Just and the Justifier

Reformation Sunday

St. Peter Lutheran Church

Romans 3:19-28

October 30, 2011

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

God is just and  the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus.


  1.  God is just.
    1. Justice: Giving to each according to their merits.  Hatred of wickedness, love of the good.
    2. Why it’s good that God is just: God will not allow evil to harm the world forever.  He will avenge and save the righteous.
    3. What God’s justice means for us: condemnation.
  2.  Indulgences
    1. Oct. 31, 1517—The Reformation began with an argument about how the unrighteous could escape punishment.
    2. What indulgences are, according to RC church today.
    3. How they were abused and made even worse in Luther’s day.
    4. Luther’s critique in the 95 theses

                                                               i.      There is no cheap grace.

                                                             ii.      Salvation comes to the repentant.

                                                            iii.      Repentant sinners cannot shun the cross.

                   5.  The evil of indulgences for Luther in 1517

                                                               i.      They fleeced people.

                                                             ii.      They failed to tell people the truth of God’s law.

                                                            iii.      Those responsible were leading Christ’s flock to damnation.

3.   Antichrist

  1. Replaces Jesus Christ and His Word, leads Christ’s sheep to damnation.
  2. How the pope reacted to the 95 theses: insisted on his right to free people from temporal punishment–a prerogative of God alone–and condemned to hell all who denied that he had this right.
  3. Later Luther: the papacy is the antichrist!

4.The spirit of antichrist at work in Protestantism and in the Lutheran church

  1. Denominations grant indulgence from God’s word.
  2. Pastors grant people indulgences of cheap grace.

                                i.  We know you won’t tolerate too much of God’s Word, so we’ll try to entertain and attract you

                               ii.  We won’t rebuke widely accepted immorality and we will not call you to repentance when God’s Word

                                     and his call to a holy life slips to third, fourth, or 10th place on your schedule and budget.

      3.  We grant ourselves indulgences:

                                                               i.      Times have changed.

                                                             ii.      I sin, you sin, so we won’t call anyone on it.

                                                            iii.      Being a Lutheran has come to mean the freedom to obey no one, to despise authority, to be impious, to despise God’s Word, to not pray—to sin.

        4.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

                                                               i.      What it means to come short of the glory of God.

                                                             ii.      No difference means all law breakers are equally damned

                                                            iii.      Preachers and tithe givers and hypocrites and murderers.

                                                           iv.      That every mouth be stopped and the whole world become guilty before God.

                                                             v.      No indulgences: justice.

5.   A “without the law” righteousness is revealed.

  1. The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. A righteousness without the law.
  3. Revealed in the days of the apostles.
  4. Revealed again by God in His work of reformation, in the wound he dealt the antichrist
  5. The everlasting Gospel preached by Luther.

                                                               i.      Just as the law doesn’t change with the times,

                                                             ii.      So the Gospel has been the same since the beginning.

                                                            iii.      Christ came to suffer for us.

       6.   Jesus the “mercy seat”

                                                               i.      Priest and sacrifice

                                                             ii.      The “covering”

                                                            iii.      God met humans there without wrath.

6.   Just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

  1. God must punish sin to be just.
  2. God let sins in the past go unpunished—was He just?
  3. He punished Jesus
  4. The one who believes this is reckoned righteous
  5. God is not unjust in reckoning us righteous, because He did punish….Himself.
  6.  He “bore our iniquities in His body”
  7. God justifies us—that is, reckons and counts us righteous.
  8. Without deeds of the law.

 7.  The fear of being justified without the deeds of the law.

  1. Won’t we just sin?
  2. Do you not sin now?
  3. Set free from the power of sin.

8.  The Word they still shall let remain.

  1. The Gospel may have fallen on hard times (or hard hearts) and our life may be shameful.
  2. God will not allow the Gospel to depart from the earth, even if it departs from us.
  3. And He will not allow anyone who trusts in Jesus to be put to shame.
  4. The reformation did not preach a human gospel of indulgence.
  5. It preached the living and enduring word of God

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

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