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Online Text Sermon - Abraham as a Sinner Declared Righteous, Romans ch.4 vv.1-3

PreacherRev. David Silversides, Loughbrickland
Sermon TitleAbraham as a Sinner Declared Righteous (Young People's Weekend, Arbroath)
TextRomans ch.4 vv.1-3
Sermon ID1924

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"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4, 1-3).

So our theme this morning is Abraham as a sinner declared righteous.

We saw last night that Abraham was saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and that his faith was in the promised Saviour, the Lord Jesus. But now we look at how Abraham as a sinner was in fact declared righteous and forgiven by God.


First of all - Abraham was a sinner.

This follows from the whole context of these verses. I will briefly run through the line of argument in this Book of Romans so far. The principal theme of the first eight chapters is stated in these verses: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1, 16-17). This is saying that the reason the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation is because in the Gospel there is made known to sinners God's provided righteousness for sinners in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what is meant when it says, "therein is the righteousness of God revealed" (Romans 8, 17). It is not just speaking of God's attribute of righteousness, His characteristic, that He is righteous, which of course is true; but it is speaking specifically about His provision of a righteousness for sinners in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why in chapter 10, the apostle, speaking of the Jews, says they go about "to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10, 3). That is to be dependant upon God's provided righteousness for sinners in the Lord Jesus Christ.

This divinely provided righteousness in Christ is 'imputed' or 'reckoned to the account of' all who believe upon the Lord Jesus: "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith" (Romans 1, 17). There is more than one view as to what the phrase 'from faith to faith' means. Some take it simply to mean, 'by faith from beginning to last'. Some translations, very wrongly, incorporate that interpretation into their rendering of this verse. But that is quite wrong. In a translation we don't want interpretation, we want straight translation. If it is ambiguous in Greek, let it be ambiguous in English. If we want help with interpretation we look at the commentators, we ask those who might be able to help us. We don't want interpretation built in to the supposed translation. "From faith to faith" is what is there. If we don't understand it, we must seek to understand it. We rather think that the phrase 'from faith to faith' is that this righteousness is received by faith and it is to every one who has that faith, that is, it is not transferable. So that my faith doesn't bring this righteousness to you, and your faith doesn't bring it to the person next to you. It is received through faith and it is reckoned to the account of those who exercise that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can think for example of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. The preparedness, the oil, it was non-transferable. The foolish said, "Give to us!" But the wise said, "No!" They couldn't. That is one idea of it being non-transferable. It is by faith and it is reckoned to the account of those who have that faith.

Gentiles Are All Sinners

Then the apostle shows the all-standing need of this righteousness because God's wrath even now is shown against man's sin: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men" (Romans 1, 18). Because the wrath of God is revealed against man's sin, he then goes on to show that all are sinners and therefore liable to the wrath of God. He gives a long proof that all have sinned. From verse 19 down to the end of chapter 1 the apostle shows that the Gentiles are sinners: they are all sinners. They are in rebellion against God and even the light of general revelation in the Creation, though it doesn't tell men the way of salvation, it does tell men that God is eternal and glorious. Yet they abuse even the truth revealed in the Creation and engage in idolatry: they change the glory of the incorruptible God into that of a creature - birds, and fishes and so on.

Idolatry is not the result of men seeking after God; idolatry is the result of men seeking to forget God as He really is. The reason men make imaginary gods is because they do not like God as He really is. So they pretend that He is something different. That is what is meant by holding, or holding down, the truth in unrighteousness. Idolatry - that is the worship of that which is not God as if it was God, whether a physical idol, or in more sophisticated times, some false idea of God - is the result of men wanting to get away from God. As Adam hid himself in the trees of the garden (Genesis 3); he wanted to get away from God. That is why men invent false religion. So false religion is not the result of men who want God as He is, struggling to find Him; false religion is men wanting to get away from God as He really is and to make a god that they find more comfortable to live with while going on in their sins. Such ungodliness shows itself also in unrighteousness. The apostle describes the immorality and viciousness of the Pagan world. So that is the Gentiles - they are sinners.

Jews Are All Sinners

Then in chapter 2, he shows us that the Jews are all sinners as well. "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself' for thou that judgest doest the same things" (Romans 2, 1). He goes to show that the Jews are also sinners and despisers of the riches of God's goodness, and treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. The fact that they have the written Word of God, rather than excusing them, only increases their guilt.


So the Gentiles are all sinners and the Jews are all sinners. In chapter 3 we have the conclusion: "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3, 9-10).

Their followers then, misquoted from the Psalms. There are words there quoted from Psalm14 and Psalm 53. If you have a look at those two Psalms you'll see that the bulk of both Psalms are the same: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" and so on. But there are differences between Psalm 14 and Psalm 53. One of the differences is that in Psalm 14, David under the inspiration of the Spirit uses the term LORD - which is in capitals in our Authorised Version - showing it is the word JEHOVAH. Whereas, in Psalm 53 he uses the word 'God' more consistently. Evidently in Psalm 14 David is complaining concerning the wicked within Israel who are opposing him as the Lord's anointed. Whereas in Psalm 53, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Psalm 14 has been adapted to Israel's plight and Israel as the church of God being oppressed by the Pagan nations. Its verses that are common to these two Psalms that the apostle quotes. You can see how wonderfully fitting that is, showing that the Jew and Gentile, all are under sin. David, the individual, complained of the wickedness in Israel, and then Israel as the visible church of God on earth had to face the wickedness of the Pagan nations against them. So these words apply to Jew and Gentile: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3, 23). All therefore stand in need of forgiveness and of the righteousness which is in Jesus Christ and which God gives and imputes to those who trust in Him.

In Romans 4 the apostle is giving the Old Testament proof. He has established all are sinners and that in the Gospel God makes known in Christ that righteousness which He imputes to sinners who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now he is showing that this is entirely in keeping with the teaching of the Old Testament. That is why he says, "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God" (text). Abraham was no exception; by nature he also was a sinner deserving that wrath of God which is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Abraham was no exception.


That brings us to our second point: Abraham was not justified by his works.

"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God" (text). He' talking about Abraham being justified. The first thing we've got to ask is "What is justification?" Justification, in a nutshell, is the opposite of condemnation. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? (Romans 8, 33-34). There you see that justification and condemnation are opposites. If God justifies, who can condemn? God, who is the final Judge, He can declare guilty - that's condemnation - and He can declare not-guilty - that's justification. So justification can be summed up as being declared not guilty by the Judge. Someone in a court of law, if he's declared guilty, that's condemnation; if he's declared not-guilty, that's justification. And God is the final Judge. That tells us how important this is. What men think of us isn't really important at all. It's whether God, the supreme Judge, beyond whom there is no appeal, whether He declares us guilty or not-guilty. That's what matters.

We must keep clear in our minds the difference between justification and sanctification. These terms, especially sanctification, are not in every day use but they are biblical words and we need to understand them. If we are serious about understanding the Word of God we've got to get to grips with biblical terms. What's the difference between justification and sanctification? Our Shorter Catechism gives us a very clear indication when it describes justification as an 'act of God' in Answer 33, and sanctification as a 'work of God' in Answer 35. Justification is declaring a sinner free from the guilt of sin. It's declarative, it's God declaring and categorising in legal terms, that sinner as not-guilty. Sanctification is called a work of God in our catechism because sanctification has to do with God working in His people and actually making them righteous. That work is not completed until they are in heaven, but it is God dealing with the presence, pollution and practise of sin. So justification is deliverance from the guilt of sin, sanctification is deliverance from the presence and practise of sin. Justification is being declared righteous, sanctification is being made righteous. We need to keep that distinction crystal clear. Heresy has into the church whenever that distinction is blurred. Justification: God declaring a sinner not-guilty. Sanctification: God making a sinner holy. One deals with the guilt of sin, the other with the presence and pollution of sin. Justification: being declared righteous. Sanctification: to be made righteous. That distinction is extremely important.

Now Abraham was not justified by works. It was not on the basis of his efforts that God declared him righteous and not-guilty. If it was, as the apostle says in verse 2, he would indeed have grounds for boasting before God. But he didn't. The true Gospel leaves man with no grounds for boasting. The true Gospel contradicts the pride of man at every point. That's why the unrenewed heart of sinners has an antagonism to the true Gospel that is greater than their antagonism to anything else; because the true Gospel contradicts human pride at every single point. False gospels don't. False gospels leave the pride of man untouched but the true Gospel contradicts human pride throughout. "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1, 27-31).

The message is a message of a crucified Saviour, which the Jews thought they were too good to listen to. The Greeks thought they were too clever to listen to it. But God has appointed that He will save sinners this way, and that He will save sinners in such a way that there is not the slightest opening for human pride to boast. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2, 8-9). God did not even give Abraham grounds for boasting. It is a distinctive of the true religion - biblical Christianity - that the glory of salvation belongs entirely to God.


But then thirdly: Abraham was justified by faith.

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (text). Abraham was justified by faith. Let's clarify the place of faith. First of all here we must understand that faith is not an alternative righteousness. The Westminster Confession is a wonderful document because it closes out all sorts of errors. You really should study it and I'm sure many of you do. Here we have the first paragraph of chapter 11 on justification: "Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God". Notice that phrase - "...nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness" - so it's not that the believing is the righteousness. In other words we haven't kept God's law, but if we exercise faith, that stands in as an alternative righteousness to keeping the law.

What the Westminster Assembly had in mind when they put that phrase in there was an error called Neonomianism: new law; as if the Gospel just gets us back to the starting gate and then through faithful obedience we merit acceptance with God. That's not the way of it at all. Faith is not an alternative righteousness to keeping God's law, which we hopelessly broken. All the merit is Christ's. The merit is Christ's and only Christ's. So in Romans we read: "And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4, 22). The merits of Christ are here said to be 'delivered for our offences' {this is speaking as a Christian]. He was 'delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification'. "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8, 34).

"For he hath made him [that's Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5, 21). What is imputed to the believer is the whole of Christ's work in His active keeping of God's law, and in His bearing the guilt of the transgression of that law. Both are reckoned to the account of, imputed. We all know what the word 'imputed' means. If we feel unjustly accused we might say "You are imputing motives". That is, you are reckoning to me motives which are not mine. Or, if at the bank some money is put into our account through error in the computer and it doesn't really belong to us, that also is being reckoned to the account of someone even though it is not theirs by right. The idea then of imputation: reckoning to the account of someone.

The sinner who trusts Christ, all that Christ has done in keeping God's law, is imputed to Him: Christ's sinless, active, conformity to the law of God. Christ was without sin: "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7, 26). Christ could say to His enemies, "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" (John 8, 46). We need a sinless Saviour for two reasons. Firstly, only a sinless Saviour could bear the wrath of God in the place of sinners. If He were a sinner, He would have the wrath of God to bear on His own account. But the Lord Jesus was sinless and bore the wrath of God in the place of the guilty. In the Old Testament figure that we were speaking about yesterday - a sacrifice, God said that it should be perfect to be accepted: "there shall be no blemish therein" (Leviticus 22, 21).

But also the Lord Jesus must needs be sinless to be the substitute of sinners because He bestows upon His people, not only the removal of guilt, but also an active righteousness reckoned to their account. So that we are not just taken back to the starting line, the people of God, Christians, have had reckoned to their account an actual righteousness and obedience. So we need Christ's active obedience, His fulfilling of God's law, reckoned to our account as well as His passive obedience. That is in the sense of His bearing the punishment of the transgression of God's law. He was delivered for our offences. In what sense was Christ delivered for the offences of His people? Was it just some gesture that Christ engaged in? No, Christ was actually bearing the wrath of God in the place of sinners. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4, 10). A 'propitiation' - that word again is not in general usage but we must not change the word but learn what it means. Very important. 'Propitiation' means to bear away the wrath, the wrath in this case of God Himself. The love of God is shown supremely in His sending His Son to bear His wrath in the place of guilty men and women.

Liberal churchmen detest this doctrine even though a number of years ago the Church of England Commission produced a report, endorsed by the House of Bishops in which they acknowledged that the literal meaning of the Greek word 'hilasterion' in that place is 'propitiation'. But then they more or less said that they had moved on from such ideas of a God punishing sin, and a God wrath, and so on. So they know what it means but they don't like it so they don't accept it. They detest the idea of propitiation, of Christ bearing the wrath of God. The reason they detest the idea of the wrath of God is because they detest God as He truly is. That's the half-truth of the matter. If they don't like what God is like and what He does, it's because they don't like God. Despite all the talk amongst the liberals about the love of God, they don't actually understand the love of God. They see themselves as the champions of the love of God. But they are not because herein is love, that God sent His to be a propitiation for our sins. If you don't believe that God is a God of wrath, that He is holy and just, then you cannot possibly understand the love of God; because God's love is supremely shown in His sending His Son to bear His wrath as the substitute of His people and fulfilling the demands of justice in that way.

God does punish sin. The real God does punish sin. Any idea of God that dismisses God as if He didn't punish sin is an idol. It is the same Pagan idolatry that the apostle condemns in Romans 1. The living and true God is the righteous Lord that loveth righteousness, as Psalm 11 reminds us. The Saviour that we need is the Saviour who kept God's law and bore the wrath of God in the place of men and women who had broken that law. The merits of Jesus Christ are all imputed to all who believe and they are imputed to them when they believe. God has purposed from all eternity to justify His elect but they are not actually justified until they are effectually called and brought to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God promises to justify every sinner who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1, 9). What does that mean? It means this, that when we confess our sins and come to God relying on Jesus Christ as our Advocate with the Father, God is faithful, in that He does what He has promised, and He is just, in that Christ is the Substitute of the guilty sinner. He is just in forgiving the sins of those who come to Him in this way. God is gracious and merciful in forgiving sins but He does it in a manner which is just. God is just; when He forgives He is righteous, when He forgives sinners who draw near through our Lord Jesus Christ. So there are promises which God will fulfil: to forgive every sinner when he draws near to Him, trusting in Jesus Christ alone for acceptance in His sight. When God forgives believing sinners and imputes to them all that Christ has done on behalf of sinners, God is loving, gracious and just, in doing so. That's why the apostle says in Romans that "he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3, 26).

God is just and the justifier. It is just and righteous with God to declare not-guilty those sinners who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. So Christ is the Saviour we need and there is no-one else. We must come to God by Him. We must come without money and without price knowing that we nothing with which to recommend ourselves to God. We are helpless and hopeless in ourselves. We deserve wrath and nothing but wrath. But there is forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Abraham rejoiced to see my [Christ's] day" (John 8, 56), trusted in the coming Saviour and was declared righteous on the basis of what Christ was going to do, he was declared righteous in the sight of God. God will do the same for us if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.


Fourthly and finally - Abraham received believers' circumcision.

After his quotation from Psalm 32 in which it is shown that David also speaks in the same manner: "Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised..." (Romans 4, 9-11). Now what is the relevance of all this? Well there were those who were saying that circumcision somehow contributed to meriting acceptance with God. But the apostle is saying, "Wait a minute, Abraham was justified, Abraham believed and was justified before he was circumcised". He received circumcision as a believer. Isaac received the same sign as an infant. But in Abraham's case he believed and was justified and then he was circumcised. Circumcision was the seal of the righteousness which he had by faith yet being uncircumcised.

The sign and the thing of which it was a sign are distinct. This tells us that the sacraments, though important and not to be neglected, they do not contribute to our acceptance with God. They teach the truth of God, that the truth that we have in the written Word is visibly set forth in baptism and the Lord's Supper, as it was in circumcision and Passover; but our partaking of them or having those sacraments does not merit or contribute to meriting acceptance with God. The sign and the reality are distinct. The sacraments testify to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the Redeemer who gave Himself a Ransom for many set forth in the Lord's Supper, does indeed cleanse those who are His set forth in baptism. However the sacraments themselves do not merit acceptance with God. Only Christ's merits imputed to those who believe on His Name.


Some brief conclusions.

Firstly, the true religion subscribes salvation entirely to God and to His grace. We said earlier it contradicts the pride of man, and it does, totally, one hundred percent. Every deviation from the biblical Gospel concedes to human pride. The true Gospel opposes the pride of man at all points. We need to get that fixed in our minds so we can stop error because the true Gospel ascribes glory to God for salvation in every respect.

Secondly, justification is by Christ's merits alone being imputed to all who trust in Him alone.

Thirdly, all false religion either declares salvation unnecessary - as the liberals tend to do, or that salvation is partly of God and partly at least of man. That's true of open non-Christian religion and it's true of pseudo-Christian religion. For example, Roman Catholicism teaches that justification is a process of purification. In other words, Rome merges justification and sanctification so you are justified by being completely purified. They distinguish of course between mortal and venial sin. Mortal sin has to be absolved and then it's in the same category as venial sin. Venial sin has to be purged by temporary punishment and merit. So the idea is that the process of purification begins on earth by means of sacraments and penances, and is carried on in purgatory for whatever period is deemed necessary. Then when the process of purification is complete the sinner is declared righteous and supposedly enters the presence of God. That is of course a false gospel. That's why Roman Catholicism is not true Christianity.

You can see that what has happened is that justification and sanctification have been merged. That process might have been accelerated by the fact that the Latin Vulgate version of the Scriptures uses a word that means to 'make righteous' as a translation of 'justification'. But justification is not being made righteous, it's being declared righteous. We must keep those two things distinct. Rome doesn't and ends up with a false gospel. That's why Bishop Ryle writing on What Do We Owe To The Reformation - talking about England, and if this is true of England it is even more true about Scotland - he says we have neither an adequate conception of the evils from which the Reformation freed us nor of the enormous good which it brought in. In the days when the Roman Catholic Church ruled England he who desired to obtain forgiveness of sins had to seek it through a jungle of saints, priests, Mary worship, mass, penance, confession, absolution and the like.

This whole mass of rubbish was swept away by the Reformers. They taught that justification was by faith alone and that every heavy-laden sinner on earth had a right to go straight to the Lord Jesus Christ for remission of sins without waiting for pope or priest, confession or absolution, mass' or extreme unction. From that time the backbone of English popery was broken. The Reformation found Englishmen steeped in ignorance and left them in possession of knowledge. It found them blind and left them seeing. It found them without Bibles and left them with a Bible in every parish. They found them priest-ridden and left them enjoying the liberty which Christ bestows. It found them strangers to saving faith, grace and holiness and left them with the key to those things in their hands. It found them salves and left them free. I hope you are all enthusiasts for the protestant Reformation because it was a mighty work of God in bringing us back to biblical Christianity.

Apart from Roman Catholicism you may be aware that the so-called Jehovah's Witnesses teach something similar. If you talk to a so-called Jehovah's Witness - I say so-called because if they were real witnesses to Jehovah they would tell you that Christ is Jehovah, but they don't do that - they talk about Christ being a ransomed sacrifice, and they talk about justification by faith if you press them, but they don't mean the same thing as we mean, or the Bible means - more to the point. What they teach is that Christ's work of ransom brings them back to the starting gate, to where Adam was. Then you are justified by faith, but faith in the sense, not of trusting Christ alone, but of faithfulness. The idea is that you are back at the starting blocks and you demonstrate your faithfulness by loyalty to God's organisation, which for them just happens to be the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. That's why if in discussion with Jehovah's Witnesses you need to be aware of how you use the term faith. It is not trusting Christ, it's faithfulness to God. In that sense it is very similar to Rome, you never know whether you have done enough and you are kept in uncertainty and dependant upon the organisation.

More recently there is an error known as federal vision. You probably won't come across it but just in case. The proponents of federal vision tend to deny the imputation of Christ's active obedience. So Christ bore the guilt of sin and we are justified, they say, by faithful faith: that is not just a faith in Christ that shows itself in works, but as if faith and works were the instruments of justification. They talk about foreseen good works being a part of the instrument of justification. We must reject all of that.

Sinners are justified through trusting entirely in the merits of Jesus Christ alone.

That brings us to the very last point of application. Are you justified?

Every one of us in this room and everyone in the world is either justified or condemned. If you're trusting entirely in Jesus Christ as the righteous sin-bearer for acceptance with God then God declares you not-guilty. But if you are not, and if you are proudly resentful of being told that you are a hell-deserving sinner who must trust Christ alone for acceptance with God, then you are living under the condemnation of God: you are living under the wrath of God, you are living under the curse of God. You are accursed of God when you lie down at night, and when you wake up in the morning; when you get up and when you go out; when you do whatever you do and when you go to your work or study or when you sit and eat: you are under the curse and wrath of God. You are under the curse of God because God only justifies those sinners who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone.

Are you justified?

Are your sins forgiven?

Are you trusting entirely in Jesus Christ alone for acceptance in the sight of God?

Christ receives sinners. He receives every sinner who trusts in Him alone. No sinner comes to Christ and is turned empty away. The Saviour of sinners said when He was in this world, and He says it still in the preaching of the Gospel by His servants: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11, 28-29). Amen.

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