I. THE SCENE.
A. It is the Sabbath day, we are in a Jewish synagog in Antioch of Pisidia and Paul is preaching Christ to them.
B. The things he tells them about Jesus.
1. He was the fulfillment of the promise of God to David that the Messiah would come through his seed.
2. That He was the Savior.
3. Those that dwell in Jerusalem and the rulers fulfilled the prophecies concerning Him by condemning Him.
4. They desired that Pilate would slay Him.
5. His death on the cross was a fulfillment of prophecy.
6. He was buried in a sepulchre
7. God raised Him from the dead.
8. After His resurrection He was seen many days by His disciples who bore witness to the resurrection.
9. God fulfilled the promises that He made to their fathers by raising Jesus from the dead.
10. The body of Jesus did not see corruption.
11. Through Jesus is preached the forgiveness of sins.
II. THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
A. The psalmist declared, "O how happy is the man whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered."
1. He spoke of the misery that he felt while he felt the guilt of his sin.
a. Day and night God's heavy hand was on him.
b. He inwardly was as dry as the drought of summer.
2. The sense of guilt can drive you crazy.
b. Knowing the harm that a guilt consciousness can bring, modern educators have done their best to so liberalize the thinking of man, that he can commit any kind of action without the least sense of guilt or remorse.
c. This is sort of backfiring on our society today and the new generation coming up, seems to have no sense of guilt, thus they are killing one another without remorse or conscience.
d. To have any kind of social order their must be a sense of right and wrong. A sense of guilt when you have done wrong.
e. Look at the history of the nations, when they lost their moral base, they were not conquered by outside foes, but collapsed from within.
f. There are tremendous problems in Russia today because of the lack of the sense of what is right and wrong.
g. Corruption and graft are the rule of the day.
h. The United States is not far behind.
3. No matter how much man may speak of the relativity of morals or values, God has written His law on every heart.
a. A person may put up a good exterior while dying on the inside.
b. It's what you feel when you have put your head upon the pillow at night and you are away from the crowd and the party, it is just you and God. You have tried to brush Him aside, but He is always there.
c. Paul speaks of the law of God written upon our hearts, our conscience bearing witness, and our thoughts either accusing or excusing.
B. Man's greatest need is the forgiveness of sins.
1. Unforgiven sin will not only torment you as it did the psalmist.
2. Unforgiven sin will bring you death.
a. God has already pronounced the death sentence for sinners, "The soul that sinneth shall surely die."
b. God's word declares, "The wages of sin is death."
3. This is more and worse than just physical death, this is spiritual death.
a. The Bible declares that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment.
b. There is something after death.
c. John in Revelation speaks of seeing the judgment throne of God and all the dead small and great standing before God while the books are opened and they are judged out of the things written in the books.
d. He said, "That whosoever was not found in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire." He called this the second death.
e. You say, "In the opinion of many theologians that lake of fire bit is figurative speech, it is not literal."
f. Do you want to gamble your eternal destiny on the opinion of man who has been wrong many times, or the unerring word of God?
4. If there were not a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun, do you think that God would have allowed His Son to suffer that horrible death at the hands of sinful man?
5. The glorious message of the gospel is that you can have the forgiveness of sins.
6. More than that.
III. "BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, WHICH IS SOMETHING THE MOSAIC LAW CANNOT DO."
A. When you are guilty of breaking the law, the law cannot justify you, it can only condemn you.
1. To be justified is to be declared innocent of the charges.
2. You do not know how complete is the forgiveness of God is until you understand justification.
3. We know what it is to be guilty and to be forgiven.
4. The law could provide the forgiveness of sins. It could not justify.
5. Jesus not only offers the forgiveness of sins, but justification, the total blotting out of all charges.
6. Many times even when you have been forgiven, the past deeds haunt your conscience. You are tormented by the thoughts of what you have done, you still feel condemnation.
7. Jesus goes one step beyond offering you the forgiveness of your sins, He offers you justification.
a. What a joy and blessedness to know that your sins are forgiven, what a greater joy to know that you have been justified. The record has been cleared, the charges not dismissed, but expunged.
b. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
8. You might well ask, "How can God in true justice do that?"
a. By charging your offenses to His Son.
b. Isaiah the prophet foresaw all these things and declared, "All we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one of us to his own way, but God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
c. God cried, "For the transgression of My people He was stricken."
d. God then declared, "By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities."
IV. PAUL HAD BEEN SHOWING ALL ALONG IN HIS MESSAGE TO THAT CONGREGATION IN THE SYNAGOG ON THAT SABBATH DAY THAT JESUS WAS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECIES OF THE SCRIPTURES. HE THEN SPEAKS OF ONE MORE PROPHECY.
A. He warns them to beware lest they perish by fulfilling a prophecy in Habakkuk which declared, "I work a work in your days, which you shall in no wise believe, though it be declared unto you."
B. God's work of redemption has been declared to you. The forgiveness of your sins, and justification through His Son Jesus Christ.
C. If you will believe in Jesus Christ, you will be justified of all things.
D. To reject the message is to put you in danger of facing the judgment of God without having your name written in the book of life, thus you face as the Bible declares, "That certain fearful looking forward of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries."
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.