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Assurance of Salvation (Vol 07) - Righteous in Christ forever

Sunday English Service - 03 NOV 19

Transcript

I want to begin by telling you about an experiment that some people did. So, they got this artist, one who draws portraits of human faces. And they said, “Okay, we want you to draw some portraits of some human faces, but only this time, it's going to be a little different. You can't see the human face. You have to draw the faces of different people, but you cannot see their face.” So, they put the artist there and he has his stuff he needs to draw with. Then they put a curtain here. Then they put the subject, the one whose face is being drawn on this side of the curtain. So, the artist cannot see the subject and the subject cannot see the artist. You may wonder, “Well, how is he supposed to draw the face that he can't see?” They told the subject to describe their own face. So, the only way the artist knows what you look like is you got to describe it. So, you got to say, “My head is black. Medium cut.” Or ladies with long hair, you say, “My hair is long up to this length and it falls like this.” The only way he knows is whatever you describe. So, the person describes their own face, “My nose is like this, eyes are like this, mouth is like this.” And the artist draws the portrait, finishes it, and puts it aside. And then they'll tell that subject to leave.

They call another person and this person is someone who has seen the face of the previous first person and knows the face of the previous person and this next person has to describe not their own face, but the first person's face. So, every person's face is described by two people: by themselves and somebody else who knows their face. So, for every person, the artist ended up with two portraits, two pictures, and then they examined them. And what they found was startling, they say. It turns out that the portrait that was drawn by the person describing themselves, most of the time that turned out to be ugly. Because what happened, it seems, when they went back and looked at it, the person magnified their own flaws. So, if they had a long nose, they said, “My nose is very long.” And if the teeth were not perfectly straight, they said, “My teeth are totally crooked, is messed up.” And if it's something slightly off with their chin, they magnified each little flaw and made it look bigger than it really was, and never said anything good most of the time. They hardly said anything good. Not every case but in many of the cases that's what they found; they say. And the other person who described their face turns out, they didn't do that and it turned out somewhat nice. And they compared it with the real person’s photo and guess who's matched up better? The other person's description, not a person's own description of themselves. So, in other words, I see my own face uglier than it really is. Somebody else sees my face but more truly for what it represents than I do.

The only reason I mentioned this is, if there is such a difference between how we see ourselves and how another person sees us, how much more there is a difference between the way God sees us and between the way we see ourselves. I'm not here to talk about how you see yourself or how others see you. Today is about how God sees you. But if there's a difference between me seeing myself and somebody else seeing me, how much bigger is the difference between me seeing myself and God seeing me? I was watching that video and they show one of the ladies whose face was drawn, they showed the two portraits: her describing herself and the other person's description. And she's looking at it, and she begins to cry. She suddenly realizes, I've thought about myself the wrong way so many years, so long. I've looked at myself totally wrong. And one of the persons in that thing they go on to say, “We totally misread our own selves, our own faces. We thought of it wrongly. And that affected us in so many ways.” One of the persons says, “It affected what job we applied for. We thought we were not beautiful enough for certain jobs. It affected the friends we approached or didn't approach. We thought we were not good enough for certain people. It affected job, family, children, everything.” The way you look at yourself.

One of the biggest reasons believers don't have assurance of salvation is, because they don't see themselves the way God sees them. I'm talking about believers now, my friend, I'm talking about believers. One of the biggest reasons why believers don't have assurance of salvation is they don't see themselves the way God sees them. They see an inferior picture of themselves. Not only that, they think God sees only their faults and weaknesses and problems and whatnot. So, not only do they see themselves wrongly, they picture God seeing them like that. Today, I want to talk about how God sees you. The Bible is full of pictures of how God sees you, but I'm just going to give one or two of those pictures. How God sees you.

See, the problem is we feel we are not good enough. Why people don't have assurance, they feel they're not good enough. They've got this fault, that fault, this sin, this weakness, that weakness, whatever, past, present. My inclinations are like that. I don't know, whatever. Not good enough. And particularly, not good enough for God. The Bible term, if you come to the Bible, when not good enough goes to its nth extreme, that is what you call as condemnation. Have you seen that term in the Bible? Condemnation. Romans chapter 8 verse 1. It’s our key text for today. Condemnation is when we condemn ourselves, our heart condemns us. We are in a state of just constantly feeling, “I'll never make it. I'll never match up to God's expectation. I'll never be good enough for God to accept me. What if I don't turn out good enough in the end or whatever?” That is condemnation. And look at what Paul says about that. Romans 8 verse 1. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

The statement that comes after that in the New King James, most scholars says probably best left to verse 3 and 4. It comes from 3 and 4. They’ve taken from 3 and 4 and it's the exact same statement in 3 and 4. So, better read just that. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If you want you read, “Who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” That's in verse 4 verbatim in the English. But just look at that one statement. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. What does the Bible say for those who are in Christ Jesus, believers? I'm talking about believers, those who are in Christ Jesus. There is therefore now no condemnation. Everybody say, no condemnation. No condemnation means no condemnation.

When is there no condemnation? Now. Everybody say, now. Now, no condemnation. Some people think, especially after a sermon like last week, sometimes where we say, “Examine your own life.” We examine our lives and then we say, “I'm not happy with this area, I'm not happy with that area.” And so, the thought comes to our mind suddenly, “Give me 1 year or 2 or 5 or 10, or whatever, I’ll grow in that area, and then I'll get assurance.” Oh, boy. That should not be the approach. Don't immediately just try to grow your obedience because it will be striving of your own effort without gospel power and gospel motivation, dangerous. Not only that, the deeper and the more sinister and subtle temptation is, we may end making our own growth in holiness, our qualification to be accepted by God. Are you following me, my friend now? Listen carefully.

You need to grow in holiness. That's what we were talking about last week. Every true believer lives a transformed life. If a person believes in Jesus, surely Jesus will transform their life, at least little bit. I spoke on that last week. But the thing is, a person should not think, “Okay, the more I get transformed, the more I qualify myself for God to accept me and for God to let me into heaven.” That's the subtle temptation that will happen. People sometimes think, “I'm not so good now, but give me another 10 or 20 years, I'll get so good and that time God will take me into heaven.” So, now they're not qualified but then they will be qualified. My friend, that is not the gospel. To be saved, to go to heaven what do you need to do? Not prove yourself by living a holy life, believe in Jesus. Everybody say, believe in Jesus.

Now, if you believe in Jesus, can we show the equation there? I’ll just show you an equation. This is the equation. Let's show it later. So, you believe in Jesus. You see that? Faith in Jesus plus what is equal to salvation? Nothing. Nothing. Please don't put anything in there. The thing is, we won't put anything in the beginning. We won't because we don't have anything. “Jesus save me. Simply to the cross I cling.” That's all. Very good. But then after that, the trouble is, we look at our growth in holiness and sometimes you may think, “Oh well, faith in Jesus. Now, I have to something to add. Here we go, my own holiness, my own good works.” No. Faith in Jesus alone saves. That is salvation. What about good works? Are we saying you don't have to do good works? Are we saying you don't have to live holy lives? Of course not. ‘Holy lives’ is there, transformation is there. Where do you put it in the equation? You don't put it on this side, you put it on this side. Faith in Jesus leads to not only salvation, but also to a transformation and also to blessing and also to so many other things.

You can’t put what is a result of salvation as a condition of salvation. I say this specifically because I preached a sermon like last week telling you to examine, look at your own holiness. Don't fall to the temptation of trusting in your holiness, my friend. Trust in Christ alone. Again, people should not mistake me. We're not saying you don't have to live a holy life. A person who believes in Jesus truly will live a transformed life. But it's the result of believing in Jesus, it will never come alongside faith in Christ as a condition of your salvation. But the trouble is, sometimes believers think after examining themselves, “I'm not qualified now, but give me another 10 years I’ll qualify myself.” No. “And then I'll get my assurance.” No. You get your assurance now. That will help you grow in holiness. You get rid of condemnation now. There is therefore now no condemnation. Don't put up with condemnation, my friend. Don't say, “Let it be there, in 10 years it will go.” No. There is therefore now. Everybody say, now. Now itself there is no condemnation. Not after you become perfect. Now. There is therefore now no condemnation.

The original Greek there is a strong negative, they say. The effect is something like this, there is therefore now no condemnation whatsoever, no condemnation now or ever. It has a kind of nuance that people give to that. There is therefore now itself, no condemnation whatsoever, now or ever for those in Christ Jesus. This is how God sees you. Listen, when God sees us, if He sees our faults and decides whether to accept us, we are finished. Thank God, God doesn't see like that. He knows. Of course, He knows my faults. He knows them better than me. But He chooses to see me where? In Christ Jesus. Everybody say, in Christ Jesus. Why there is no condemnation for the believer? Because the believer is in Christ. Yes, God knows we need to grow in holiness and we also know we need to grow in holiness and you should have the desire to grow in holiness. If you don't, well, I doubt whether you're a true believer. That's a good sign of a true believer. Every true believer desires to grow in holiness.

But it's one thing to realize I got to grow in this, it's another thing to feel condemned, and say always, “I'm not good enough. I'll never make it. I'm not worthy enough. I'm not this enough, that enough.” That is feeling condemned, my friend. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. How can Paul say this? How can God see us like this? I want to focus on two reasons. One is, in Christ Jesus. Let's begin there. You are in Christ Jesus. The believer is in Christ Jesus. That's our location. Where are we? In Christ Jesus. Again, and again, the New Testament, hundreds of times, talks about how we are in Christ or Christ is in us or we are with Christ or Christ is joined to us again and again. I want to give you a little sample of that because oftentimes we forget this basic truth. We are in Christ Jesus.

Look at Colossians 1 verse 2. When God sees you, He sees you where? In Christ. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse. Now, this is a letter. Paul is writing a letter to Colossae. And as you know a letter begins with ‘from’ and then ‘to’. Verse 1 was ‘from’. Who's writing this? Paul is writing. Verse 2 is the ‘to’. In the ‘to’ what will you put? You will put the address. Suppose you're writing a letter to the church; you may say what? AFT Church, Purasaiwakkam, Chennai – 7, 47 Valadamai Street. The address, right? You won’t put extra things in the ‘to’ place. You will only put what is necessary? This is a letter. And Paul, it's the place where he has to say to whom?

Look how he puts it. He says, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ. Is that necessary there? Who are in Colossae. They are actually in Colossae; their address is Colossae. It's important Paul mentions who this is going to first because the letter will be circulated to others also later, and they should not forget who it went to first. So, it’s first going to Colossae people. That's enough. To the saints who are in Colossae is enough, but what does he say? To the saints who are in Christ who are in Colossae. What's he trying to say? Just as Colossae is a real place, in Christ is also a real place. Chennai is a real place, Purasaiwakkam is real place, Colossae is a real place, New York is a real place. Just as all these places are real, in Christ is a real place. It’s not an imaginary place. It's a real place. It's so real to Paul he has to put it in the place where you only mention ‘to’.

Look at Philippians chapter 1 verse 1. Again, and again he does this. Paul is so full of the consciousness that believers are in Christ. That's what we need to get, my friend. Why we can't see ourselves in a certain way is because we forget we are in Christ. Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ. He’s saying the ‘from’. This is from Paul and Timothy. Now, the ‘to’. Before even mentioning the location, now what he says? To all the saints in Christ in Philippi. To saints in Christ, first location. Second location only, in Philippi. The Greek word order is the same. In Greek, you emphasize things by word order. Paul is saying, more important than you being in Philippi, is you being in Christ. This is not only a real place, it is your primary location, it is your primary address, it is your spiritual address, my friend. Next time, when somebody asks address, this should come to your mind. What is your first address? In Christ. Everybody say, in Christ. You don't have to tell the other person but at least think it to inculcate in Christ consciousness.

Whether you are in Chennai or Bangalore or wherever, Purasaiwakkam, Anna Nagar, you are in Christ. You are in Christ, my friend. The Bible also says, we are with Christ. Have you seen those terms? With Christ. Look at Ephesians 2 verse 4 quickly. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. Everybody say, together with Christ. Jesus was made alive. I know he had an Easter Sunday experience. Paul is saying, you also had an Easter Sunday experience. Do you know about that? You had an Easter Sunday. That's what he's talking about. You are made alive together with Christ Jesus. Your Spirit was raised again from the dead. You had a resurrection on the inside, made alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him. Everybody say, with Him. He made you alive and then raised us up with Him. Resurrection. And seated us with him. Everybody say, seated with him. Where? In the heavenly places in Christ.

If you ask Paul, “Where am I today?” If you're a believer and you ask Paul, what will he say? Not seated here, AFT. More important than that is you're seated in the heavenly places in Christ. Do you think of yourself as like that? When you're sitting down, you’re saying, “Well, more important than this is, I'm seated in the heavenly places in Christ.” Where is Christ today, my friend? He’s seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places. Paul is saying, “You're seated with Him.” Do you believe that? Spiritually you are seated with Him in a place of all authority and power. That's where the believer is in Christ, with Christ seated together with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Amazing.

Colossians 3:1. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above. He’s saying, “If you're really raised with Christ, then act like it. Come on. Seek the things that are up there.” Colossians 3:3. For you have died. Well, I'm alive. But he's saying, you have died spiritually, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. He means to say, the old life has died and your new life is hidden with Christ. It's hidden where? With Christ in God. Why am I reading so many verses? Listen, I want to just tell you that Paul cannot think of the believer apart from Christ. Paul cannot think of the believer and Christ as separate. They are always together. Believer is in Christ; Christ is inside believer. Believer and Christ are joined like this. The Bible says, for example, Christ is like our husband, and we are like the bride of Christ. There’s a relationship similar to a husband-wife relationship, but unfortunately these days sometimes even husbands and wives separate. Thank God, God didn’t leave it with that analogy. He said, “Christ is our head and we are the body.” Now, can you separate body from head? No. Can the body say, “I want to live separate from the body”? No. Life will go.

Christ’s life can never go. We are joined to Christ. This is an inseparable union. The union you have with Christ, the connection you have with Christ is more real, is more permanent than any connection you have with anyone on this earth. You think about it like that? Even husband and wife union one day death will separate it. That's how the vows are written: till death do us part. There is no partying in that union between believer and Christ. Forever and forever, the believer and Christ are joined. In 1 Corinthians 6:17, Paul says, just as a husband and wife are one flesh, believer and Christ are one spirit. It’s a spiritual union unlike any other, more permanent than any other. Paul cannot think of the believer apart from Christ. It's like fish in water. Can fish ever be outside water? It will die. That's believer. Believer is always in Christ. Believer is in Christ; Christ is inside the believer. Fish is inside the water; water is inside the fish.

But I think fish sometimes forget that they're inside the water. I don't even know if they actually realize they're inside. Have you thought about that? Do fish know that they're inside water? I don't think they know because they've never seen land. If they see land, it's too late for them. So, they probably don't even realize they're all the time inside the water. It's like some believers. They don't know they're in Christ. They don't know they are with Christ all the time, every time, everywhere, they are never alone. If you're a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you're never alone. Christ is with you. Christ is in you. You are in Christ. The moment you get saved, you're in Christ, with Christ forever.

Trouble is, believers don't know. Sometimes believers know but they forget. They simply forget. Now, when you forget or when you don't know, when you don't realize, when you don't have the consciousness of being joined to Christ, that's when doubts come. Think about it. That's the reason doubts come. That's one of the big reasons. Why do doubts about anything come in our life? Because we are not conscious about our close union and connection with Christ. Why does a doubt about salvation come? Because we have forgotten that Christ is with us and we are in Him and He is in us and we are like this and nobody can... If we realize that, no doubt about salvation will be there. I won’t doubt whether I am saved because Christ is right here, He’s with me and I won't doubt whether ultimately, I'll make it because I’m in Christ, inseparable from Him.

When you have doubts, realize this, you are not conscious of Christ's presence in and with you as you ought to be. If you are, then you don't have to be afraid of anything, any circumstance. In your job, in your family, whatever it is, because Christ is with you. He's in you, He'll help you, He'll see you through it, He will give you the victory. You need to inculcate that Christ consciousness, that I'm always joined to Christ. I was talking with a guy from our church and he was telling me, “I don't understand everything you preach. But I understand one thing,” he said, “when I get on my bike, I say, Jesus, shall we go?” He says, this is how he lives. When he gets on the bike alone, he says, it seems, “Jesus shall we move?” When he sits down to eat, he says, “Jesus shall we eat?” When he goes to bed, he says, “Jesus, I'm going to bed. Good night.”

I was a little amazed because somebody may think that's a little bit extreme. Where is Jesus going to eat? Where is he going to sleep? Well, one thing I appreciate about him is, he has the consciousness that Christ is always with him. And I really appreciate that and I learned a lesson from him. That one thing will keep him free from doubt. That one thing, just knowing Christ is with him and in him, it will keep him full of peace and joy. And victory will surely be his. It's not enough if Jesus is with us, we should know and we should realize that Jesus is with us. That gives the assurance. We are in Christ, we are saved, we're secure, but we don't have assurance because we don't realize it.

But here's the thing, God always sees you in Christ. God never sees you apart from Christ. You know why? If He sees you apart from Christ, you're finished. You're done with. He can’t accept anybody apart from Christ. If He sees somebody on their own merit, apart from Jesus, nobody will make it. In the eyes of God, nobody can be accepted. We’ve already shown this to you. The gospel begins by saying, nobody has a chance without Jesus, with God. They can't be accepted by God without Jesus. When you think about a believer, with a believer, there is no talk of being apart from Christ because a believer can never be apart from Christ. The believer may think he is apart from Christ. Believer may think, “Where is Jesus?” But God knows, believer is always in Jesus and God sees the believer always in Christ. Never outside Christ.

Yeah, God knows our faults and all that but when He sees us, He sees us through Christ. And when He sees us, what does He see? He sees you complete in Christ. Everybody say, complete. That's Colossians 2:10. Colossians 2:10 says, you are complete in Him. Of myself on my own, I am incomplete. I have so many flaws, faults, weaknesses, in Christ, I'm complete. Everybody say, in Christ I am complete. It’s not about how complete you are, it’s how complete He is. You are simply in Him. You're simply with Him. You see, when God sees you, and God always sees the believer in Christ, and therefore He always accepts the believer. Not because of how good the believer is but because of how perfect Christ is. Yeah, He knows the believer needs to grow in holiness, but He doesn't reject believer on account of not growing enough or something like that. He's not nitpicking on that. No. Not like that. Yes, He leads us to have a desire to grow in holiness, all that is there but when He sees us, He accepts us in Christ with Christ.

Just as an example only, as an illustration only. When I go with my father somewhere, I've noticed that people welcome me, receive me so good. Like for example, if you go to a wedding, they serve the biryani and I'm sitting next to my father. Oh, I get lots of biryani. I get good pieces of meat also. Not because of myself, because I'm sitting next to him. Putting for him and they’re putting a lot for me. On top of that, the second benefit is I’m his son. So, I’m next to him and I’m his son. And then the third benefit is, he doesn't eat much. So, what he does is, he puts the meat from his thing to mine. Nobody's looking at me and thinking, “Does he deserve a little more?” No, they just look at him and give it to me. That's it. I said this is only illustrative purpose. I'm not pointing the finger at anybody. When I go alone also, people treat me really well but it's not on the same level. No, that's a whole another level. Only illustrative purpose. I'm not kidding.

Donald Grey Barnhouse, the great preacher he said, “Everything you see in this life is an illustration of some spiritual truth.” And I only present that as an illustration. Can you see the point? I'm not treated based on my own qualification, based on my own merit, I'm treated based on his merit. Now, I'll tell you the difference between this and what I'm trying to teach. Sometimes, I'm not able to go with my father, like he's out of town now. That’s never the case for Christ and the believer. We are always together with Christ. Always together. God sees us always together. God sees us always like this. He doesn't see us separate apart from Jesus Christ. Of my own, I don't qualify to be accepted in the presence of God. I can't even go and clap my hands and praise God on my own merit. Do you know that? Not just me, nobody without Christ. No acceptance even into the presence of God. But in Christ, God says, “Come boldly to the throne of grace. Come boldly.” Why? Christ is my qualification. Christ is my merit, my friend. I can go boldly into the throne of grace.

Why when we pray, we say, “Heavenly Father, we come to you in Jesus’ name”? That is not an empty formula. Every time we say that, we say, “God, we don't come to you on our own merit. We come to you on the basis of Jesus and what He has done for us. In Jesus’ name we come.” And then you can boldly ask any requests, God will listen. In Christ, He accepts you fully, because He sees the perfection of His Son. It's amazing, you know. But often believers look by themselves. I'll tell you another difference also, between the eating the biryani and this. Sometimes when you're in these weddings, they put the biryani and they just keep going. They kind of force you sometimes. God doesn’t force though. You got believe it. You got to show a little bit of faith at least. That's the reason sometimes people are not able to receive because they feel condemned, they feel they're not qualified, they feel they're not good enough. So, they're not able to ask boldly from God, they're not able to receive in faith.

It's like the biryani comes and they say, “No, no, no.” But really inside they want it but they say, “No, no, no. I don't deserve it.” You ought to go ahead and take it, my friend. Christianity is not about what you deserve, it's about what you get by the grace of God in Christ Jesus. This one truth can set people free. I’m receiving the victory. It will lead you to receive the victory, whatever it is. It applies to everything, not just assurance, my friend. You will get assurance, you will get blessing, you'll get deliverance, you'll get everything because you get boldness, I am in Christ Jesus. God looks at Him and He blesses me, accepts me.

And the thing is, you will never go outside of Christ Jesus. This is your permanent address. We call something our permanent address when it's actually not. Our only permanent address is what? In Christ Jesus. Are you in Christ Jesus? You will never go out. God doesn't play games. He won't put you in and then out. What happens when you sin? You don't go outside Christ Jesus. You're in Christ Jesus only. What happens is, the fellowship is affected. The closeness is affected, but you’re in Christ. Your position is never affected. Your relationship is never affected. The fellowship, the closeness, the intimacy is affected and therefore sin should be avoided at all costs. It's like in a house the father is there, the son is there, but when the son has done wrong, he stays in one corner, father is in another corner. They’re in the same house. Father’s not going to kick him out of the house. Relationship is there. He's still father and he's still son but there's no intimacy and closeness, no boldness, no nothing. He can't really live a full life. That's why you need to avoid sin.

But believer should not think like this, “When I sin, I go out of Christ then I come back.” It's like you go in and come out. No, it's a permanent address. Everybody say, permanent. You will never go outside of Christ. Which means what? You will never be without Christ. Which means, when you go to the gates of heaven, to use that image. It's not very... but just let's use the image. What is God going to base the entry on? What is God going to base the entry on? Is it your merit? Is it your merit? My friend, don't think like that. That is counter to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s not your merit. The only question will be, “Are you in Christ? You’re with Christ. Go on in. Whoever you are, just walk right in.” “Not in Christ, not with Christ? Alone? No qualification to enter.” That's how it works. As simple as that.

People think their good deeds, their good works, their charitable this and charitable that will get them in heaven. It doesn't work that way. That is not the gospel. The gospel is only Christ gets you in, only Christ can get you in and Christ will get you in. You just got to be with Him. You just got to be in Him and you're in, that's it. No questions asked. There's only one question, are you in Christ? Where do you get your assurance from? You’re in Christ, you’re with Christ, you don't need more than that. Now, will a person in Christ and with Christ live a transformed life? Surely, surely, surely. If they are not having any transformation, there is a serious doubt whether they're in Christ. They may think they're in Christ but first don't focus so much on the transformation and say, “After I get all the transformation then I'll get my assurance. No, get your assurance from the fact that you are in Christ and then the transformation will happen faster and even better, as I will show you today.

So, you're in Christ. Everybody say, I'm in Christ. That is number one. There is no condemnation because you are in Christ. Of yourself, by your own merit, there is condemnation. Nobody can make it. But in Christ, there is no condemnation. Everybody say, no condemnation. There are many reasons, my next reason is, you're in Christ, as Romans 8:1 says, but you are righteous in Christ. You are what? Righteous in Christ. You're righteous in Christ. I'm sure most of you have heard this teaching that believers are righteous. The word used in the New Testament in our translations is, justified. The believers are justified. Means, made righteous in Tamil it comes like that. Or better probably translation maybe, counted righteous, declared righteous, but made righteous also is fine. It's fine. As long as you understand it in the right way with the right emphasis, you are justified.

Now, when Paul uses that kind of language in Romans it’s justification by faith, being made righteous in the sight of God, being counted righteous in the sight of God. It’s a very rich and very vast truth. But I want to emphasize two things about that today. Two things about you are righteous. Everybody say, I'm righteous. Let me say two things about that. In what way are you righteous? It is a legal standing or status that you have before God. What do we mean by that legal standing? That means, think of a court room type setting and the judge pronounces a verdict. And says, this person is not guilty or whatever. That's the kind of setting. In the heavenly court, God, the supreme judge over all pronounces a verdict over the believer, the moment he becomes a believer. Saying what? You are righteous. Based on what did He pronounce the verdict? Not based on looking at the believer’s righteousness, but simply looking at the righteousness of Christ. When does this happen? It happens when you believe in Jesus. You were pronounced righteous when you got saved.

We came to Jesus thinking all we are getting is forgiveness of sin. “Jesus, forgive me. Jesus help me.” But I told you, God always gives only the exchange offer. Remember the exchange offer? “You give Me your sin; I'll give you My righteousness.” Only exchange offer available in Christ. Now, only forgiveness. Forgiveness and counted righteous. You're justified, you're washed. You're sanctified, justified, the Bible says. How many times? We've been justified by His blood. We've been justified by faith. Already happened. The moment you were saved, it happened. It's in Titus chapter 3. I'm not going to show. God looked at the great exchange. When you came to Jesus, He transferred your sin over to this side and transferred Christ’s perfect righteousness to your account and counted it yours and declared you as righteous.

It is a legal verdict. Think of it as a legal verdict by God Himself. When the judge declares the verdict, nobody can question. Have you noticed that? Nobody can question. They can talk all they want, but it doesn't matter. When a lower court judge pronounces a verdict, you can go to the appeal’s court. You can go higher and higher and higher all the way up to the Supreme Court of the land. But imagine the Supreme Court Judge pronounces a verdict. After that, every mouth must be stopped. Now, who’s talking after that? Nobody can change the verdict. This is the verdict of the Supreme Court of heaven, where the supreme Judge of all the earth pronounces the believer, righteous. That’s the kind of verdict we're talking about. It's a legal verdict. Think of it like that. Then only you can understand. I'll show you. You'll see how it makes sense. The second thing I want to emphasize about righteousness today is, it is righteousness both now and forever. Your counted righteous now and forever. Let me put it like this. You are counted righteous, the day you are saved all the way till the end. Now, let me put it in a little more emphatic. You're counted righteous from today until that final judgment day. All the way to there, you are counted righteous.

You know about final judgment day. It is coming. People think they can get away with everything they've done. On one day God will judge the earth. Paul, I'll show you in Romans, when he talks about the gospel, when he explains and expounds the gospel, he has not only the current state of affairs in mind, he has everything from now until the final judgment day in mind. He has everything in mind. I'll show you. When he says you are righteous, he doesn't just mean you're righteous now, he says your righteous now and all the way till the end and on that final judgment day, you will remain righteous. That is the meaning let me show you. We're going to do a little Bible study of Romans 8. Let's go to Romans. Not Romans 8 actually. This may shock you but Romans 1 to 8. How about that? Romans chapter 1 all the way to chapter 8. Oh, that scares some people. But let me show you where we're headed. Maybe that'll motivate you. Romans 8:31. This is our destination. I hope that you can see this great, glorious and beautiful destination in its glory and beauty.

Look at Romans 8:31. I'll just show you the destination first where we're headed. What then shall we say to these things? What things? Think. What does he say next? If God is for us, who can be against us? Everybody knows the verse. But do we know it in its glory? If God be for us who can be against us? Let me just bring you down to verse 38. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I don’t preach for the rest of the time and I just read that verse to you 10 times, you will get assurance. That's the power of that verse. If you don’t know what to do, just take your Bible, keep reading that verse 10 times, you will get assurance.

But do we understand the glory of it? Can we see this truth in its beauty, in its glory? To see it like that, you got to understand what Paul means when he says, “What then shall we say to these things?” Verse 31. “What then shall we say to these things?” What things? What he has been saying through the whole book up to now. Whole book, Romans 1 to 8. Let me give you a quick summary. I’ll just walk you through it. I want to show you that he has final judgment day in mind when he talks about righteousness. Romans 1 to 3. If you want to summarize Romans 1 to 3 what is happening? I already told you, remember? Paul presents the problem in Romans 1 to 3. Before he presents the solution of the gospel. The problem he says is, nobody stands a chance without Jesus. Let's look at how he presents the problem. Romans 1:18. Now, this is going to get a little difficult. I won't lie, it's going to get really difficult for you to keep paying attention probably. But I encourage you to stick through it and dig the gold out.

Romans 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness. What is he talking about? Wrath of God. It is already revealed, he says. But then let's keep going. Chapter 2. We're going to read quickly portions verse 3. Do you suppose, O man— that you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself— that you will escape the judgment of God? He’s saying, “Do you think you'll escape the judgment of God?” He’s talking to the Jews in chapter 2. In chapter 1, it's Gentiles. Chapter 2 he’s saying, “Jews, you think you'll escape?” The Jews were very proud. They thought they’ll escape the judgement of God. “We are Jews, we’re children of Abraham. God is not going to judge us, punish us.” He says, “Do you think you will escape the judgment of God?” What judgment is he talking about? Look at verse 5. Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. 

Now, he's talking about a future wrath that will come on that final judgment day. He’s saying, “You're storing a wrath for that final day of wrath when God's judgment will be revealed.” Look at verse 13. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. The Jews are saying, “We got the law, man. We got the law. Nobody else was given the law. God wrote with His own finger and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. We got the law. We are good.” Paul is saying, “It's not enough to get the law, it’s not enough to hear the law, it’s not enough to read the law, you’ve got to do the law. Only if you do the law, you will be counted righteous in God's sight.

Look at chapter 3, quickly we'll just move. I want you to see that Paul has final judgment day in mind, not just now. Now until final judgment day. Look at chapter 3 verse 6. How could God judge the world? He has that judgment day. Look at verse 9. What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. We have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin. He’s saying, “Jews are no better off than Gentiles, both Jews and Greeks, the whole world is under sin. Not only now, all the way to the final judgement day. Without Christ all the way to the judgment day itself.” Verse 10, as it is written: none is righteous, no, not one. Not only now, none is righteous without Christ, even on the final judgment day. He has the whole thing in view. He thinks of everything.

Look at verse 19. We know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped. Not just now, mainly he’s thinking also about the final judgment day. On that final judgment day, every mouth will be stopped and the whole world may be held accountable to God. Without Christ, the whole world has to shut its mouth and be quiet as God the righteous judge judges. Verse 20, by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight. Will be counted righteous in his sight. What is he saying? Nobody can become righteous in God's sight, in God's books, by doing works of the law, by doing works in the Old Testament because they will all fail. Nobody will be able to keep the law perfectly. By works of the law, no human being will be justified in His sight. Not now, not ever, not especially on that final judgment day.

He has that in mind, my friend. Up to 3:20, he has described the problem. The problem of the world is what? The problem of the world is they are guilty before God now and even on that final judgment day they are guilty. This is the problem; this is the predicament of the world. It's not just a predicament that they are now in trouble. No. The trouble they are in now is nothing compared to the trouble they will be on that final judgment day. The whole world is accountable to God. That's the problem. Now, the solution comes in 3:21. Look at the first two words. ‘But now’. Everybody say, but now. The word ‘but’ has the power to change everything before. If you say something and say but, now you know everything is going to change.

Martin Luther’s favorite passage this is. The ‘but now’ is one of the most glorious ‘but now's. Paul says, “Nobody stands a chance without Jesus.” But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law. He’s saying, “Now, there's a new righteousness. And it's not based on keeping the law, it's manifested apart from the law.” Look at verse 22. What kind of righteousness is this? The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. Before this, he said, “All are guilty and accountable to God.” Now, he’s saying, “This righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” For there is no distinction: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace. Justified how? By his grace as a gift. Everybody say, gift. It's free. Gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

See, what he's saying? He's presenting the solution and then he’s saying, “Now, there's a new righteousness apart from the law. Now, the solution has to answer the problem. The problem is not just that people are guilty today, but the bigger problem is, people will be guilty one day, on final judgment day they'll receive the guilty verdict.” Now, the solution has to answer that as well. You see. Think about that. Paul is saying, “The righteousness has come now.” Look at verse 26. It was to show his righteousness at the present time. God is showing His righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith. God is both righteous and He’s the ‘righteousor’. He's the one who makes righteous. He's both righteous and He makes righteous the one who has faith in Jesus. He’s saying, one day He will reveal His judgment on that final day but now itself He’s shown a different kind of righteousness not based on law, and He’s made righteous everyone who has faith in Jesus. It's not based on how they did the law. It's based on their faith in Jesus.

Now, Paul knows, Jews will say, “Paul, what are you talking about? You’re talking about something totally different? What happened to the Old Testament? What happened to the law?” That's why Paul in Romans chapter 4, now let's go to Romans four, he gives the example of Abraham. What does he say? How was Abraham justified? How was Abraham counted righteous in God's sight? Was it because he did some good works? No. Genesis 15:6 says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Before he was circumcised, he was counted righteous. Circumcision was a big deal for the Jews. It was like the one thing you had to do to become a Jew. The way you become a Jew is you get circumcised. So, they thought the way you become a child of God, enter the family of God, is you get circumcised. They put such a weight on the act of circumcision. It's like baptism nowadays. With Christians, it's like what? Baptism.

Some Christians think what? If you're baptized, you're set, you go to heaven. No problem, don't worry. Baptism saves you? Does baptism itself save? Some people are getting baptized for some this or that benefit, for the purpose of marriage or something like that. There are people who get baptized like that. Does baptism itself save a person? Now, let me ask you, does that water have so much power to save? Will you even drink that water? No. Does the person giving the baptism have the power to save? Does he have the power to save? No matter which human gives the baptism, do they have the power to save? Does the water have the power to save? Does the act and the right of baptism alone by itself have the power to save?

People say, “Well, he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” Yeah, believes and is baptized. It’s faith in Christ which saves. Baptism is ideally for a person who has believed in Christ and the baptism shows outside as a public display what has happened on the inside. When the person goes into the water, it's a public declaration. “Look what has happened to me. Like this water covers me, God has covered me and cleansed me and washed me away like this water washes me. And as I go into the water,” usually when they baptize, they go like this. You go like this, you died with Christ. You're buried with Christ. Rose again with Christ. You come out of the waters in newness of life. It’s something that already happened on the inside. Baptism puts it on public display and shows, “Look, what an amazing salvation God has given us.” And also, it’s a public declaration that, “I will live for Jesus always. I will follow Jesus always.” It's a meaningful act. It's a very rich act but don't give it the power to save. Only one has the power to save and that is the Lord Jesus. He is the only Savior. People believe in rights, sacraments, this, that. No. Jesus saves. Only Jesus saves. Nobody else can save. Nothing else can save, my friend.

Circumcision was like baptism for the Jews. They thought circumcision will save. Paul is saying, “How did Abraham enter the family of God? How did Abraham get accepted with God before he got circumcised?” And then he says, “What about David?” David talks about in Psalm 32, the blessedness of the man to whom the Lord will not count sin. Psalm 32 is what we prayed yesterday in our prayer time. David is also like that. He also believed in this fact that God doesn't count your sin against you, He counts righteousness by simply believing in Him. And he says in 4, Abraham was like this, David was like this, even in the Old Testament, God accepted them by their faith in the sacrifice. By the blood, we are also accepted like that. And he comes to Romans 5 verse 1. Keep tracking. I know it may be difficult, but you will get something good out of it. ‘Therefore’. ‘Therefore’ means Abraham got it like this, David got it like this, we also get it like this. Like what? Not by showing ourselves perfect in doing the law, but rather by simply putting our faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. You're already justified. You're already righteous, you're already made righteous. Everybody say, I'm already justified. So, having been justified by faith, it's already happened. Now you have peace with God. People are worried they don't have peace about this or that. Forget about all that. You have peace with God. You're a believer, you have peace with God. That's the most important peace you need and you have it. If you know and realize you have it, you will get all the other peace also. Believer is righteous in God's sight, and therefore he has peace with God. God is not our enemy. God is not at war with us. God is not mad at us. We and God are like this, we have peace. We have peace with God. So, we are justified, we have peace with God. Next.

Verse 2. We have obtained access. Everybody say, access. He’s saying, since you are righteous you already have peace, and you already have access. And then what else do you do? You rejoice. Everybody say, rejoice. Look at what he's doing. He's saying, you're righteous now. So, now you have peace. And you also have access. Anytime you want, you can go to God. Ask whatever you want. Free access, continual access, and you also rejoice. Rejoice about what? Rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Everybody say, hope. When Paul says hope sometimes, he's talking about heaven. He's talking about what? Heaven. How do I know he's talking about heaven? Look here, hope of the glory of God. Where do you see the glory of God? One day, we have not yet seen the glory. We get glimpses, but one day we will see the face of Jesus. We’ll see Him in his glory. Jesus prayed, “Father, I pray that they will be with me where I am to see My glory,” in John chapter 17. I want you to notice what has happened. Paul has made a beeline from you are righteous in Christ now, all the way to you can now rejoice about heaven. You see that? You're righteous. You have peace with God therefore, already you've got peace. Everybody say, I have peace. And you've already got access. Everybody say, I have access. And you rejoice, he says. We rejoice. Rejoice about what? About that final hope, the hope of the glory of God.

If you're doubtful, come down to verse 9. He's thinking all the way till the end. Since, therefore, we have been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. What is he talking about? Final wrath. He's comparing two things. He's saying, if this has already happened, we can be much more sure that that will happen. If you are already made righteous by Jesus’ blood, much more shall you be saved in the future by Jesus from the wrath of God. If this has happened, this will surely happen. Verse 10. Same thing he says. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. A lot of words, but just break it down. Look at that. He’s saying, if that happened at that time, this is going to surely happen. We can be much more sure about what is going to happen. You see that? He says, “When we were enemies, if we were reconciled to God by Jesus’ death, much more - everybody say, much more - now that we are reconciled.” Our condition is better. We are reconciled now. Shall we be saved by his life? Jesus condition also is better now. He is no longer on the cross. He is alive.

Can you see what he's saying? He's saying, if that time when we were in our worst condition we were enemies, God saved us, justified us by the death of Jesus, now, that we are saved and friends, joined to God like this and Christ, we can be much more sure that we will be saved by the life of Jesus. He’s saying, if the death of Jesus had power to save you, the life of Jesus has the power to see your salvation to completion. Can you see that? Can you see what Paul is doing? Taking the truth that you are justified and righteous, he goes directly to the end and says, “You have assurance about the end.” You see that? He gives assurance based on what? You are saved, you are righteous. That means you can be much more sure that you will be saved in the end. He's not doing what some other people will do. What would they do? They say, “Well, you're saved but you never know what will happen. You never know if you'll last. Through many tribulations we have to enter. And who knows what will be your final condition?” No. Did you see? He’s not doing that. He’s saying, “If you're saved, if you’re justified you've got peace now, access now and you rejoice now about the end. Now. Rejoice now about the end.” Everybody say, rejoice now.

Your righteousness in Christ should be enough for you to rejoice now about the end. Up to now, he has not said one word about growing in holiness in Romans. Is he going to say? Yes, he is going to. I'll show you. Come down 5:19. He just keeps harping on this truth. You’re righteous, you’re righteous and you can be sure about the end now. But look at Romans 5:19. For by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. And by Christ's obedience we are all made righteous. Now, look at verse 20. He gives us assurance, assurance, assurance. One man's obedience, you’re righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. Now, you may say, “Well, now this is going to far.” Not only is Paul not talking about live holy yet, now, he's saying where sin increased grace increased much more. Just think about that. He’s giving assurance all the way till the end and then saying, “Where sin increased, grace increased much more.”

You know what he means? He’s saying, “If sin is so powerful, and if it can do so much damage, grace is more powerful and it can do more good. If sin put the whole world under its power and held it guilty before God, now and on that final judgment day, then the grace of God has more power than the sin of man, and it will take man now and forever, make him righteous and acceptable in the sight of God.” Grace is more powerful than sin. Where our sin increases grace will abound much more. I know what's going through some people's minds. Can we sin continually then so that grace will abound more? Some people will say, “Do you see? This is why I said this teaching is wrong.”

A lot of people watching online. They don't like this kind of teaching. “Assurance? Why give believers assurance? As it is, they are not in the proper condition. We should threaten them some more not give them assurance.” Wrong method. Paul's method is, you give the assurance first. And he takes it to the nth extreme. Look at what he says. Where sin abounds, grace abounds more. And now, Paul knows what will be running through the minds of some people. So, shall we sin more that grace will abound some more? Are we teaching, “Go ahead and sin some more”? Is Paul teaching, “Go ahead and sin some more”? Paul knows exactly what people will ask, and that's why he raises the question himself.

Romans 6 verse 1. Look at that. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Listen to this, Paul taught in a way where the question got raised naturally. Do you see that? Paul taught in a way where this question got provoked, got raised naturally. It led to this question; shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? Why I say this is, just raising the question or that thought coming itself is not wrong. What is wrong is, if you answer with a yes. If you say, “Yes, go ahead and sin that grace may abound.” Look at how Paul answers it. Verse 2. Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Now only, he's going to talk about how to overcome sin. In chapter 6, is the first time he's going to talk about overcoming sin. He never brought up the subject before that. First, he gave assurance, then only talk about overcoming. You see the pattern here? First you remove the condemnation. You give the people assurance, remove the condemnation, remove the guilt, by the gospel, the power of the gospel, the truth of the gospel, and then comes the instruction on how to overcome sin.

Chapter 6 is a detail instruction on how and why we should overcome sin. This is the pattern of the Bible. First assurance. Everybody say, first assurance. You remember the woman caught in adultery? They brought her to Jesus. John chapter 8. They caught her in the act of adultery and they said, these guys wanted to trap Jesus, these religious heads over there. They brought up this woman and said, “Look, she's caught in adultery. You know what the law says? You got to stone her to death. Now, what do you say, Jesus?” Jesus knows what the law said, He only gave the law. So, He says, very coolly, nobody can reply like Jesus. He says, “Let the one who has no sin cast the first stone.” What a reply! And then He gets down and He starts writing on the ground. People conjecture about what He was writing. We don't know, we can't be sure. But as He was writing, one by one, they started to go away from the oldest to the youngest, from the greatest to the least. Some people think Jesus got down and started writing on the ground the sins of those guys. Slowly, nobody was left. The woman was there the guilty, deserving punishment and Jesus was there, the one who had no sin. He said, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.” He is the only one without sin. And He's there and He says to the woman, “There is no one left?” She says, “No, Lord.” The words she uses there are ‘no’ and the very, ‘Lord’. That itself shows her little faith there. Those other fellows called Jesus, Teacher. He's not a teacher, He’s the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the Savior. The woman says, “No, Lord, nobody's there.” And Jesus looked at her and said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

Now, look at the order. What comes first? No condemnation first, then only go and sin no more. Now, if somebody else was in the place of Jesus, some of the people we know, you know what they would have done? They would have said, “Oh everybody's gone. Well, I am without sin. I can actually stone you, but I'm merciful. Will give you a chance. Will give you one year. If you get back into this sin, will bring you right to the same spot and I’ll stone you.” That's what some of the guys would have done. Some of the religious people because they believe that you should not give no condemnation first, you should not free the person from condemnation first. You should say, “Prove yourself first.” Do what? Prove yourself, show that you won’t sin any more then I will say, ‘Neither do I condemn you.’” No, it's not like that with Jesus. First, neither do I condemn you. No condemnation. That’s it. Forgiveness full and free. And even maybe scandalous. Neither do I condemn you. Go, sin no more.”

The ‘sin no more’ has power only when you put it after no condemnation. If you put first and say, “Don't sin, grow in holiness first, then you get your assurance,” wrong method, my friend. Paul does the same thing; Jesus does the same thing. In Romans 6, we go back to Romans and I'll just show you the end. And Romans 6 is about how to overcome sin. Romans 7 is about the battle that we face against sin. And Romans 8. Here is his pattern. Salvation, assurance of salvation, growing in holiness, again assurance, Romans 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Actually, this is after a passage that is about big struggle with sin. Romans 7 contains a big struggle with sin kind of passage. And right after that struggle, he says in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”

And what is happening through the rest of chapter 8? I don't have the time to read it. But if you read it, it's again about how to live victoriously over sin. He comes back again. Can see the pattern? Salvation, assurance, no condemnation, victory over sin. Again, back to no condemnation, victory over sin. Romans 8 the rest of the chapter is about victory over sin for the half of the chapter, at least. And then, let me read to the end now. Romans 8:18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory. What is he thinking about again? End. The glory which shall be revealed. After talking about victory over sin, he comes back to the end, glory. And then verse 22, 23. We know that the whole creation groans and labors. About what? 23. Not only that, we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the redemption of our body. What is he talking about? He's talking about the end when Jesus will come and we’ll receive a new body.

Verse 24. For we were saved in this hope. You saw the word hope? He's talking about the final hope. The hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? Look at verse 28. And we know that all things, from now until the end is what he means, work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Look at the end of verse 30, and those whom He justified, these He also glorified. You see what he did? He went from justify all the way to glorify. “You’re righteous? You're set.” He is talking about future glorification as though it already happened in the past tense. Those whom He justified, He also glorified. It's a done deal. It so sure. It's a done deal. It’s the way he puts it, you see?

And then comes verse 31. What then shall we say to these things? What things? The whole thing what he's been saying. You got assurance, you're saved, you're justified, you're safe till the end. Go ahead and take the victory over sin. Live in the spirit. Put to death the deeds of the body by the Holy Spirit. What shall we say to these things finally? If God is for us, who can be against us. You know what he means? If God is for us now, and on that final judgment day, then who can be against us? That's the meaning. Otherwise, you have not read it the way it ought to be read. From now until all the way till the end on that final judgment day, God is for us. Verse 32. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Everybody say, all things. He’s saying, “If God gave His only begotten Son, how will He not give us all things from today until that final judgment day? Whatever I need to reach there safely.”

Verse 33. Who shall bring a charge? Do you see that? What charge? That is an accusation. Who is the accuser? The devil is the accuser. Who shall bring a charge, an accusation, against God's elect? Who can accuse believers? He’s saying. It is God who justifies. He’s saying, “God is the one who gave the verdict you are righteous. Who can dare open their mouth and accuse the believer now, all the way till the end, on that final judgment day? Who can bring an accusation against the believer?” That's the meaning, my friend. It is God who justifies. Verse 34. Who is he who condemns? Now, and on that final judgment day. It is Christ who died, furthermore is risen. He’s saying, “Listen, don't worry believer. The three most important Persons are on your side.” Who are They? Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is the one who justified you. The Son is the one who died for you, and furthermore is also risen from the dead, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession. Here is Jesus. He died; He rose again. He's alive, praying for you, interceding for you. After all this, how can anybody condemn you now and all the way till the end and especially on that final judgment day?

Verse 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword? He’s saying, “Come what may, I don't care what comes. I mean, if I lose everything for the sake of Jesus, persecution.” People in persecution, sometimes they doubt. Sometimes a doubt may come in, “Does God love me? Is He allowing this?” He’s saying, “Come what may, no matter what happens, nothing can separate me from the love of Christ.” It is assurance. Verse 37. In all these things we are more than conquerors. Everybody say, more than conquerors. That means, in the end we win. When we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Now, he's not just saying general in the end even, we win. He’s saying, “On that final judgment day, when all is said and done, we win for all eternity. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” That’s the meaning. That's the meaning, my friend.

We tend to take these statements in a very general way most of the time. But he's trying to give lasting assurance because he's about to enter another section, unrelated. I mean, it's a different section. Romans 9 to 11 is about Israel. And then verse 38. Finally, I am persuaded that neither death nor life, whether I die or live, no matter what happens, nor angels nor principalities, whoever, let them come. Even from heaven let them come, angels. Principalities, powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing.” He knows somebody will put something there, “But what about this brother?” Nor any other created thing. He already said, the three most important people are for you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Now, the rest is all created things. “Any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Case closed now, till the end on that final judgment day. That’s the meaning, my friend.

Be secure. After this, if you go, he talks about holy living again in chapter 12. He says, “Therefore, brethren, I beseech you. I beg you on the based on the mercies of God, which I told you so many chapters, present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” But that doesn't come first. First comes assurance. Everybody say, first assurance and then growing in holiness. You get assurance you will want to grow in holiness. You get assurance you will grow much in holiness; you will grow faster in holiness; you will have gospel power and motivation to grow in holiness. If you just try to grow in holiness without having assurance, you won't grow in holiness, you won't grow in assurance. Nothing happens.

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