170625 Romans 4:25

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 June 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Romans 4:25

Theme: Not Guilty!

Last week, Pastor Larry Schlomer started our "Summer in Rome" sermon series by reminding us that you and I enjoy a right relationship with the one true God. It is not because of anything that you or I have done. It is only because of our Savior-God's grace to us. Today, as we continue our "Summer in Rome", our tour through the Apostle Paul's inspired letter to the Christian in Rome takes us right into God's court room. At this time, I would like us to focus on one verse from Romans chapter 4. It is in verse 25 that we read this Good News:

He (Jesus) was handed over to death because of our trespasses and was raised to life because of our justification.

The Evangelical Heritage Version™ (EHVTM) of the Bible is held by The Wartburg Project. © 2016. All rights reserved worldwide.

The story is told about a crew of a certain ship, which found itself in a helpless situation. The ship had run aground on a sandbar during a terrible lightning storm. A bolt of lightning hit the ship and suddenly a fire broke. Very quickly the fire spread to the area of the ship where explosives were stored and the whole ship blew up in flames. Those who survived the fire and explosion jumped into the sea to escape the flames-only to be attacked by the many sharks in the water. Those who did manage to make it safely to land were killed by the lions which lived in that area. Certainly, we would call this a helpless situation. Despite all their efforts to escape, the sailors on this boat were never safe.

It is the same with you and me. Despite all our efforts to obey God's Commandments, we find ourselves in helpless situations. We may fight off the temptation to commit a particular sin, only to find the devil waiting for us around the next corner, waiting to tempt us again with another sin. For example, perhaps this morning the devil tried to tempt you into staying away from God's house. Well, you fought off that temptation, only to find yourself not paying any attention to the Word that God wants to share with you this morning. On a recent date, perhaps you fought off the temptation to take things a "little too far," only to find yourself facing that same temptation on the very next date.

Satan never gives up on you and me. He loves to see you and me sin, and break the commands of our God. And each one of us here today will confess that we are guilty of many trespasses; of crossing the line that the Lord God has established in his 10 Commandments far too often. All of us have thought at one time or another: "I am really going to try this time!" – only to fail time after time. God's Law makes it clear to us that you and I are completely helpless to save ourselves, or earning God's favor. If we rely only on ourselves, there will only be one outcome – death! What your sin and mine deserve is not only physical death but spiritual, eternal death in hell forever.

But, the Good News for you and me to hear from God's Word before us is that Jesus "was handed over to death because of our trespasses..." Jesus, your Savior and mine, as our Substitute, willing allowed himself to be handed over to his enemies. As Jesus hung on the cross, your sins and mine were placed upon him. Because Jesus took on your sin and mine, he was made guilty for our sins. He willingly died the death you and I deserve to die. Dying in our place, Jesus offered up his body and shed his blood as the full payment price for your sins and mine.

And the Good News of the Gospel continues as we read that Jesus "was raised to life because of our justification." The resurrection of our living Savior on Easter Sunday is the guarantee that you and I are justified before our God. Because Jesus lives, you and I have the peace and comfort that his death paid the full price for all of your sins and mine. Because Jesus lives, you and I are sure of our forgiveness. Because Jesus lives, you and I are sure that we enjoy a right relationship with our Father in heaven, and will live at his side forever in paradise. Or, as Dr. Martin Luther writes about this verse from Romans chapter 4: "The death of Christ is the death of sin, and His resurrection is the life of righteousness, because through His death He has made satisfaction for sin, and through His resurrection He has brought us righteousness."

Do you know someone who has been crushed by the Law of God and is feeling extreme guilt over their sins? Do you yourself ever have the thought: "How could God ever forgive me for what I have done?!" If so, then I urge you to go back to God's Word. As you do, step into the court room of God and hear this wonderful Good News about Jesus your Savior: "He was handed over to death because of our trespasses and was raised to life because of our justification." Because of Jesus, your one and only Savior, you are declared NOT GUILTY! Amen.

 

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