Sunday, March 17, 2013

Restoration of the Sinner

Last week - "Sacrifice of Christ" for our sins.  (Bridge Illustration)

Which illustrates:
1).  Man's need - we stand in a place of separation from God due to sins - John 3:18
2)  God's provision (in due time, in His time) - (Christ - substitution sacrifice) - 1 Pet. 2:24
3)  Our opportunity - because the "bridge" is there.
        NOTE:  the cross does not give us salvation!  It gives opportunity for salvation!!!!  (for cleansing, forgiveness, etc.)
4)  Our response - we must decide and accept Him.
       NOTE:  Salvation is not a result of accepting the free gift of salvation.
                   Salvation is the result of accepting HIM - John 1:12

So, last week - forgiveness, cleansing by Christ's work.
This week - restoration through the cross. 
Remember this morning's scripture reading:  Luke 15:1-32, 19:10 - lost coin, lost sheep, prodigal son.
All were restored to the place they came from.

Three Acts of God that lead to our restoration. 
 (theologically technical terms)
Justification - Reconciliation - Adoption

I.  Justification - Rom. 4:25
The act of God by which He declares a sinner "Not Guilty" - (acquittal, absolution)

BUT...... we ARE guilty!!!   So, this is more than forgiveness.
How?  (is a mystery)  through Imputation   (attribute, assign, credit)
As He credits our sins to Christ, so He credits Christ's righteousness to us (positional, not necessarily practical) - 2 Cor. 5:21

Which means - 1)  no condemnation - Rom. 8:1, 33-34 -  is a huge thing
Therefore -      2)  peace with God - Rom. 5:1 - not at odds anymore

Now have right standing legally which leads to right standing relationally.  We were separated from God due to our sins.

II.  Reconciliation = the act of God by which He restores our relationship with Him.
2 Cor. 5:17-20   1 Pet. 3:18 - not just to forgive, cleanse, but to bring us to God

Now - Heb. 10:19-22, 4:16 - let us draw near to God with confidence.

Justification => right standing (legally)
Reconciliation => right relationship -- (personally)

But God took it one step further:
III.  Adoption - the Act of God by which He  makes us  part of His family.
(which is more than in His presence) - example:  son-in-law - before marriage and after wedding

Rom. 8:15-17   Gal. 4:4-7 
I own, in a sense, a piece of the Kingdom

So, because of the WORK of Christ, the ACTS of God, when you approach God in faith, believing and recognizing Christ, you have forgiveness, cleansing, pardon, absolution

Right Standing, Right Relationship, and a welcome into His family!
1 John 3:1

Next week - evening - will celebrate the Lord's Supper.  Celebrate His death - by which we have Forgiveness and by which we have Restoration!    The prodigal son was a son.  We are prodigal strangers, and still He says "come".

He makes all this Available

Have you made the choice?

Have you made the crossing


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