Following Jesus 134
Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.
How can the sinner be delivered from his great and heavy burden? God has wisely stated in I Corinthians 1:18 that deliverance is found in the message or the Word of the Cross. What exactly is this Word of the Cross? This is what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 3:21-26.
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 Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26 ESV)
To begin, the deliverance the sinner experiences from his great and heavy burden caused by his sin is a deliverance apart from human works. Vs. 21a. “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law.”
In order to understand the greatness and the wonderfulness of the Word of the Cross and the deliverance God brings to the sinner in removing his/her great and heavy burden of sin, we must also understand how this great and heavy burden of our sin effects each of us in our entire being. Listen to Romans 3:9-20.
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
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 by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:9-20 ESV).
In Romans 3:9-20, the Scripture says sinful and fallen man is unrighteous, does not understand his sinful condition, does not seek God but rather turns away from God, does not do good sufficient in the sight of God to save himself, his speech is filled with moral filth and vulgarity, lies, deceit, sarcasm, and bitter hostility, he is quick to commit pre-meditated murder, destroys whatever is in the way of his goals and desires, leaves pain and suffering in his life because he is driven by his sinful nature to bring strife and conflict in the lives of those he meets.
This is condition of the sinful man and the contents forming the weight and affliction of the great burden which he bears. The only hope for deliverance from the penalty, power and presence of this great and heavy burden of sin is the Word of the Cross: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This good news brings deliverance from the sinner’s great and heavy burden. It is a deliverance apart from our human works.
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