Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
We are reading Romans Chapter 1 and we come to verses 16,17 .
God wants to share His righteousness - and give us His righteousness - through Jesus. He is willing to put us in the right by clothing us with the righteousness of Christ - His righteousness - not ours. And when we grasp this, we have grasped the significant core of the Gospel.
I have given you My righteousness through My Son Jesus. This is what justified means – it is 'just if I'd' never sinned. Justified can sound a big word to some people – but can be understood simply – normally after having the experience. To justify an action is to declare it right - to justify expenditure is to say that it was right to spend that sum of money. God justifies the sinner by washing Him in the Blood that Jesus Christ shed on the Cross and clothing Him in the righteousness of Christ.
The British and Foreign Bible Society - when translating Justification into Neoclamesian from pidgin English - came out with - "GOD EE SAY I'M ALL RIGHT". God is right, and He says I am all right - and this all flows from the Cross of Jesus Christ. At the Cross He is right - and right in putting sinners in the right who come to believe. The righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel at the Cross of Christ.
God is in the right - justifying the sinner - by punishing a righteous man for the sins of the unrighteous. On the Cross, Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness.
2Corinthians 5 verse 21 - God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Now - that is glorious and wonderful! Nothing else in the world comes close to this. It couldn't.
The righteousness of God can only be seen through faith. You need faith to see this.
From faith to faith - it is faith only and faith always - faith today and faith tomorrow.
As we go on living, we see the rightness and the righteousness of God. Paul turns to the Word of God and quotes Habakkuk Chapter 2verse 4 - Paul is a Bible preacher - but to quote the Bible is never enough.
Habakkuk was writing to Israel - facing the coming Babylonian invasion. They were cruel people - terrible people - "God, You won't let the righteous die - will You?" And the answer came - he who through faith is righteous shall live!
The just or those justified by faith and through faith in Jesus Christ shall live. Those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ are Just and Righteous and they shall live.
You will be saved - by believing and having faith - and it is from this one verse that the Reformation was launched.
Faith describes character - it is more than just what we believe - but faithfulness is the word we need in the English. We believe what the Word of God declares, and the response is faithfulness - which involves and includes commitment.
You cannot be a believer without being personally committed.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ - mercy - love - forgiveness -deliverance - healing - power - faith - salvation - eternal life - no wonder Paul can say - I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
This is a day of rights - we have a right to be unashamed of the Gospel - our right to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ unabashed.
It is possible to be ashamed in an emotional way - when everything is being undermined - when people move away from what has been readily accepted.
Some may regard us as dull, tedious and respectable - in a day when these are not prominent values.
It is possible to be ashamed in an intellectual dimension - people have so many beliefs. You can belief anything. The credibility gap increases. Remember, Rome was intellectually sophisticated - and had wealth and art and learning - and along comes a man with the Cross, and the Resurrection from the dead - the Cross? - that symbol of Roman degradation.
What about the possibility of being ashamed morally - where the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God challenges the present moral climate at its roots?
Romans 8 verse 37 - We are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.
“Loving Father – our gracious God – we are living at a time when much of what You have said in Your Holy Word is being challenged – and even laughed at, mocked and ridiculed – becoming material for humour. Strengthen us. Help us to know why we believe what we believe – help us to be clear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the cost – the shed blood that cleanses us from sin – the loving concern that made You send Jesus into our world. Help us to understand Your Holy Word – we pray in Jesus Name. Amen.”
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Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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