That Every Mouth May be Stopped – The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Let us pray our Heavenly Father our God
El Shaddai
God Almighty thank you for your grace to
sinner’s today thank you that you are
the God who sent your son Jesus Christ
and called to become man so that we
might know you to take on flesh so that
we could take on spirit to take on death
so that we could take on life father we
thank you for your gracious and merciful
presence among us today and we pray that
you will give us the peace of God that
passes all understanding art our hearts
in mind through Christ Jesus our Lord to
which all God’s people said and please
be seated
well good morning people of God the
morning is so good to see all your
smiling masks out there I’m just
trusting I am going on faith that there
are smiles behind them
so either the squints mean you are
really smiling or you’re really in pain
which I hope it’s the former and not the
latter I want to just in our passage
this morning well I first I just want to
acknowledge our fourth of July weekend
happy fourth of July weekend
Independence Day I always love
Independence Day because it’s about
freedom and there has never you know we
don’t have a perfect country there’s
never going to be a perfect country in
the world until God sets up his kingdom
right because until God sets up his
kingdom you have fallen sinful people
but that being said never has there been
more freedom and liberty than in this
country and it’s about freedom and that
is a theme that the gospel is about and
so I love to think of the United States
is a little beacon of light at times
nothing to compete with the church the
church is to be the true beacon of
freedom in the world but you know we’re
very we as the United States are sitting
on a lot of Christian capital you know
it would it is the freedoms and the the
the commitment to the the Word of God
that has changed modern society it’s the
gospel that has made the best of what we
have today and the worst of what we have
is the things that when we still don’t
conform to the gospel and so I just want
to thank God for that
and it’s really apropos
in a secondary sense – what we’re
talking about this morning and I just
want to draw your attention down in our
passage this morning in Romans three and
if you want to just turn your bulletins
you’ll look down he says these words
down at the very bottom of that
paragraph for Romans 3 19 through 31 it
says or is God the God of the Jews only
is he not the God of the Gentiles also
yes of the Gentiles also since God is
one and what that little verse is saying
here at the end of our passage is it’s
talking about division and unity
division and unity and I so I want us to
be thinking about that as we look at
this passage this morning about division
and unity and and when I when I sat down
to to prep this sermon I was at one
point tempted to write down that our
country is now more divided than ever
and then I paused and I thought about
that I mean it is our country more
divided than ever
thinking about you know maybe the you
know the the time of the 60s right it
felt pretty divided during you know the
fight for racial equality and the
Vietnam War and as I thought about it
more I decided that for me to make that
statement would be a false statement and
in fact the truer statement is we have
never been less divided than we are now
we have never been less divided and
there’s a caveat to that the human race
has never been less divided than we are
today since the fall into sin and the
remedy to that division and I mean human
race as an operative principle is
divided and that it because of sin that
entered into the world if you know what
I’m talking about as soon as somebody
does you wrong how do you feel toward
that person do you feel unity do you
feel liberty in that relationship do you
feel a warm fuzzy do you want to cuddle
them no you don’t and whether it’s the
small relational sins that we commit
against each other on a normal basis
when we make a sharp comment or we give
our spouse the cold shoulder because we
don’t like how they said something
earlier there is a an ongoing divisive
nacinda world and the gospel is the
remedy to that and so as Paul as talking
about this subject called justification
in the gospel the word justification
sounds like a big theological word and
it sounds very irrelevant
it sounds like highfalutin up there
stuff for ivory-tower theologians but
what a what Paul is saying is that
without God’s work in Jesus Christ to
justify the ungodly there is no unity
there is no unification of the race
there is only perpetual and constant
division in fact there’s two types of
people in the world there’s two types of
people in the world that the got that
the Bible refers to which it’s the
people of God who are seeking what Paul
says in Romans 2 glory honor and
immortality and then there are those who
are not and one of my favorite novels
that’s a very short one but it is my
favorite is a little book by CS Lewis
called the Great Divorce anybody ever
read that before Great Divorce if you
haven’t read it I highly recommend you
read it it is a metaphorical ride bus
ride from Hell to the edge of heaven and
the way he prays hell in this book is as
a dank overcast grey town and the gray
town has this characteristic about it is
that it’s constantly spreading outward
everybody is always getting farther
apart from each other and that’s really
such a great insight on him because
without the gospel because that’s what
the gospel does it brings us back
together but you’re Juana you’re moving
one of two ways in our lives you’re
either moving closer to God and to other
people or we are moving away from God
and our neighbor and the way
to our neighbor is through God and
that’s where justification comes in and
so if you look at verse 3:19 with me he
says now we know that whatever the law
says it speaks to those who are under
the law so that every mouth may be
stopped and the whole world may be held
accountable to God for no human being
will be justified in his sight by the
works of the laws and through the law
comes the note it’s in the law reveals
what sin is to us but the law cannot
make us right before God and he says
these very interesting words here he
says so that every mouth may be stopped
now if every mouth was stopped all at
what would you hear pretty much nothing
but good things amen and what he I think
this might be what John is talking about
in his book revelation when he says
there was a silence in heaven I’m
speculating there but he says there’s a
silence in heaven and what I’m saying
here is is that Paul is using the
picture where God has revealed himself
in a way that no man has a response that
it brings absolute hush over the human
race all excuse making all
self-justification has stopped has
ceased before the glorious white glory
of God and he says that the whole world
may be held accountable to God that’s
what the gospel does it holds us
accountable the gospel invites us to
self accountability versus being forced
to be accountable
but one way or another we’re going to be
accountable this morning Denison PETA
will join officially join our fellowship
when you join a church you’re becoming
accountable to the body of Christ to
that local body we’re accountable
anyways God is going to hold all men
everywhere accountable nobody’s going to
escape it but in the church we do it by
choice as Paul says if we judge
ourselves we will not be judged with the
we either repent and embrace the
unifying power of the gospel or we do
not and he says that every mouth may be
stopped that the whole world may be
accountable to God and so in these three
chapters chapters 1 2 & 3
Paul leads us up to this where mankind
is found to be without hope before a
just God at least he we are without hope
if we do not have the gospel but here is
now the good news it’s a but and it’s a
very great but right there in Romans
3:21 but now the righteousness of God
has been manifested apart from the law
although the law and the prophets bear
witness to it the righteousness of God
through faith in Christ for all who
believe there is no distinction so what
is this good news it is hope for all
both Jew and Gentile and Paul is
pointing out in that verse that I read
at the beginning but the gospel is for
both Jew and Gentile that’s division in
the world and in the gospel that goes
away what is the gospel moving toward
what does this mean that God gives
righteousness that God gives us hope an
odd hope the righteousness of God is
revealed not in the judgment of sinners
but in the free justification of sinners
that is in putting you in me right with
God that means God looks down on our
sinfulness our brokenness our weakness
our humanity and he says righteous
righteous righteous to the one who has
faith in Jesus Christ he doesn’t just
say it
he’s impugning it he’s reckoning it he’s
making it so because Jesus has paid that
penalty as he’s going to talk about here
who Jesus died and shed his blood
that’s a propitiation and so what does
this mean it means that God gives
righteousness apart from being able to
keep the law we’re gonna get a little
farther on in the book of Romans and
then in Chapter 7 he’s talking about the
very thing I I wish I could do I don’t
and the very thing I try not to do I do
anyways I think it’s one of my favorite
passages of Scripture just to know that
Paul struggled when you read Paul like
what a godly with amazing what a
passionate man and yet what he’s saying
is I have a hopeless struggle against
sin but it’s not hopeless anymore in
Jesus Christ
it is hopeful because I am not standing
on my own ability to keep the law I’m
standing on the ability of Christ and
then if I’m in Christ I am a new
creation and if you’re in Christ you’re
a new creation and if we are in Christ
now we are in unity and we are moving
toward it
– God gives righteousness apart from
actively being righteous what Martin
Luther called an alien righteousness
something that is not normal for me as a
human being to have and somehow the
righteousness of God is shown not in his
judgment but in his compassion his mercy
that is good news
amen that is good news see God does not
just skip his justice but he does not
just let sinners and does not just let
sinners off the hook but a debt must be
paid and he says here in verse 23 since
all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God now how many is all oh I
had a I had a professor in college you
always say all means all that’s all all
means I think that’s true he says they
are justified by His grace as a gift
through the redemption which is in
Christ Jesus to whom God put forward as
an expiation or a propitiation by his
blood to be received by faith and this
was to show God’s righteousness because
of his divine forbearance that he had
passed over former sins the redemption
that is in Jesus Christ is the
substitute Jesus for us Jesus died so
that we might have life Jesus was
sacrificed so that we would not have to
be and this all comes out of this
understanding of the Old Testament
system of what we call the the law of
the talent or the law of retaliation
which is an eye for an eye and a tooth
for tooth and life for life and for you
and I to know the unity of God and the
unity of the Father and for God to
remove division from the world
it took the sinless life of Jesus it
took the sacrifice of Jesus in our place
life for life and here’s something
that’s very important brothers and
sisters is that the gospel of Jesus that
Jesus’s resurrection is more powerful
than death and it’s more powerful than
sin and it’s in fact more powerful than
every sinners sin all added up together
one perfect man that’s power that’s
power look at how powerful death is none
of us escaped physical death nobody gets
out alive right
and yet Jesus has beaten that that
though we die yet shall he live is what
Jesus says that the one who believes in
Jesus that though he died yet he shall
live that is your promise
but then what becomes of our boasting in
verse 27 it is included on what
principle and the principle of works
no the principle of faith what actually
says there is the law of faith what Paul
is saying is is that there is a law of
faith there is the law of God that he
gave and there is the law of sin and
death that has its power over us that
death has its power and it’s pulling us
down it wants to pull us down to the
grave our sin nature and the power of
the accuser want to pull you down to
hell and the grave
and yet there is a law of faith in
Christ Jesus that for that reason we
hold that a man or woman is justified by
faith apart from the law that this is a
spiritual law of the universe the way
gravity is a law of physics
you can’t fight gravity and you cannot
fight the law of faith you cannot fight
the law of sin and death on your own you
will not win that but if you embrace the
law of faith you have conquered death in
Jesus Christ because you are in him and
he carries you and the power that he has
could be summed up or maybe exemplified
the way a Saturn 5 rocket carried
astronauts to the moon
incredible power incredible power the
law of faith is like a universal law of
gravity and so what does the law do the
law exposes sin that is found in all men
all of us stand condemned before a holy
God without the law of faith and Paul
was often misunderstood
and that’s why he says some of what he
says there because people think he was
saying that the law was destroyed by
faith and he says no law of faith does
not promote lawlessness we see anarchist
groups now lawlessness antinomianism
anti law groups it’s not what Paul was
talking about the law of faith leads us
back to obeying God’s commandments it
leads us to repent and join the church
it leads us to by choice become
accountable to God and practice unity
why do we come in here every week and do
what we do why do we preach the gospel
and engage in the liturgy and repent of
our sins and partake of this this the
grace of the sacrament why do we do that
we’re practicing the unity of the
kingdom we’re here to practice this is
the dress rehearsal for the kingdom but
the lights are already on it’s a dress
rehearsal for the kingdom and God has
called us to practice unity to love one
another to practice that unity now in
all our imperfection but we are called
to love one another and what we have to
understand is that in this world we are
constantly being presented with these
false Gospels that prop that promised us
a world of peace and happiness you’re
seeing it right now all over the news
some are saying get rid of police
departments and we’ll all be happy boy
have I got news for you
I mean we all know that the police can’t
do everything for us we have to we have
to be responsible Sydney citizens right
but good grief
there is no pie in the sky this side of
the kingdom of God
everyone who tells you everyone who’s
ever come along and says I have the way
they have lied they have lied every
dictator every idealist everyone who
preached a better world with something
other than the pure gospel of Jesus
Christ and I’m talking the pure gospel
Jesus Christ I’m not talking about those
charlatans on TV who used the gospel to
make money I’m talking about the pure
gospel of Jesus Christ nothing but that
offers true peace you see the gospel is
not firstly about the salvation of
individuals the gospel is about the
Revere reunification of all things in
God through Christ Jesus
it is the reunification of all things in
God through Christ Jesus the salvation
of the individual is essential because
if you don’t save the individual you
can’t save the whole right but God is
about saving the whole he is about a new
humanity which we call the church a new
humanity the new atom raises up a new
humanity in a new heaven and new earth
in the new kingdom of God now how’s that
for hope
and so that’s why he says is he the god
of the Jews only is he not the God of
the Gentiles also yes of the Gentiles
since God is one he’s quoting from
Deuteronomy 6:4 Shema hear o Israel the
Lord our God is one Lord and under one
Lord he has one people one church and
one kingdom what are the implications of
this oneness a oneness of humanity can
only be obtained with a relationship
with the one God and this is why Paul
says in Ephesians 1:8
he speaks of the gap gospel and its
blessings which he says which he
lavished upon us in all wisdom and
insight making known to us the mystery
of his will according to his purpose
which he set forth in Christ as a plan
for the fullness of time to unite all
things in him in heaven and things on

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