Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bethany Bullet - October 29, 2013

Last week’s Bethany Bullet gave us a glimpse to a trial from years gone by, Martin Luther before Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. This week’s epistle reading from Romans 3 foreshadows a courtroom scene yet to come:  yours and mine.  For we all must stand before the judgment seat of God.  (Romans 14)

We too will one day stand before judge and jury reduced to one – the Lord Himself!  It is one thing to stand before all the powers of earth assembled (church and state together); it is quite a different thing to stand before THE POWER of the universe and heaven itself!  It is one thing to be threatened with excommunication from the Church of Rome and something else to be threatened with banishment from the presence of God. 

The law is clear: God requires holiness (in all it wholeness) from all of us.  One impure thought, one unkind word, one utterly selfish act and we have transgressed.  One impure thought, one unkind word, one utterly selfish act – that’s just before breakfast, right?  We are guilty as charged.  How can we escape judgment and deserved condemnation?

Though we have broken the law of God, lied about it, lived first and foremost for ourselves, and deserve nothing but punishment and death; a legal declaration based on God’s action changes everything.  “We receive God’s approval freely by an act of His kindness through the price Christ Jesus paid to set us free…this shows that He is a God of justice, a God who justifies people who believe in Jesus.” - Romans 3:24 & 26

In the courtroom of God, according to this brief (read in Romans), we learn that the guilty go free by God’s grace and God’s grace alone. Justification is a forensic word; that is a word from the courtroom! Justification is a legal declaration that the accused has been acquitted, freed, and is seen as innocent in the eyes of the offended/judge.

For the sake of Christ, His payment (perfect life, innocent suffering and death) we have been set free.  This is the soul of the Solas!  When Luther read these words from Romans he said, “It was as if the gates of heaven flung open wide.”  These words assure us that the prison doors, of sin and death, have been burst open and the gates of heaven flung open for us on account of Christ Alone (Sola Christus) the SOUL of the Solas
-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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