Part 8 – First What, And Now How
In this last section of chapter three Paul senses a real need to make sure his readers understand what not only has happened to them spiritually when the Triune God saved/transformed them, but how this could be legitimately done. This is important because some (especially today) think that if God is all about ‘love’, then He can just simply say “Forgiven, all is well between unholy man and Me, the Holy God”. But of course, it is an evil judge who lets the guilty go free – meaning that a price needs to be paid in order for the Judge of all the earth to act mercifully.
And for that reason, Jesus Christ became a ‘propitiation’ for our sins – a substitute – a sacrifice of atonement – One who legitimately pays for the sins of another. And so Paul clearly explains the Gospel once again to his readers by sharing how no one will be justified by following the Law, but rather it is through faith in Christ – trusting in the finished work of Christ upon the cross – His sacrificial death and resurrection from the dead – that brings sinful man to a place of reconciliation with the Father – to a place of justification – and it is all by grace.
The Law is still important, as we saw earlier, but now it is Christian’s guide to holiness so that the growing Christian will mature in their faith and become more Christlike, again only by the grace and Spirit of the Lord God.
The message ended with an illustration involving two chairs, which represented every religion and belief system known to man. The one chair was the “Do” chair; here we find every religion, philosophy, and belief system other than Christianity. All religions (except Christianity) abide by a “Do” system – the person has to ‘do’ certain things in order to be received or accepted or a part of their particular view. This would include prayer, join a church, give money, be a good person, make a sacrifice, make a pilgrimage, wear certain clothing, keep the Ten Commandments, go to Mass, on and on it goes. Although all the ‘Do’ religions may seem different from the outside, they all require their followers to ‘do’ something in order to earn salvation. Religions like Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism, Mormonism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and even Roman Catholicism and many Christians think this way and are all examples of ‘Do" ‘religions.
But Christianity is a "Done" religion! Those who are truly saved haven't done anything and aren't required to do anything, because Jesus has already done everything that is necessary! He not only took the blame for all of our sins, but He paid the price for them all – by dying.
So, every person in the sanctuary, every person listening at home, or reading this summary, is sitting in one of those two chairs. You are either in the ‘Do’ chair where you are doing things in vain to get to Heaven, or you are in the ‘Done’ chair where you know that everything has already been done for you. Be honest with God and with yourself today. Which chair are you really sitting in? Your eternity hinges on your answer.