“The Message of Justification: Delivered and Resurrected for Us”
July 23, 2017
In Geneva, Switzerland, there is a park near the church where John Calvin preached and conducted his ministry. In that park there is a memorial wall containing the statues of 10 of the leading men of the 16th Century Reformation. The center group of statues are of William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. And written in large letters to the left and right of these center statues are the words, Post Tenebras Lux, “After darkness, light.”
Those words are a fitting explanation of the essence of the Reformation and the work of the Reformers: after the theological darkness of some thousand years, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ shone again. And what specifically shone, was the message of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This is a message for the ages — not just for the Reformation, but for all people in every place in all of recorded history. As Paul has been demonstrating in Romans 3-4, justification through faith alone has always been God’s way of bringing men to salvation. And what Paul will demonstrate in the closing portion of this section on salvation is that justification through faith was true in Abraham’s life, it was true in Paul’s day, and it is true in our day as well.
What does Paul say in these verses? He teaches that:
Justification by faith alone has been and always will be the only way to be right with God.
Justification is unchanged and unchanging. What produced justification in the life of Abraham is the same thing that produces justification in us today. This is the gospel message and it is the gospel message in six words; notice how Paul demonstrates the process and provision of justification in these verses:
- Grace — the Provision of Justification (vv. 23-24a)
- Faith — the Means of Justification (v. 24b)
- God — the Object of Justification by Faith (v. 24c)
- Christ — the Redeemer for Justification (v. 24d)
- Man — the Reason for Justification (v. 25a)
- Hope — the Validation of Justification (v. 25b)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 4:23-25.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later this afternoon.