Title: The Way Out

Focus: We did not rescue ourselves by our power, God rescued us from our sins. He did so by making us right with him not on the basis of law, since the law merely convicts us as transgressors. He did so on the basis of the faithfulness of Christ, and our response of faith to him.

Function: To motivate the hearers to grow in faith

Text: Romans 3:21-30

1.  If I commit a felony can the law save me?
	a.  No.  Rom 3:19 says it just makes you accountable
	b.  v.20 Does not justify
	c.  Makes you aware, not saved
2.  What law does is give you a crimnal record
	a.  You become a convict
	b.  ILL:  Commercial - If a felon and caught carrying gun = 5 yrs prison
3.  Law is preventative not curative
	a.  ILL:  Story of my near drowning.  Rule was - "Don't swim in the river" I
	     disobeyed - Law not save me when drowning
	b.  Sin enslaves you, you become stuck (like Rom 1:18ff)
	c.  Need someone to save you
4.  There is a way out.  How?  3 steps  (Rom 3:21-30)

I.  By God’s Righteousness (3:21-22)
	A.  v.21 - Strange, thought his righteousness demonstrated by the law
		1.  According to the law - Not oppress widow, orphan, foreigner
		2.  Provide for poor, not charge interest
		3.  Paul say he would not know sin (unrighteousness) without the 
		      law (7:7)
			- Not know about coveting if law did not say do not covet
	B.  Need to understand “righteousness as Paul uses it
		1.  3 ways to understand righteousness
			a.  Legal sense - Justice, fairness, justify
				- Justify means to find innocent, pronounced just
				- Problem - God regard us as something we not
				- Difficulty - Say God is just - who stand in judgement 
				   over God?
				- Can’t be legal sense because his righteousness
				   demonstrated apart from law
			b.  Moral sense - Righteous, uprightness
				- Does justify mean God give new moral nature?
				- We still battle with flesh
				- Sometimes, Christians not distinguishable from 
				   world (1 Cor 5:1)
			c.  Relationship according to covenant (Old Testament)
				- Uphold covenant is to be righteous (right living)
				- Unrighteous is to break the covenant
				- Righteous is to be “right” with God
					- God’s righteousness linked to faithfulness
					- Makes us right by nullifying effects of sin
			d.  SO - It not a legal or moral norm, otherwise God’s 
			      righteousness would be demonstrated THROUGH law
		2.  How does God demonstrate his righteousness?
			a.  Apart from law - Why?  Law convicts, accuses
			b.  (v.25) It is through atoning work of Christ - Christ is key
			c.  Jesus is our righteousness 1 Cor 1:30
				- Made right with God through him
	C.  ILL:  God’s righteousness cannot be demonstrated by law
		1.  Law powerless to save, and barely can prevent wrong 
		2.  If it could, why do we need policemen, soldier, judges, etc.
		3.  Example - Driving through Dyersburg, Tenn.
			a.  Stop sign.  50 feet before stop sign, another sign
			b.  First sign said “obey stop sign”
			c.  Brilliant - If not obey sign, lets just give another
	D.  Thank God his righteousness demonstrated apart from law
		1.  If not, we’d be in a world of hurt
		2.  God is righteous (faithful to covenant) by means of grace (v.24)
		      shown through Christ
		3.  So way out begins with the righteousness of God
		4.  Righteousness of God demonstrated through Christ...

II.  Through the Faith of Christ (v.22-25)
	A.  Where do you see that in the text?
		1.  v.22 - dia pisteo Iesou Christou - Through the faith of Christ
		2.  Faith in Christ - Heavily influenced by Lutheran theology
		3.  We so much emphasis on our faith, may not give enough 
		      thought to Christ’s faith
	B.  The key to our salvation is the faith of our Lord
		1.  Faith “of” our Lord goes all the way back to beginning
			a.  Was Israel saved because of their faith “in” Yahweh?
			b.  No, God rescued them based on his covenant
			c.  God forgave them in wildnerness, they not have faith
		2.  Book of Hebrews talks about Christ’s faith
			a.  3:6 - Christ faithful as a son - Took him to cross 5:1ff
			b.  4:15 - Because he faithful to God, he became a faithful
			      High Priest
			c.  He became our way out from being in bondage to sin
			d.  Only way out is to let Christ get us out
		3.  (John 8:31-36) - 
			a.  They in bondage to sin and didn’t know it
			b.  Only way out is to let Jesus free you
			c.  But they didn’t think they need any help
		4.  Everyone is “stuck” without Christ
			a.  All have “sinned” - Means we all were stuck in sin
			b.  But like these stubborn Jews, we say we not stuck
	C.  ILL:  Human nature to not think we need any help
		1.  Even as children, “I do it!!”
		2.  Lid is stuck, they can’t get it off, and they say “I do it!!”
			a.  And you know they can’t
			b.  But they not accept any help
		3.  Don’t we do that with God, “I do it” when stuck in sin?
	D.  The only way out is through the righteousness of God which is 
	       demonstrated through the faith of Christ
		1.  God nullified effects of sin through Christ’s death and raising
		2.  Who is this for?  Brings us to the last point

III.  By our faith (v.26-30)
	A.  We now return to introduction of Romans in (1:16-17)
		1.  Paul will not begin to give exposition of this
		2.  Maybe this is what he mean by faith to faith
			-  From our Lord’s faith to our faith?
	B.  God justifies (makes right) those who have faith in Jesus
		1.  When he makes us right by faith, we are “righteous”
		2.  Paul sometimes contrasts 2 kinds of righteousness (Phil 3:4-9)
			a.  Righteousness (rightness) on the basis of law / works
				- Paul was “blameless”in keeping the law
				- Problem - It self centered (“of my own”)
				- Problem - He stuck in sin like everyone else
			b.  Righteousness (rightness) on the basis of faith
				- This kind is Christ centered
				- (v.10-11) Result is salvation
		3.  Justification by faith = Rectification by trust
	C.  What does our righteousness based on faith involve?
		1.  faith is not belief, it is active trust
		2.  ILL:  Backup system
			a.  Computers have them - In case system crash
			b.  Emergency backup lights - In case power fails
			c.  Safety line when cleaning windows - In case fall
			d.  Why?  -  Don’t trust computers, etc.
		3.  Do we ever do that with God?
			a.  God I’ll rely on you, but I have this back up lan
			b.  If have faith, can be no backup plan
	D.  That is why we are told in Rom 12:1 - Living sacrifice
		1.  What if it literal?  Sacrifice self, and God will raise you up?
		2.  God wants complete commitment
			a.  Trust him to provide financially
			b.  Put first things first
			c.  Family, prayer, worship, be with brethren
		3.  That is faith in action

1.  All about faith - Both God’s and our faith
2.  Application - Write down one backup plan you have used, commit to
destroying it so you have have faith
	- My second job that keeps me too busy
	- hobby that I think I would find fulfillment in if church activity not work
	- My car/clothes/hair that helps me with image in case God not help my
3.  Invitation