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Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 29 – The essence of God – Righteousness. Rom 3:21-26.

JOHN-16-130201
length: 64:52 - taught on Feb, 1 2013
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Title: Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 29 - The essence of God - Righteousness. ROM 3:21-26.

 

 

The righteousness of God is available to anyone who believes in Christ, ROM 3:22.

 

ROM 3:21But now [dispensation of grace] apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

 

ROM 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

 

The two witnesses point to one in the courtroom who is the only holy and clean One there and the rest of us either fear and tremble, or we rise and live in peace.

 

We all are unclean and we will shake and quake at the presence of God where His righteousness is revealed as did Moses and the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai, or we will rise and live in peace as Mary Magdalene did in the cemetery when she recognized the risen Lord. The difference is do we meet the standard or not.

 

HEB 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,

 

HEB 12:19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.

 

HEB 12:20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned."

 

HEB 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."

 

That is a perfect picture of the unrighteous or the reversionist in the presence of perfect righteousness, however, this picture isn’t for us.

 

HEB 12:22 But you [bel] have come to Mount Zion [fortress - victory] and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

 

HEB 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,

 

HEB 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel [the first blood sacrifice].

 

How is it that I could shake in fear at the sight of God’s glory over a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula and be completely at ease in the New Jerusalem, in the presence of millions of angels, before God Himself, the Judge, and to the resurrected Jesus? How is it that the high priest of Israel would on the Day of Atonement walk into the Holy of Holies with fear and dread (for if he made one wrong move he was dead) and I can walk past a torn veil with great comfort and confidence? The answer is in the word righteousness.

 

ROM 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

 

Most all of the commentaries will tell you that the phrase “no distinction” means no distinction amongst people, that all are guilty, and that whosoever may believe, Jew, Gentile, male, female, slave or free, and that is certainly correct, but there is a deeper meaning here to which Donald Barnhouse alludes.

 

“there is no distinction (difference)” = the same righteousness causes trembling and fear in one person and peace and life in another due to the work of Christ.

 

Again, our analogy of the sun is perfect here, for it hardens the clay and melts the wax; the righteousness doesn’t change, but it’s what it shines upon that makes the difference.

 

The hyssop has a small root but it is founded upon the rock and the rock doesn’t tremble and nor should the believer in Christ.

 

Righteousness required from the Law without the knowledge of and faith in the cross will cause great fear.

 

Bishop Moule has expressed it: “The law has driven in upon the soul of man, from many sides, that one fact—guilt; the eternity of the claim of righteousness, the absoluteness of the holy will of God, and, in contrast, the failure of man, of the race, to meet that claim and do that will. It has told man, in effect, that he is ‘depraved’ (twisted, wrenched from the straight line), that is to say, morally distorted. He is ‘totally depraved,’ that is, the distortion has affected his whole being, so that he can supply on his own part no adequate recovering power which shall restore him to harmony with God. Andthe law has nothing more to say to him, except that this condition is not only deplorable, but guilty, accountable, condemnable; and that his own conscience is the concurrent witness that it is so. Man is sinner. To be a sinner is before all things to be a transgressor of the law. It is other things besides. It is to be morally diseased, and in need of surgery and medicine. It is to be morally unhappy, an object of compassion. But first of all it is to be morally guilty, and in urgent need of justification, of a reversal of sentence, of satisfactory settlement with the offended—and eternal—law of God.”

 

Barnhouse puts it beautifully in his commentary on Romans:

“The law has announced the just sentence of death and having spoken lands silent before the sinner who is now silenced forever. The law has no warrant to do anything for the sinner. The law cannot relieve his fears. The law cannot allay his grief. The law can­not pay his debts. The law has its horrible business to attend to. The law can do nothing but thunder: “Thou shalt not sin,” and, “The wages of sin is death.” The law lays hold on conscience which had become unconscious and rouses it to attention. And then the law speaks into the quivering ear of conscience far more than it had ever realized before of the horror and doom of sin. When this has happened the conscience within us, like a sentinel aroused the approach of the enemy, or like a lone watcher aroused by the outbreak of fire, goes crying along the corridors of our whole being that we are in mortal danger. Conscience must beat on every door within our hearts. Conscience must cry out until its voice penetrates the stupor of our sin-drugged sleep. Con­science must take hold of us and shake us from our lethargy. Conscience must dash us with the icy waters of reality that we may arise and flee from the doom of our own condition.”

 

ROM 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

 

One of the greatest glories of Christianity is the universality of the gospel call. It is not like a religion that says that God will take anyone into Heaven without any consideration of His own righteousness. We are not offering a cheap universalism that would make Heaven a dirty place filled with dirty people, unchanged. We are offering a rich, full gospel of the righteousness of God unto all. It isa righteousness which comes to men wherever they are, but does not leave them as they are. It is a righteousness which does not disregard the righteous demands of the Father’s holy nature, but it is a righteousness that offers itself to all men so that they may leave the unrighteousness which is theirs bynature in order to enter into the righteousness which is provided for them in the Savior.

 

2 Cor 5:21

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

We must not be led aside from the truth that is expressed both in our text in Romans and that in Corinthians, by the presence of our old Adamic nature. There is always the tendency to look upon spiritual things through the eyes of the flesh. It is hard to understand what we really are in our position in Christ because of what we see in our condition in ourselves.

 

A story will best illustrate this truth. It concerns a young scion of a noble house of England. The story goes that the younger son in a certain family of the ruling classes disgraced his name and family by outrageous conduct. The family told himthat if he would leave the country, he would receive a check each quarter that would permit him to live in some comfort, but that he would be refused all income if he re­mained in England. He immigrated to Canada and received his check every three months and immediately spent it within a few days, living the rest of the time the precarious existence of a semi- bum. He drifted down into the United States, making arrange­ments for the Canadian bank to send him his money at a certain time and place. In the meantime his father died suddenly and his older brother was killed in an automobile accident, all within a matter of hours. He thus, by British law, was the heir of the title and estates. That was his position. But he had dropped from sight in the United States and could not be traced. His wife left England and arrived in New York and undertook the search for her husband. He had just drawn a remittance and supposedly would not be heard from for another three months. The best detectives were employed to locate him and within a few days he was traced to a small town not far from Chicago where he was eking out a precarious existence, employed as an elevator operator in a cheap hotel at a few dollars a week. His position was that of a noble earl of England with access to the House of Lords. His condition was that of an underpaid starving in a run­down hotel in a Midwestern town. His wife flew to meet him and took him back to New York. It was then that the newspapers discovered the story and printed the details. The man was in New York, and was now in the process of acquiring a new ward­robe, and awaiting his passage on the steamship that was to take him back to his ancestral castle, his estates, and his new life.

 

The wise Christian will learn the great lesson that he is in Christ, and that for his own peace and joy, and for his own strength and walk he must never consider himself for even an instant apart from his oneness with Christ.

 

If we look at ourselves, in ourselves and apart from Christ, we are seeing ourselves in the place of defeat and death. If we look at ourselves as God sees us in Christ, we are faced with the stunning truth that we are seen to be perfect in Christ, joined to Him, and are one with Him and in Him forever. We who have no intrinsic righteousness are seen to be what we are not of ourselves nor ever could be: we are righteous in Christ.

 

The life of righteousness that may result from this stupendous truth must also rest upon grace and so the life of experiential righteousness that brings glory to God is the result of faith based choices for the things freely given to us by God.

 

The believer living in experiential righteousness wears the invisible, seamless, inner garment of our Lord. His righteousness is not recognized by the people of the cosmos, but it surely is seen by those who have been trained to see it. This is very important; that you know not to attempt righteous living to be seen by men, but we will leave that to our study of the essence of man.

 

ROM 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

“fall short” - u`stere,w[hustereo] = to fall behind, to come up short, to be bankrupt.

 

“All” have sinned and are bankrupt before God’s glory.

 

“glory of God” - all the attributes of God that comprise His essence and to which no man may approach without the mediation of Christ.

 

ROM 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption [slave purchase] which is in Christ Jesus;

 

Justified - the measuring stick is divine justice (ISA 28:17). If a creature is declared +R by imputation then he is also pronounced justified forever.

 

The redemption of the unrighteous so that they may be righteous is illustrated best by the typology of Hosea: HOS 1:2; 3:1-3.

 

HOS 1:2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord."

 

HOS 1:3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

 

HOS 3:1 Then the Lord said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

 

The harlot, Gomer, that Hosea married by direction of the Lord, has left him and is committing adultery with another man, and what Hosea is going to do, again as directed by the Lord, is to now buy her or redeem her as his slave so that she belongs to him as his property or chattel

 

HOS 3:2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley.

 

HOS 3:3 Then I said to her, "You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you."

 

She is a harlot who disrespected, dishonoured, and disgraced her husband by leaving him and bedding with another man, and the husband responds by purchasing her so that she will be his own in property as well as matrimony. This is a depiction of the love at the cross. Greater love has no man than this.

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