A Message by Pastor Michael Palmer Given to Green Ridge Baptist Church June 8, 2008 LAW AND GRACE: THE DEPTH OF OUR SIN IS WHAT MAKES GOD’S GRACE SO AMAZING! Romans 5:17-21 WHY WAS THE LAW GIVEN? Man cannot be justified by the law. Since we are all already condemned because we are all “in Adam”. … what is the purpose of the law? Paul’s answer: “The law entered that the offense (sin) might abound (increase).” I. HOW DOES THE LAW INCREASE SIN? 1. THE LAW DEFINES SIN FOR US. Illustration: Child, selfishness – it needs explaining to a child. 2. THE LAW REVEALS SIN’S NATURE. Sin is rebellion against God. But we do not understand that until we are confronted with a specific law pertaining to the specific action that shows the condition of our heart. Illustration: Native in jungle has a sense of a moral code – but he does not know God. He does not know that there is law or principle given by God and that he is refusing God’s will – he is rebellious! Illustration: David – Committed adultery and murder– sin against others yes – but ultimately the law revealed his wickedness toward God (see Psalm 51:4). 3. THE LAW EXPOSES SIN’S POWER. Sin is within their own power – until they were convicted by the law of God and actually attempted reformation. It was only then they discovered their own spiritual inability and turned in brokenness to Jesus Christ! Illustrations: Addictions (Smoking, Food, Alcohol, Pornography) Habits Attitudes Bitterness (need to forgive others) Dishonesty about self to others 2 MANY WHO TRY THE “SELF-DELIVERANCE ROUTE” WILL: Ultimately fail. May succeed temporarily in one area – but God will show them another “law” or principle to which they are disobedient. Continue in limbo (pride) not admitting their need– frustrated, mad at God and others. Hopefully, they will see that they are powerless to reform their flesh – powerless to change their deceitful, dirty heart! 4. THE LAW UNVEILS SIN’S DECEIT. “One of the greatest troubles in the church today, as well as in the world, is that men do not have a knowledge of sin as they should have. Sin is regarded very lightly and loosely … Men are prepared to admit that they need a little help, and that they are weak in this or that respect; but the Scripture teaches the depth and the foulness, and the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Our fathers, our grandfathers, and especially those who preceded them, knew all about this, and it was in such times that great spiritual revivals occurred. It is when men and women realize the depth of iniquity and sin that is in them that they begin to cry out to God. But if men have no real knowledge of sin, if they are lacking in the knowledge of sin which is given only by the lawn, then they will be content with a superficial evangelism. This is surely one of our main troubles today.” (D. Martin Lloyd, Jones Commentary on Romans) II. THE LAW ALSO HELPS BRING CONVICTION OF SIN. Holy Spirit working Solid Bible teaching, preaching Genuine Spirit-filled believers around a person The law reveals our stiff-necked nature! Speed limit signs Prohibition – drinking actually went up in U.S.! The law helps us see our inner man and hopefully that will bring us to the end of ourselves! III. WHERE DOES GRACE COME IN? 1. THE VERY EXPOSURE OF SIN IS AN ACT OF GRACE BY GOD. He did not need to give the law. In order to seek salvation, you must know you need it. 3 2. THE LAW CONTAINED AN ANTICIPATION OF THE GOSPEL (EXODUS 20:2-10,12-17). After the giving of the commandments, there was also given a sacrificial system through which God punished sin and the guilt of sin was removed from the people. All this pointed to Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice. God was willing to accept the death of an innocent substitute rather than requiring the sinner’s own death and condemnation. IV. GOD’S GRACE IS SUPER-ABOUNDING! Where sin abounded = pleonazo – many, numerical, increase grace abounded = hyper perisseuo = overflow, superabundance, immeasurably exceed 1. GRACE IS NOT WITHHELD BECAUSE OF SIN. 2. GRACE IS NEVER REDUCED BECAUSE OF SIN. “Falling away from grace” – not losing salvation but you have fallen into a low way of living.” (Galatians 5:4) V. WHY DID GOD GIVE US HIS AMAZING GRACE? 1. … TO ENABLE US TO DO GOOD (Ephesians 2:8-10). One reason why God has saved us by grace regardless of any merit on our part is that we might be enabled to be gracious to others regardless of any merit on their part. 2. … TO MAKE GOD’S WISDOM KNOWN. 3. … TO EXHIBIT GOD’S GRACE ETERNALLY (Ephesians 2:7).