Messages from Pastor Raddatz

Oct 31, 2021- REFORMATION DAY, Mount Olive Lutheran, Other texts for the day: Ps. 46, Revelation 14:6-7, John 8:31-36

MADE RIGHT WITH GOD – Romans 3:19-28

Dear People of God,

Grace, Mercy and Peace to you, from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Today we mark being made right with God.  It was not our doing, but God’s doing.  He has restored us to where he has always wanted us to be.

This day also brings us one short year away from the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.   For us today we remember that it is FAITH ALONE that justifies us with God.  Our actions do not justify us.  Let’s go to our text for the day.  


          Insiders and Outsiders are in identical conditions

In the congregation at the church in Rome there were Jews and Gentiles.  Some of the members of the church were devout followers of God.   They knew the Pentateuch: the first five books of the Bible, the ones Moses wrote.  Historians say that the Jews were in the minority (CSB).  The non-Jews or Gentiles were in the majority.  These individuals had little history about the Old Testament but knew a lot about their own way of life.  Their view of God was a spectrum of confidence in the Government, which provided a lot of security, but they also had a view of not just one God of the Jews, but of many “Gods”.

The churches of the first century are not much different than churches today.  Churches today are a mix of people who approach the Bible with various views of God and truth.  All people are in identical conditions: NO ONE WELL BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS IN GOD’S SIGHT BY OBSERVING THE LAW. If you have your Bible with you, look at Romans 3:9, “We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.” (NIV)

The Law serves to remind us that we have gone too far!  Do you ever look at a GPS or printed directions that say something like, “If come to the railroad tracks you have gone too far?” (Illustration Exchange) The Law does the same for us; it reminds us that we have not followed God’s directions for our life. No matter whom you are and no matter what your views of God are: no one is right with God.  There are no insiders or outsiders.  The good news is that through Jesus we have been made right with God!

ILLUSTRATION - Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner - Sin Hatred Justification (Self)

Source: MERE CHRISTIANITY by C.S. Lewis, p. 105

“I remember,” says C.S. Lewis, “Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man?"


“But years later,” Lewis continues, “it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it.”

‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18).

“'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31; cf. Matthew 22:39).



          He got us out of our mess and restored us to where he always wanted us to be (MSG)

The Jews heard about this: how Abraham had sinned, but he was made right with God through faith, they knew that David sinned, but God made set him right with him.  You and I have fallen short of God’s expectations, but God has made us right with him.  

V. 24, “We are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” JUSTIFIED=Paul uses this term 22 times, here in Romans and Galatians.  It is translated “justify” in all cases except two where it is translated “DECLARED RIGHTEOUS”.  (CSB) The picture is that we are declared “not guilty” or perfect in God’s eyes by the righteousness imputed or credited to us through Jesus.  He lived the perfect life for us.  He observed all the laws of God, died in our place and has ascribed his righteousness to us.  

This is best understood today as “Credit”.  When you use a credit card, no money is exchanged, but you get the goods you are paying for. Eventually the bill comes, and you must pay.  We are righteous before God because Jesus has paid the Bill, the debt of our sin.  He got us out of our mess of debt and restored us to a right relationship with him.

Examine where God wants a stronger and peaceful hold on you, Vv. 27-28

          Let God have his way with you-What part of your life needs this the most?

Paul, through God’s inspiration, directs us by asking a question in vv. 27 and 28. “Where then is boasting? On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.  Is God the God of the Jews only?  Is he not the God of Gentiles too?” (NIV) Yes, he is God of the Gentiles and the Jews.

We are called to believe and live a life that celebrates this gift of being made right with God.  Here is the tension and the paradox: while we do not boast on keeping the law, but boast on Christ, we follow God’s desires for our life.

In studying the Ten Commandments, one man said to me, “I do not look at these as Commands NOT TO DO this or that, but I look at them as OPPORTUNITIES to live a life that desires to please God.”  That is a good way to look at what God asks us to do.

Let God have his way with you in all parts of your life.  What part of your life needs this the most?  Is it your thought life?  Is it where you go on the internet?  Are you in a season of doubt or in a period of worry about the future?  Let God have his way, for he who did not spare his one and only son will freely give you all things.

May this peace which passes every single human understanding keep your hearts and your minds in the one true faith, in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting.  Amen

Pastor John Raddatz SDG

Current Weeks Message

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