The fact that salvation is not a reward but a gift it demands humility. Secondly, it democratizes salvation. That's what he says in verses 29 to 30. Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not God of the gentiles also? Yes, of gentiles also since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. What Paul was saying is the fact that salvation is a gift means anybody can receive it. Everybody is welcomed into heaven.

When I lived in Wichita Falls, I got to be friends with the late Dr. Frank Pollard, the famed pastor of the First Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. He would come by my office whenever he would come to the town to visit his brother. And I'll never forget a story Dr. Pollard told me one day. It was about his first sermon at that famed church, the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi. He had just been called as pastor, he was so excited, he was preaching his first sermon and at the end of the sermon he gave his invitation and he said, "I want you to know anyone and everyone is welcome to come to Christ and join the First Baptist Church of Jackson".

Well, on that Monday morning, there was an emergency meeting called of all of the past deacon chairman of the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi. They had an emergency meeting and they called their new pastor in, Dr. Pollard. And they explained to him in no uncertain terms why everyone was not welcomed in the First Baptist Church there. They explained how people of a certain skin color certainly weren't welcome there. Or people from a different economic background weren't welcome there. And as they continued and continued to bully and threaten the new pastor, Dr. Pollard who was one of the most humble men you would ever meet, he said he sat there listening, praying that God would give him the wisdom and grace to know exactly how to respond.

And when they had finished their haranguing, this is what Dr. Pollard said. He said, "Gentlemen, I grew up in a three-room shack. I was the eighth child born into my family. The next youngest brother was 12 years older than I was. I'm sure I was inconvenient to my brothers, I was smelly, I didn't have the courtesy not to wake them in the middle of the night crying, I couldn't speak their language and I imagine at some point they could have gone to my father and said, 'we don't want him here any longer. He smells, he's inconvenient, he's causing us problems, get rid of him. We don't want him'. And had my brothers done that, my father would have held up his hand and said, 'forget it. Stop it. He's my son and this is my house, he stays'".

And then Dr. Pollard looked at those deacons and said, "Gentlemen, I don't think we have the right to say who is and who is not welcome in our father's house". And that's true of the First Baptist Church of Dallas as well. It doesn't matter who you are: black, white, brown, it doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, young or old, democrat or republican, Jew or gentile, anyone and everyone is welcome to come to Christ. The Bible says the fact that salvation has been offered as a gift democratizes salvation, it's for everyone. And finally he says, it demonstrates God's justice. The fact that salvation is not a reward actually is a demonstration of God's justice. Look at verse 31. Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be. On the contrary, we establish the law.

Some people were perverting this doctrine of grace and saying, "Well, grace must mean that God's law is unimportant. If God forgives the unrighteous of their sin, maybe God doesn't care about his law". No, just the opposite. The fact that God saves us by grace shows how important the law is. Let me illustrate that for you. Let's just say God said, "Okay, salvation is going to be a reward based on how well you keep the law. And since no person can keep the law 100%, I'm going to grade on the curve. If you keep 70% of my law, you're welcomed into heaven". Does that demonstrate God's justice? No. If God said, "I'll let you into heaven if you keep 70% of the law," that means 30% of God's law would be unimportant. But the fact that God doesn't allow us to work our way into heaven, the fact that God demands that we keep 100% of the law to be saved or we're destined to hell, that demonstrates the justice, the holiness of God.

The fact that salvation is not a reward but a gift demands humility. Not only does it demand humility, it democratizes salvation and it demonstrates the justice of God. There was an 18th century poet, a gifted poet named William Cowper who suffered a terrible childhood. When he was six years old, his mother died and he was bundled up and sent to a boarding school where he was bullied by other boys and abused and by the time he was a young man, 25-years-old, he had a nervous breakdown. And in 1756, William Cowper was sent to an asylum.

Now, if you were living in the 1700s, an asylum, a mental asylum was the worst place and the last place you would want to be sent. But doctors there didn't know what to do, they were treated like inmates in a prison. And in the middle of the night, William Cowper, this young 25-year-old man would shout out, he could be heard by other patients shouting out, "My sin, my sin, what can I do about my sin? If only there were a fountain to cleanse me of my sin". But he knew of no such fountain until a Christian doctor there, Dr. Cotton introduced him to faith in Jesus Christ. William Cowper wrote about that experience of coming to Christ, listen to his testimony. He said, "The happy period which was to shake off my fetters and afford me a clear opening of the free mercy of God in Christ had now arrived. I flung myself into a chair near the window and seeing a Bible there ventured once more to apply to it for comfort and instruction. The first verses I saw were in the Romans 3".

The passage we just read. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God had set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood to manifest his righteousness. Immediately I received strength to believe and the full beams of the sun of righteousness shone on me. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement he had made, my pardon in his blood and the fullness and completeness of his justification. In a moment, I believed and I received the Gospel".

Years later, William Cowper used that experience to write those beloved words: "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stain, the dying thief rejoice to see that fountain in his day and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away". God's righteousness is not a reward but a gift to those who trust in the redemptive work of Christ. Have you?
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