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Righteousness Revealed

The good news of the Gospel can only be as sweet as the bad news was devastatingly inescapable.
Speaker: Ray David Glenn | October 1, 2017 | Series: The Gospel + Nothing

Watch as Ray David unpacks Romans 1:17 and points us to the abounding grace of the Gospel.


Playing for all of the Marbles

This week I was reminded of how short and fleeting life is and how we are playing for all of the marbles. This week you may have heard that my friend, Davis Mainse, died. He was the founder and longtime host of Canada’s Huntley Street. The loss was very personal for me. He was like a second father. 

In the last few days of his life he asked me to come to him in his hospital room and bring him communion. We shared a tender time together with him and his family. In those last moments, he put his hand on my face and told me that he loved me. And all I could think about is that when it comes to the Gospel, we are playing for all the marbles. This isn’t just playing church and rearranging our mental furniture for the sake of trying to get things right. These things really, really matter. For the Gospel is the power of God for salvation.

Shameful, but not Ashamed

If you’ve never felt the shame of the Gospel perhaps you’ve missed the point of the cross. Perhaps you’ve become so familiar with it that you’ve lost sight of the shame that is contained in our Gospel message. But even thought is it shameful, we are not ashamed because it is the power of God that saves us. There’s no other way to be saved than through the Gospel of Jesus.

What is the Power of God Saving Us From?

The Gospel saves us from existential problems and rescues us from guilt, and shame. It rescues us from a life that feels meaningless. All of these things are true, but they are not the central message that Paul has in Romans. When it comes to the Gospel we are playing for all of the marbles because it is saves us from the wrath of God. The Gospel is the good news of God saving you from God. 

One day you will be on your deathbed and in that moment as your preparing to meet your God face-to-face, you will need to know that the Gospel is the power of God that has saved you from the wrath of God. So you can face even your own mortality with confidence and joy. 

The Righteousness of God Revealed

The Gospel says that there is a true state of the world and a true state of our souls. We see ourselves for who we are when we see who God is. He is righteous and we fall short of His righteousness. The starting point of the Gospel is that there is a Creator and King and He is rightly angry with us. We begin by coming to terms with the righteousness of God. His wrath has been turned towards everyone who twists His truths to accommodate their desires. 

Open Rebellion

In the Gospel we see that everyone who has ever lived lives in open rebellion against the God and King of the Universe. We put ourselves on the throne. We act as though there is no King. Every day we accrue a debt we cannot pay. 

No effort can close the gap between us and God’s righteousness. No goodness we could ever do could pay the debt that we owe. No one is closer to the righteousness of God. The CN Tower is no closer to the sun than a tiny blade of grass – so it is with God’s righteousness. His righteousness is so above ours that even our best efforts don’t move us any measurable distance closer to His righteousness. 

The Insurmountable Chasm

The first thing that the Gospel shows us is the unattainable, unimaginable righteousness of God. The insurmountable distance, the unspannable chasm between God and His righteousness, and us and our sin. We can’t close the gap. When we feel guilty for our sin, it is because we are guilty. 

It is only when you come to terms with the crushing reality of the righteousness of God, that you will ever catch a glimpse of glorying in the good news of the Gospel. The good news of the Gospel can only be as sweet as the bad news was devastatingly inescapable. 

Not the End

This has been the starting point of the Gospel, but it is not the end. The righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel is not the righteousness by which God is so much better than us and judges us – instead, it is the righteousness that He gives to us. From faith, for faith. He gifts us with His righteousness and with the faith to keep on believing it. 

Because of Jesus, we are not just forgiven and given a second chance – we are declared righteous by the Holy God. That truth is not just something off in the distance where one day God will look at you and see you as righteous when you stop sinning – it is true today. When the God of the Universe looks at you today He sees the perfect record of Jesus. He doesn’t see your faults and failures. It’s not about what you have to do – it is about what God has already done for you in Jesus. 

It Changes How You Live

The Gospel lived-out rescues relationships and moments. It makes life so much better. It changes the way you feel about yourself. You no longer have to defend yourself in your interpersonal relationships. The Gospel allows you to lay down your guard and admit that you are a sinner. You no longer have to prove to other people how good, just and right you are. When you live the Gospel it not only saves you on the last day, it saves you this day and every day. 

In the Gospel, God will first show you how righteous He is, but that shouldn’t lead you to despair – it should lead you to Jesus. In Jesus, we see that God’s righteousness is not something God beats us over the head with – God righteousness is something that He Gifts to us. And when He does, it changes the way that you live. You can trust in the Gospel, not only on the last day, but also today. 

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About the Author

Ray David Glenn
Ray David is the rector (Anglican talk for senior pastor) here at St. George's. He lives in Burlington with his wife Monica and kids.

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  • About the Author

    Ray David Glenn
    Ray David is the rector (Anglican talk for senior pastor) here at St. George's. He lives in Burlington with his wife Monica and kids.
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