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Vision Logo Circle

Sunday Morning Together with Pastor Tom Foord

by | Mon, Oct 30 2023

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Pastor Tom Foord is a Preaching Elder at Hope Reformed Baptist Church, in Queensland. He and his wife Joy are raising three sons to fight the good fight, to the Glory of God, and loving it! Tom is passionate about evangelism, apologetics, and expositional preaching – doing it himself and also training others.

Recently, Tom shared a special 5-minute sermon with us during Sunday Morning Together, highlighting his commitment to spreading the Gospel message of faith and hope. Read Tom’s full message below:

‘October is Reformation Month. This year it’s the 506th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his protest of theology against the Wittenberg Church in Germany. So if you’re looking for a good alternative to Halloween, October 31st is Reformation day.

The verses today that I’ll read speak to what became the cardinal, the main issue of the Protestant Reformation when God shed a light again; the light of His gospel across the world. Romans 8:33-34 reads like this, Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn Christ? Jesus is the one who died more than that, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Justification is one of the inner layers of the meaning of the gospel, the act of justification, which verse 33 here talks about. Justification is technically a legal act of declaring that somebody is right in accordance with the law. So a judge brings down the hammer and declares that a person is not condemned. They are right as far as the law considers them. That’s the act of justification. It’s a declaration.

The great, wonderful part of the power of verse 33 is not just that we’re justified, but that it is God who does the justifying of us sinners. Now, if it was an angel, if it was a Christian minister or a prophet of old, we would have questions about the legitimacy. But it is God, the judge Himself who justifies us, therefore, who is to condemn.

Verse 34 says, Who could condemn us? God is the one who justified us. Now, the great powerful thing is that He does it justly. God does not justify us by breaking the law, because the law condemns us. The commandments of God are this perfect standard that is so infinitely high, no human being can meet it. None is righteous, not a single one of us.

So if God’s going to say that we are just, that we are justified, that the law finds nothing wrong with us, then He’s going to have to break the law. He’s going to dispense His justice. But that would not be a righteous God. In fact, what we see in the gospel is that God upholds the law. He meets the standards of His own justice, and yet He is somehow still able to call guilty people righteous. This is the mystery of the Gospel.

This is, in fact, where some people start thinking it sounds like a contradiction. But this is why it took God to design this. It took the God man, Jesus Christ to accomplish this. That God can uphold the law and then somehow also justify people who break the law. And this is how God did it.

Jesus came and fulfilled in His life every righteous requirement that the law made. He fulfilled every command. He followed perfectly, every law and every statute. And He did it so righteously, where we had all failed immensely. And then He went to God’s bar of justice. And what He did was swap places with us.

This is why God sent Him, that He might come and replace us. He swapped His legal standing with us. He stood in our stead and then having taken our injustice, He paid its punishment in full on the cross, everything that the law demanded. And then what He gave to us, what God credits to us is Christ’s perfect record of law keeping.

His justness, His law obedience is given to us. This is what Romans 3:22 says, the righteousness of God through faith in Christ. So that now God can uphold the law while forgiving guilty sinners. That’s the good news. God gives to you a perfect righteousness that is not your own, one that comes from outside of you. And then He treats you as if it were yours. And the way you receive that righteousness of God, the righteousness of Christ, is through faith alone. If you receive Jesus, then with Him you receive His righteous status, His righteousness, and then God looks at you as owning, even though you never earned it.

Not earning, but owning a perfect righteousness. He declares you righteous on that grounds. And that is what we call justification. So nobody could condemn you because by Christ’s work alone. We see in verse 34, who is to condemn? But God justifies you. And Christ Jesus is the one who died. More than that, who was raised, who is now sitting and praying.

So do you feel guilty? Do you know your own sin? Do you know that you’re unworthy? Jesus died for you. And God uses all of His authority in His infinite, perfect, divine sovereignty. In His authority, He declares you to be righteous. No one can stand in the way of that declaration. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and you will be saved.

Let’s pray. Father God, what can we say in light of such a wonderful promise? Jesus is the one who died and not only died for us, but He rose again so that Lord God we can be sure that His payment and His sacrifice is accepted. Because you gave Him life back. You rose Him gloriously.

And now the great encouragement to our souls is that Jesus is in heaven praying to you that all of His death would be received for anybody that comes. Father God, I pray now that this promise would meet the Christian with a guilty conscience. The Christian who feels the weight of their sin and wonders if you can ever be so gracious as to keep on forgiving them after all of their failures.

I pray, Lord God, that you would assure them, on the basis of Jesus, that they are forgiven. And God, if anybody is reading or listening to this who is not a Christian, or who has lived a long time thinking of themself as a Christian but has never understood this mystery of the cross, would you give to them a clarity now so that they can receive Jesus by faith and hold on to His merits and hold on to His sacrifice in place of their own death and be saved. That they would believe that Jesus died for them, that there’s no doing, no obeying, no earning that is necessary.

Jesus did it all. Jesus died for me, therefore no one can condemn. Father God would you enrich us with this truth and give us a confidence to be able to love you and worship you and obey you. In Jesus wonderful name, we pray this. Amen.’

Listen to Tom’s full message on Sunday Morning Together below: