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May 28, 2020 2:00 am
Freedom is a huge word for the Christian believer. In the message "How Prisoners Go Free," Skip shares how any person anywhere can find hope and freedom in the good news of Jesus Christ.
This teaching is from the series Heart & Soul: A Study Through Romans.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
There is across the servicemen and women free is that cross that is the key to liberty. That's the language in part, we find in our textbook out of verse 24. Even though we haven't really read anything you look at the work of redemption that is in that verse. That's a very important word that means to set a prisoner free.
Any person can find eternal hope and freedom from sin and death. Because of the gospel connect with Skip project today as he encourages you about the liberty and salvation you have in Christ reveals the bad news that makes the gospel such amazing begin. Here's a great resource that will help you learn more about where you come from and God's ultimate plan for mankind's redemption. The book of Genesis contains some of the most iconic Bible stories that there is deep spiritual significance in each of those familiar stories. The creations to discover how much God loves his creation and how he considers humankind's crowning achievement in the sleep quality and the very first we find God's plan to the once we would help you uncover personal divide by cityscape Isaac, what you can understand just get a fresh look at a deeper understanding of familiar stories of the very foundation can understand the book of Genesis are what seem generous gift of $35 or more today to help expand the vital teaching outreach device so called out to get your copy of this site will be 692 1888. You could also get on my secure connectwithskip.com/on Skip Heitzig for today's teach we are in Romans chapter 3 sobering fact, you may not be aware of.
There are about 2.3 million Americans in prison.
What that means is one person out of 138 Americans is in jail. 1/138 we have in fact the highest incarceration rate in the world I get this, the United States has 5% of the world's total population, but 25% of the world's prison population staggering is in it. If the US prison population were a city it would be among the country's 10 largest cities there are more people living behind bars than live in the city of Philadelphia.
There are more people living behind bars than who live in the city of Dallas, Texas. Question, how do prisoners get free. Let me tell you about an ingenious way. One person thought he could go free. This happened up in Canada up in the province of Ontario, Canada. The city is Guelph Ontario man was arrested for armed robbery taken to an incarceration facility. The police officer. The constable called in Canada. John Bolton was his name noticed around the prisoners neck across now that interested him because he knew the prisoner was not religious but is running across so easily look at the cross look very carefully and he noticed out of the top of the cross a little protrusion and so he asked the prisoner about exhaust is the thing. It's a design that the style doesn't really mean anything. So not convinced the constable had the prisoner take the cross off and discovered that that little protrusion from the top of the cross could unlock most sets of handcuffs, and in fact was that discovery that exposed the attempt of a number of prisoners in that facility who were making keys to look like process so it was the cross that was the key to their freedom. There is across that sets men and women free is that cross that is the key to liberty. That's the language in part, that we find in our textbook out of verse 24. Even though we haven't really read anything yet. Look at the word redemption that is in that verse. That's a very important word that means to set a prisoner free redemption.
Jesus said the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives even said whoever the son sets free will be free indeed.
In this section of Romans chapter 3, Paul announces both guilt and freedom. As prisoners we are brought into the courtroom.
Charges are read. The judge has the gavel and before I can go down and pronounce the guilty verdict out of his mouth come these words, he's free. She's free, they can go free, and we wonder how is that possible if I'm guilty. How can I have my liberty organa look at that in this section. What we are about to read is a summary of the entire first three chapters of the book of Romans and not only is it a summary of that section.
There's a pivot. In this section I want to make three statements based on the paragraphs were about to read three statements that sum up everything so far in this book and these are the three key facts of the gospel deal with our guilt.
God's gift and this grace our guilt is universal.
God's gift is available. This grace is remarkable those of the three statements that sum this up. Let's begin with the first that's going to the courtroom and notice how universal humanity's guilt is look at verse nine what then are we better than they not at all, for we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
Watch this as it is written, there is none righteous, no not one. There is none who understands none who seek after God. They have altered the side. They have together become unprofitable.
There is none who does good, no not one.
Their throat is an open tomb with their tongues, their practice deceit, the poison of asked really bad snake is under their lips whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood destruction and misery are in their ways.
The way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. This section that I just read is like a law court. Paul like a prosecuting attorney brings a 14 count indictment against humanity. How by quoting Old Testament Scripture, the law and the prophets by quoting Psalms by quoting Isaiah.
These are 14 different quotes out of the Old Testament that he preferred piles up all in the one he's like a prosecutor who walks into a courtroom and piles up the evidence against the person and so Scripture upon Scripture upon Scripture to show the magnitude of our guilt are knocking to take the time to go through all of the statements I think you get the picture, but he does divided up into three categories. These indictments fall in one of three categories.
First of all, who a person is second what a person says and then finally, what a person does so character conversation and conduct is what this list of accusations are all about. Think of it like fireworks.
We have had fireworks in the first three chapters about the wrath of God.
This is the grand finale. You know the grand finale is again the fireworks if they all go off a one time so first three chapters is like boom and then boom, and now it's too damn damn damn band so you're the guy.
Hearing these charges and they're all about you and me. So notice something verse nine what then two words form the first question, what then it could be translated.
What shall we conclude then he's making the summary statement is as if he sank as I finished chapter 3. After talking about the Ranchi crowd and the religious crowd and the self righteous crowd as all guilty.
How shall I conclude this. And here's the conclusion you're all messed up. All y'all are guilty. That's his point another's repeated word.
You shouldn't miss. It is the word none that appears four times in verse some 10 as it is written, there is none righteous. Look at verse 11 there is none who understands. Also in verse 11 there is none who seek after God again. Look at verse 12.
At the the very end of it, there is none who does good, no not one. None none none none see the point he's making now look at another repeated word is the word all verse nine for we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. Verse 12.
They have all turned aside go all the way down to verse 19 we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. All all all just one paragraph. There are four nuns and three balls 4+3 = 7. Interesting that in the Scripture seven is a number of completion or completeness totality.
This is God's complete indictment against humanity. So how many people righteous, none none none none. How many people righteous are you how many people are guilty all all all is unmistakable.
The point that is make. Having said that, this is a summary statement. We have a problem. Very few people believe that in fact most people believe that mankind is basically good. It's what psychologist will tell you it's what leaders say it's what politicians say it's what musicians affirm and poets say all of them support and reinforce the notion that mankind is basically good. Psychology today because guilt a wasted emotion that only results in self stigmatization. I even found a website called how to stop feeling guilty while I was interested right away. I got on our website and I read it I scroll down I want to see if even once they would say here's how to get rid of guilt, repent, and you think I found it. No I didn't.
What I found is here's how to stop feeling guilty, to give several suggestions.
Among them are change your perspective just a matter how you look at it. That's one way also reflect on the lessons that you learned in this very horrible thing you feel guilty about just use it as a teaching moment in an and and that's it.
Then another one was do something good for somebody and then finally do something for yourself that makes you feel good inside. That's how you stop feeling guilty now it is true that mankind is good in the sense that we are created in the image of God. God created man and said it's good but you not to read very far in Genesis to figure out that that which is good, felt pretty quickly right so mankind quickly fell from the image. The ideal that God put within a self were made in the image of God but that image is pretty faint these days, so the assumption is that mankind is basically good but deep inside everyone of us still has that gnawing feeling of guilt. We deal with that. We all deal with. Whether it's because of something we've done in the past or it's we know who we really are on the inside but our smiles and mannerisms seal that at the at the same time society has has declared war on guilt. I even them read an article from the Associated Press while back about an very inventive artist from New Jersey who came up with an idea called disposable guilt bags there just a little paper sacks of brown paper sacks, but in this kit come not only paper bags but instructions and here they are placed bags securely over your mouth sounds like I'm in an airline placed bags securely over your mouth, take a deep breath and blow out all the kilts and then throw it away if it were only that simple and you would think. An idiot wouldn't pay that by that bag 2500 and sold almost instantly when a reporter here's the deal.
People feel guilty because people are guilty. The feeling is only a symptom of the problem. All of the counseling in the world blow in a bag. Tell your face turns blue doing something good for yourself that will only fix things temporarily, superficially, only masks the problem the Guild has to be dealt with at a deeper level. So that's it. That's a problem that the indictment guilt is universal. The summary statement for that comes all the way down to verse 23, where Paul says for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God the picture of this work, but they were all at the beach right now were in Southern California in Huntington Beach and we can see off the coast is an island called Catalina 25 miles off the coast. Everybody who lives there sees it every night when the sun sets. If this guy isn't smoggy but there's Catalina Island and so all of us take turns running down the Huntington Beach peer toward the Oceanport Catalina and we jumped now?
How many of us are going to come short of Catalina. All of us. You might get a little further. Some of us were just sort of plopped off the pier. Others of us will get a little bit better jump in the water. Some of us may be very toned and athletic and will make it further but none of us will reach the glory of Catalina Island rock in the fall short. Will that standard called the glory of God.
Every human being religious and nonreligious hypocritical whatever has fallen short tobacco which brings us to the question, what is that leave us in a word, speechless. Verse 19 now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped at all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Now, the prosecution rests in the prisoner is given a chance to respond and are in the courtroom. If the charges made in the prosecuting attorney has a mounds of evidence and its overwhelming evidence, and the prisoner knows the evidence is against him. It's clear and that there's just no possible defense. He can muster up when the judge says you're free to speak for yourself. He might just say I have nothing to say, Your Honor. Or he might say. I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate me. Their silence I remember many years ago I did something really really bad when I was a teenager, leaving Taylor was take my word. What good and my dad found out and he knew all the details. When I stood before him, and those eyes bore into me just looked at me. I couldn't say a word. I can see there just I get on guilt interesting in the book of Revelation in chapter 8, when the seventh seal is about to be opened as God levels credible judgment upon a guilty earth says there is silence in heaven for the space of 1/2 an hour, so it is a leave us and leaves us speechless and hanging out.
Every now and then I'll meet some because now Donatism, I stand before God I if I do have a few things on tell him that you question for him to give you a little advice don't stand before God, apart from Christ. Think you can sample in you all will stand before God, but don't do it without Jesus.
So first key factor in his belabored this and sums it up here is the guilt, our guilt is universal.
But there's a second key factor that is God's gift God's gift is available in a look at verse 21 and I'm so glad for this first couple of words but now meet some goods coming up but now the righteousness of God. Apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets even or that is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference for all of sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. This is the first transition in the book of Romans do. Remember I said there's four sections of the book, the wrath of God the grace of God. The plan of God. The will of God. This is the first transition between the wrath of God and the grace of God found here between verse 20 and verse 21 is a Grand Canyon where we move we pivot from the first section to the second and I love verse 21 but now, after a long dark night sun begins to shine in the horizon or in the language of the Chronicles of Narnia. The long, dark winter is over and Aslan is on the move. Finally, I love this section and I just before we even unravel anymore. I want to know how important it is my favorite commentators, Donald Ray Barnhouse through a heart over these verses in his Bible and he wrote in his commentary.
I'm convinced today after these many years of Bible study that these verses are the most important verses in the Bible, Leon Morris, another great writer said this is possibly the most important paragraph ever written, and Alva MacLean said if I could only have six verses out of the Bible and the rest be taken away. I take these six verses from verse 21 to 26 because he said all of God's gospel is there to what is equally talk about what is he introducing the righteousness of God. You see it. But now the righteousness of God. Apart from the laws revealed okay Paul is doing is going back to a theme he introduced in chapter 1, I want you to see that back to chapter 1 turned there to chapter 1 verse 17.chapter 1. Verse 16 for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first. Also for the Greek here is for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, the just shall live by faith he introduced the thought righteousness of God. But then he plummets down word in the very next verse. Notice for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men suppress the truth in ungodliness, and from there on all the way through until now it's all been in the muck and mire and darkness of the wrath of God now will backup to the theme he introduced in chapter 1 the righteousness of God. Now he opens the windows now. He lets the lighting. What is that mean the righteousness of God. It does not mean God's own personal righteousness. It means the righteousness he provides the righteousness he gives as a gift. And why is that important to us while our clothes are pretty raunchy.
All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. Boy you need new clothes and here is the robe of righteousness that is given to that Skip message for you from a series heart and soul right now you Skip to tell you how your support helps keep these messages coming your way and how it connects more people to the gospel. Nobody can come to know God the father except by going through his son the Lord Jesus Christ and as the apostle Peter said there is no other name under heaven given by which we must be saved. That's a message of hope and salvation and we want to share that with as many people as possible. Your generous support ensures these teachings will stand the air so more listeners like you can connect to Jesus. Here's how you can help make that possible today. Visit connectwithskip.com/donate to give your gift today that's connectwithskip.com/donate or call 809 two 215. Again, that's 800 922 coming up tomorrow Skip Heitzig shares a life transforming experience standing soul. The castle may Skip presentation of connection communications to God's unchanging truth, ever-changing time