Luther said of justification, “Nothing in this article can be given up or compromised…On this article rests all that we teach…Therefore we must be quite certain and have no doubts about it. Otherwise all is lost.” Calvin said of justification that it “is the main hinge on which religion turns.” Jonathan Edwards said that, “the highest glory of the gospel and the delight of the Scriptures is this very doctrine of justification through the righteousness of Christ obtained by faith.” It’s hard to add anything to these remarks. The doctrine of justification is at the heart of authentic Christian theology and practice. Every generation of Christians must rise to articulate and defend it. The key truth of this sermon is that sinners are acceptable to God only because Christ bore their sin and gave them his righteousness. This Reformation Sunday, we try to understand justification by way of 3 important truths in this passage.
The main idea in vv. 20-28 is that the resolution of all creation is the glory of God in Christ and his resurrection. The last clause of v. 28 makes this clear. The ultimate end of all history is that God may be all in all. The fall and death cannot be the final word. God will win, and he will win in human history. Paul gives three ways God will do this. This sermon covers the last two.