"THE PURPOSE OF HIS COMING"
To Give Us a Righteous Standing Before God
I. MAN BECAUSE OF SIN HAD BECOME ALIENATED FROM GOD.
A. There was nothing man could do to make himself righteous.
1. The best efforts of the best men were short of God's requirements.
2. Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father is heaven is perfect."
a. Some of you are very good. You have a sweet disposition. You are seldom angry or out of sorts. You are never critical of others and always trying to see the good side.
b. But you are not perfect, thus you come short of God's requirement.
B. God gave us the law to show us what He required of man.
1. The purpose was to allow us to see our failure.
2. Through time men began to look at the law as God's standard for righteousness so they misinterpreted the law. They said that the law is only concerned with the outward actions of man. Thus many felt that they were righteous because they had not outwardly broken the ten commandments.
3. These men became painfully self righteous, and extremely judgmental of any who did not keep to their standards.
4. They became known as the Pharisee's and were in constant conflict with Jesus. Their lives were all outward show, on the inside they were corrupt.
5. In reality the law was intended to deal with the attitudes of a man from which the outward actions sprang.
a. Though the law condemned murder, it was condemning more than just clubbing a man to death. It was intended to condemn the attitude of hatred from which murder springs. Thus if you hated someone, before God you were as guilty as the person who had clubbed his enemy to death.
b. The law said, You shall not commit adultery, yet what the law was seeking to govern was the fantasying or desiring in your mind to have sex with someone other than your husband or wife. It was condemning much more than the actual act, but the attitude of the heart from which the act springs.
6. Thus when these men were feeling very self righteous because they had never engaged in the actual act of adultery, nor had they ever physically stolen a ox from their neighbor, yet they desired to have the ox that their neighbor owned thus though they kept the letter of the law they were guilty of violating the spirit of the law.
7. The tragedy was that they saw themselves as very righteous, not needing God's forgiveness. But God saw them as guilty sinners.
8. Because of the attitude of their hearts they never sought the forgiveness of God. They were condemned sinners before God and did not even know it.
a. Jesus spoke of how when they stood before God in prayer, they would say, "I thank you God that I am not like other men, I am not an extortioner, or an adulterer, I'm not like that sinner over there. I fast twice a week, I pay tithes of all I have."
b. Yet that sinner aware of his guilt would not even lift his head toward heaven but with head bowed he cried "God be merciful to me a sinner."
c. Jesus said that the sinner went away justified, whereas the Pharisee went away still bearing the guilt of his sin.
9. One day Jesus said to His disciples, "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisee's you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
10. On another occasion Jesus said that the prostitutes and the rank sinners will get into the kingdom of heaven before the Pharisee's.
11. That tells us one thing. Your best efforts to keep the law of God is not good enough to get you into heaven.
II. PAUL HAD JUST SPOKEN OF HIS ATTEMPT TO HAVE A RIGHTEOUS STANDING BEFORE GOD BY OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW. Circumcised according to the law on the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Outwardly he was blameless. Inwardly he was a vile sinner.
A. Jesus said concerning the Scribes and Pharisee's that they cleaned the outside of the cup, but inside they were full of extortions and excesses. They were like whitewashed sepulcres, outside they looked clean, but inside there were decaying carcasses.
B. It stands that none of us can be righteous by God's standards.
C. Jesus came to give me a righteous standing before God.
D. How is this accomplished?
1. He fulfilled the righteous standards of the law.
a. He lived a life of perfection.
b. He was able to say, "I always do those things that please the Father."
c. On another occasion he challenged the Pharisee's to show Him one sin that he committed.
d. On still another occasion He said concerning Satan, "The Prince of this world cometh and has nothing on Me." Satan the accuser had nothing to accuse Him of.
2. In spite of the fact that He lived the perfect life in total harmony with the Father, God allowed wicked men to put Him to death on the cross.
a. Death was God's sentence for sin, but He had not committed any sin, therefore God put on Him the guilt of all of our sins.
b. "God made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God through Him."
3. Basically it works like this:
a. He became what we were, to make us what He is.
b. He took our sins and gave us His righteousness.
c. Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor that we through His poverty might know the riches of God.
III. THE NEXT TIME YOU HEAR THE CHRISTMAS CAROLS OF SILENT NIGHT OR AWAY IN A MANGER, OR YOU SEE A DEPICTION OF THE LITTLE BABY WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES AND LYING IN A MANGER ATTENDED BY HIS MOTHER MARY AND HER HUSBAND JOSEPH WITH THE SHEPHERDS WATCHING IN AWE. JUST REMEMBER THAT THE LITTLE BABY THAT CAME TO THIS EARTH, IS NONE OTHER THAN THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, HE IS GOD, HE IS COMING IN A BODY OF FLESH THAT...
A. He might reveal the truth of God to man. That God is love, and that God is light and that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance.
B. He has been sent by His Father the Eternal God to bare the sins of mankind, and to die for man's sin.
C. He has come to make you righteous, in order that you might have His righteousness imputed to you, the righteousness which is of Christ through faith.
D. This is what Paul is talking about in these verses. All of the past efforts he had made to be righteous before God he counted loss when he came to the excellency of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. For which he suffered the loss of his previous standing among the Pharisee's but counted the past as refuse, that He might know Jesus Christ and be found in Him not having his own righteousness which was by his attempt to keep the law, but now having the righteousness of Jesus Christ which was imparted to him through His faith in Jesus Christ.