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Posts Tagged ‘works’

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

What a problem, then, is it when those who say they believe in Christ use the name of Christ to justify doing something which God’s Word condemns as works of evil rather than good works.

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In James 2:21-23, James brings up the story of Abraham and Isaac from Genesis 22. You know the story: God tests Abraham’s faith in verse 2, saying, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering.”

What a test it was! Abraham, as the story goes, trusted God and obeyed the tough command. On the way up to the mountain, Isaac noticed the lamb was missing, and he asked his father, “My Father! Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said to his son, “God will provide for himself a lamb.” Abraham believed God himself would provide a lamb to replace Isaac. The Bible says they went “both of them together” on the mountaintop, and there the angel of the Lord intervened, saying, “Do not lay your hand on the boy,” and, “For now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” You see, Abraham’s “saying” faith was tested in the story and his “works” showed his belief to be a “living” and “saving” faith.

So in Genesis 22:13 it says, “Abraham lifted up his eyes, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns.” When Abraham obeyed God with Isaac, James says that his faith was put to work, and his works (i.e. his obedience) showed that his faith was real, not merely a faith in name only.

You know, James wants our faith to be a real faith. He, as a pastor, wants your faith to be a living and saving faith that “works.” The theme in James 2:14-26 is the same as what he talks about at the end of chapter one. If you are a real hearer of the word, you will do what it says. If you are hearer of the word only, and not a doer of the word, you are deceiving yourself. To hear the word and not to do it is really to not hear the word at all.

It seems there is another lesson to consider here too. Abraham’s example is a tough example for us, is it not? How many times do we say that we believe God, and will follow him wherever he wants us to go, and will do whatever he wants us to do, but we only mean that when it is something that takes no living faith at all? I admit I find it hardest to do what God wants me to do when it requires the hardest stretching of my faith.

Yet James would encourage me, and you as well, to take notice of Abraham’s faith in Genesis 22. Abraham’s faith was so alive that “he was called a friend of God.” I want to be called a friend of God, and I do not think James illustrates living faith with the example of Abraham just to make us feel guilty. I believe James would encourage me, and you, to stake our belief on God who is able to overcome weak faith, and who is able to grow a “saying” faith into a saving faith, like Abraham’s.

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A teacher of the Law once asked Jesus: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

Jesus, quoting the Old Testament, gave a quick answer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

They are a summary of the heart of the Law. God commands you to keep the Law. Because he is the Creator of the universe, and all therein, he rightly demands this of everyone. The startling reality, however, is that we have and continue to fail to keep God’s Law. The real stunning thing is there are many who believe they actually can keep God’s Law (or keep it enough in comparison to the dude next door).

So I am writing this post for you. If you’re my friend, or if you just happened upon this blog, I care about you enough to tell you the greatest news I’ve ever heard of. I once heard a famous atheist, Penn Jilette, say of silent Christians: “How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them?”

Well, I don’t hate you. I believe that everlasting life is possible, and I want to tell you. Don’t worry about the cheeky title. It is relevant to the whole thing—you’ll see . . . and no, I don’t think YOU are brainless. :)

So here goes.

If you think you can earn your way to Heaven in a way similar to a young executive climbing the ranks of to a big-time swanky corporate office—if you never really thought about what God demands of you—if you know you’re a sinner, and you just don’t care—if you already know you are a sinner and you already gave your life in faith to Christ your Savior (who perfectly kept the Law on your behalf, and who paid the substituting penalty for your sins on your behalf, crediting his perfect righteousness to your account)—this is just for you!

The following is Charles Spurgeon, a 19th century preacher, at his very best:

Begin quote.

“Is there someone here so profoundly brainless as to reply, ‘I intend to keep [the Law], and I believe I can perfectly obey it, and I think I can get to heaven by obedience to it?’

“Man, you are either a fool, or else willfully ignorant; for sure, if you truly understand this commandment, you will at once hang down your hands, and say, ‘Obedience to that is quite impossible; thorough and perfect obedience to that no man can hope to reach to!’

“Some of you think you will go to heaven by your good works, do you? This is the first stone that you are to step upon—I am sure it is too high for your reach. You might as well try to climb to heaven by the mountains of earth, and take the Himalayas to be your first step; . . . for to obey this must ever be an impossibility. But remember, you cannot be saved by your works, if you can not obey this entirely, perfectly, constantly, forever (Rom. 3:20).

“‘Well,’ someone replies, ‘I dare say if I try and obey it as well as I can, that will do!’

“No, sir, it will not. God demands that you perfectly obey this, and if you do not perfectly obey it he will condemn you.

“‘Oh!’ someone cries out, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Ah! that is the point to which I wish to bring you. Who, then can be saved by this law? Why, no one in the world! Salvation by the works of the law is proved to be a clean impossibility.

“None of you, therefore, will say you will try to obey it, and so hope to be saved. I hear the best Christian in the world groan out his thoughts—’O God,’ he says, ‘I am guilty; and should you cast me into hell I dare not say otherwise. I have broken this command from my youth up, even since my conversion; I have violated it every day; I know that if you should lay justice to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, I must be swept away forever. Lord, I renounce my trust in the law; for by it I know I can never see your face and be accepted.’”

End quote.

So here is the Good News: You can be saved! You can, through union with Christ, be forgiven your sins and be rescued eternally for your joy and salvation, to the praise of God’s glorious grace!

The gospel is the Good News that Jesus Christ came to earth in history, lived the perfect sinless life that we should have lived, and died a perfect sacrifice on the cross, all on our behalf, so that we might have life in his name. Jesus was dead and buried for three days, and then he was resurrected, and he ascended into heaven where he is with the Father. I believed in Jesus and he saved me! He the Lord and Savior of my life.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Has Jesus radically saved you?

Jesus kept the Law perfectly. He died on the cross to put to death sin and death forever. Jesus is the only one who ever has kept the law perfectly, and the work of Christ can cover all your sins.

You can’t keep the Law. You can’t love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. You’ve given your heart, mind, and soul away in sin and idolatry to just about everything (but God). Your only hope is Jesus. Will you consider this?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

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Many Christians are often afraid of talking to their lost friends about Jesus, but perhaps the more disturbing reality is that many of us rarely talk to other Christians about Jesus.

Why is this? I think the reasons we don’t talk to our lost friends is obvious–we don’t want to ostracize them, we don’t want to hurt our relationship with them, we are worried about what they will think about us, we think we know how they will respond and its not good! All of those things need to be addressed and perhaps I will write on that issue soon, but why is it that we fail to talk about our relationship with Christ with our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Maybe you don’t have this problem, maybe all you ever do is talk about Jesus–if so please enlighten the rest of us! As a pastor, I wish I could say that is me, but let me attempt instead to try and take the plank out of my own eye long enough to encourage you and address this question!

I think I don’t talk to my Christian friends about Christ that much because I am proud. Yep, that is it–I am a very prideful person. I know that if I talk to my friends about Jesus then I will be vulnerable–I will have to show my weaknesses and talk about some of the areas where I am struggling. If I do that then people will know that I don’t have it all together. They will know that sometimes I really love myself more than I love Christ. They will see that I am not the perfect role model.

You see I don’t talk to other Christians about Jesus because my relationship with Christ isn’t perfect. I work with the students at my church and I am constantly reminded that I am to be a good role model for them–so I am always thinking about how I can do that. The reality is that I am a sinner and I will never measure up to the kind of role model that I ought to be! That is one of the great challenges of being a pastor–you always feel like you have to be super-Christian who is never phased by anything impure and never loses his temper and always has something encouraging to say. The problem with being super-pastor is that by doing so you actually point the people of your church toward a goal that they were never meant to attain and we teach people to excel at looking good as opposed to growing in grace by faith.

We won’t reach perfection until Christ returns and finally defeats sin and Satan. What we are to do instead is simply to let our “manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). What does it mean to let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel? Well first I think we have to know something about what the gospel is.

The gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. It is the good news that Jesus Christ died for sin once and for all in order that he might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). It is the good news that God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It is the good news that the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). It is the good news that we are saved by grace through faith not by works so that no one may boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

You see the gospel is the good news that though we have desperately fallen short, Christ has paid the penalty for sinners like us and we can merely receive his grace by faith! That is it, we don’t have to try to earn God’s favor by being unrealistically good. To live in a manner worthy of the gospel means to live in such a way that we continually point each other to and remind ourselves of God’s perfect, unearned grace!

If we could all be a little less like the Pharisee and a little more like the tax collector, we might point each other more towards Christ and we might help each other grow in God’s grace and mature out of the sins we keep struggling with, including our pride!

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Jennifer and I have now been here in Albertville, Alabama for over a month and we are starting to get into the swing of things. We have moved into our house, bought appliances, painted six rooms, arranged all my books in my home office, and set up our internet and phone service. We have attended two Aggies (Albertville High School) football games and we cheered hard (especially Jennifer, you should have heard her at the Boaz game!), though to no avail. I even had the privilege of going to an Auburn football game (sorry Bama fans)! Jennifer and I are already regulars at Guntersville Walmart and I think Jennifer is probably considered a regular at JaMoka’s in Boaz! Though we have only been here about a month, you could say that Jennifer and I already feel like regular Albertvillians!

Things have settled down quite nicely for us. I have begun to get into a regular routine of preparing to teach Wednesday nights, planning the Sunday morning services, writing curriculum for community groups, and meeting with Students and Adults throughout the week. Things at our church are starting to flow nicely for me and I am glad. I like when things flow, when I have a schedule, a routine, a plan. Plan’s are useful. God is the master planner. He planned from all eternity to send His only son to the earth to die on the cross paying our penalty for sin (Acts 2:23). Ephesians 1:13 tells us that God “works all things according to the counsel of His will.” There is nothing that God doesn’t perfectly plan out—He is king of planning, His is the perfect routine (if you can call it that).

However, I think my plans fall short of God’s glory. While there are many good things about my plans—there are all also many aspects of my plans that fall short of God’s glory. The second line of the Lord’s prayer reads, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” You see, the goal of my planning ought to be to see God’s plans and purposes come to fruition in my life and to see Christ’s kingdom manifested more clearly. The problem with my plans is that many of them are aimed at making my life more comfortable and more at ease. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it certainly could be. Jesus once said, “no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). I don’t really know what to do with that—there are many things that Jesus said that make me feel pathetic as a follower of Christ! I think the point, though, is don’t get so comfortable in this life that you aren’t ready for the next.

The things we do day-in and day-out are important. I don’t want to give you the idea that you should abandon your family and go to North Korea and have your head chopped off for preaching the gospel (that is probably what would happen if you took the gospel to North Korea). But I do want to say that all my plans and strivings are loss if they are not directed toward building the kingdom of God!

We have been studying the book of Philippians at Student night on Wednesdays and there Paul, writing from prison in Rome, says, “it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:20-21). To be quite honest with you, in my walk with Christ right now, I am not where Paul is. I want to be, I desperately want the burning passion of my life to be that Christ would be magnified in my body!

So what do we do? How do we begin to make sure our daily plans are pointing us more toward Christ? How do we ensure that what we are doing day by day is building up the kingdom of God? I can’t spell that out for you. I could make some suggestions, but I don’t know where you are in your walk with Christ and I can’t lay out the perfect plan of how to live a Christ-glorifying life.

I will just suggest what I suggested to the youth last Wednesday night. If you really believe that Jesus is Lord and that there is no one like Him, then take a step of faith today toward setting your affections more firmly on Him. Just take a step toward setting your focus more firmly on Christ. Maybe you need to spend 5-10 minutes each night praying with your wife before you go to bed. Maybe you need to set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier so you can read a chapter of the Bible and pray in the morning. Maybe you need to have your neighbors over for dinner so that you can build a relationship with them in hopes of sharing Christ with them. I don’t know what steps you need to take, but I know that Christ is the greatest treasure in the universe and that there is nothing greater than Him. So my goal this week is to spend a little more time with Him in His Word and to talk to my wife about what I am learning so that I might point her more towards Christ.

Don’t think that you need to do more to gain Christ’s favor. If you think by doing more you can somehow earn good standing with Christ, then maybe you need to take a step back and examine your life before Christ because we are not saved by works but by grace through faith. Our favor with God is His free gift to us through Christ. Paul describes Christians in Phil. 3:3 as those “who glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” In other words, Christians are those who give up on trying to win God over with their good works and instead glory, boast, and delight in Christ Jesus. There is no one like Christ, you can delight in nothing greater than Jesus—you don’t have to try and win His favor, but by faith, you can rest in knowing that you have it! You can draw nearer to Him this week by simply taking a step toward knowing him more intimately. Take a step this week and trust the Lord. Trust the Lord, you won’t regret it.

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Luke 2:10-11 records the angels’ proclamation of the gospel to the shepherds. “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Today, we will take a closer look at the doctrine of justification by faith alone as an essential part of the gospel news.

“We explain justification simply as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favor as righteous men. And we say that it consists in the remission of sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness” (John Calvin).

“We must rely entirely on Christ’s righteousness, not our own, as our sole basis for acceptance by the Judge” (Jerry Bridges).

What is the biblical basis for Justification by Faith Alone?

To begin, a short lesson in church history is in order to show the issues leading to the Reformers’ rediscovery of the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone. Luther and Calvin both felt Christianity either perseveres or falls on the idea of justification, because the biblical teaching of justification by faith alone is the central doctrine that separates Christianity from other faiths of works. No other world religion hinges salvation upon faith alone like Christianity does, wholly apart from works. For that reason, Luther’s rediscovery of justification by faith alone during the Reformation was, perhaps, the key to all the church has gained since the day he pinned his 95 protests to the church door in Wittenburg, and it is important we don’t slip away from it again. Now, why is the doctrine of justification by faith an essential part of the gospel news, and how does it relate to the all-surpassing beauty of the cross and our great salvation in Jesus Christ?

“The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God ” (Luther, ‘95 Theses‘, 62).

When Luther first abdicated the Roman Catholic teaching of justification by faith maintained by works and the purchase of indulgences, his rediscovery of justification by faith alone was not the contentious ramblings of a ‘drunken German,’ rather he found it ringing loud and clear in the Bible.

For Luther, either salvation was by grace alone (Sola Gratia) or it could be bought. It couldn’t be BOTH. Neither could salvation be maintained by a combination of faith and works to the very end. That is when he realized, “At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, ‘For in [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’ [Rom. 1:17]. There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely faith” (Stephen J. Nichols, The Reformation, 31). That is, justification is by faith alone (Sola Fide) according to God’s rich grace alone through Christ and his death on the cross (Sola Gratia/Solus Christus).

Luther’s rediscovery of the biblical idea of justification by faith alone is vibrantly amplified by Romans 4. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness’” (Rom. 4:2-3). Abraham was not vindicated before God by his relative uprightness compared to the people around him. Rom. 4:2-3 is readily understood. “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

A few verses later, Paul relates justification to our sinfulness. “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin” (Rom. 4:7-8). Psalm 130:3-4 is noticeably similar: “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” Since God is to be regarded as holy with our hearts and affections, justification is at the heart of the gospel. If the Lord forgives our lawless deeds, there needs to be an exchange. Rom. 6:23 teaches us that the wages of sin is death. Therefore, we need to have our sin be exchanged for his righteousness. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus is the punitive substitutionary atonement for all who are declared righteous by faith. That is why imputation is so important to justification. Christ lived the perfect life that we should have lived and are condemned for not doing, and he died the sinless sacrifice on our behalf, our ransom, imputing his righteousness to us and taking our sins from us and taking them on himself on the cross.

How can we be certain salvation in Jesus Christ will carry us to the end?

On Sunday morning, I preached 1 John 2:28-29, relating John’s catchphrase to ‘abide in Christ’ to Sola Fide. I believe these verses can easily be misread to put forward that abiding in Christ is something we can, and therefore, ought to do by our own labors apart from saving faith. That is why there is also an important tie to make involving justification by faith at conversion and the way in which we are sealed by God’s sovereign grace to the end.

The Bible by no means intimates we persevere in our salvation by our will or works. But what does that say about texts like these? “But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13). Too often, Christians read texts of prudence or watchfulness that intend to help us to make our calling and election sure without keeping the gospel at the center of our assurance. The Bible often says fruitfulness is a necessary effect of belief. However, this is not to say that God demands perfection of his children in order to persevere to the end. It is clear from Phil. 3:12, 13 and 1 John 1:8-10 and Matt. 6:12 that the New Testament does not hold out the demand that we be sinlessly perfect in order to be saved. But the New Testament does demand that we be morally changed and walk in the newness of life.

1 John 2:28 says, “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame at his coming.” A high view of justification by faith is needed in order to understand v. 28 correctly. When John says we must abide in Christ, he is making the point that our righteousness comes ultimately from Christ, not our own efforts. Why do I think that? Verse 29 says, “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” We are to abide in the vine and produce fruit according to Christ’s righteousness which we draw from him. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

1 Peter 1:5 relegates the argument that salvation is sustained by our efforts. “By God’s power we are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” We are guarded through faith by God’s power for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Christ will guard his sheep. John 10:27-30 guarantees that. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30). By faith, we are banking our hope “on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.” By faith, we are trusting in all that God is for us in Jesus Christ to be our salvation and that he will preserve his children in Christ to the end.

Justification by Faith Alone Boasts Soli Deo Gloria!

Why is the doctrine of justification by faith alone an essential part of the gospel as news? Any high view of justification by faith will accompany a biblical view of the pervasive and radically corrupt sinfulness of man. At the heart of the gospel news is the truth that we are justified by faith alone according to God’s grace for us in Jesus Christ.

“If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him” (1 John 2:29).

How does justification relate to the majesty and surpassing beauty of Christ and his death for the particular redemption of his children chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world? Justification by faith alone relies on God’s sovereign grace to credit us righteousness.

For a few, a battle for the lordship of Christ as the gospel and key for salvation along with a peculiar new interpretation of Paul, popularized by N.T. Wright has brought concerns to many pastors and scholars who have cherished Sola Fide as the idea in which every individual will stand or fall, persevere or perish before the glory and love of God. At the heart of the arguments made against justification that is directly linked to the vicarious suffering of Christ as the penal substitutionary atonement for those who believe is a caution that we should not make too much of justification at the expense of Christ’s lordship. But that is to miss the point of the true beauty of justification. For the sake of keeping this post brief, I will simply say that the direct effect of belief that we, as God’s children and as his church, are justified by faith alone is an upright fear of humility and joy before Christ as Lord, for the glory of God the Father and the supremacy of Christ over all the Father has lovingly given his Son.

More? Buy 1) John Piper’s The Future of Justification @ Desiring God, 2) Stephen Nichols’ The Reformation @ WTS Books, or 3) Jerry Bridges’ The Great Exchange @ Amazon.

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Why do we need Christ? Due to sin, we are dead in our trespasses and sins . . .

“This does not mean that we cannot create wonderful things (e.g. arts, sciences, literature), but J.C. Ryle rightly says, ‘he fact still remains that in spiritual things [we are] utterly ‘dead,’ and [have] no natural knowledge, or love, or fear of God’” (Holiness: The Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, & Roots, 4-5).

Even our best things are tainted by our fallen, sinful corruption. Is. 64:6 says, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Paul also says, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Phil. 3:7-9).

When Jesus taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8), do not make the mistake that any purity in the heart is something we can have apart from being made new in Christ. Jer. 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” The contrast is that apart from God’s grace, the heart is wicked. In Christ, yes we can be pure in heart. Acts 15:8 says specifically, that the Holy Spirit is given to Christians. God knows their hearts, and if they have faith in Christ, they are given the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a testimony also to their hearts being made pure in Christ.

Rom. 2:15 says that the Law is written also on the hearts of the Gentiles. Paul is saying that they have no excuse. They cannot say that they didn’t know what God required of them. The Law is written on their hearts. But, they haven’t kept the Law. Therefore, a few verses later, Paul says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . .” (Rom. 3:23). They are without excuse for their sinfulness. Then he adds, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive” (Rom. 3:11-13). The point is, even in the things we do according to the Law, we are still sons of disobedience, children of wrath, dead in our sins and transgressions. We are still in rebellion against God. That’s what is so amazing about grace . . . while we were still sinners, Christ died for us and saved us.

J.C. Ryle suggests that even though we can still do things that we look at and say are ‘good’, we are still sinners against God. So, any ‘good’ that we do is tainted by our sin, and ultimately not pure, not righteous, not holy. God doesn’t look at a sinner’s heart and say, this man is 85% righteous but 15% sinner. And then to another, this man is 10% righteous but 90% sinner. Instead he says, there are none righteous, no not one. They are all 0% righteous and 100% sinner. That is why imputation is so important to justification. Christ lived the perfect life that we should have lived and are condemned for not doing, and he died the sinless sacrifice on our behalf, our ransom, imputing his righteousness to us and taking our sins from us and taking them on himself on the cross.

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