Search
  • Glenn Rosenbaum

CHERISH THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRIST

I. Righteous

II. Gracious

III. Victorious


Romans 5:12-19 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our perfect Savior, dear Christian friends,

Video game aficionados know what it means to create the perfect adventurer or athlete or avatar, depending on what game is being played. Will the adventurer be especially smart or incredibly strong? Will the athlete be a great defender or an offensive machine? Will the avatar have a smile or a scowl? The final decision is in the mind and hands of the video game controller.

If you were to construct the perfect Savior, what characteristics would he or she have? Would he or she be extremely attractive or only mildly so? Would he or she have the highest IQ or something average in order to better relate to the people? Would he or she live in a million dollar mansion or in a quaint bungalow?

Obviously, you and I will not have the opportunity to fashion our own Savior. He already exists. God the Father made sure he had all the right characteristics so that he could be our perfect Savior.

Even though he may not have been the Savior we wanted, he is the Savior we need. Over the next six Sundays in Lent, we will follow the theme: “The Jesus We Want Need”. Today in the Gospel we saw he is “someone to withstand temptation”. That may not have been a feature we would have even thought about or chosen for him, but it was desperately needed.

So, today, let’s think about some other features of Jesus that allowed him to be “someone to withstand temptation” and let’s CHERISH THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRIST! I. Righteous II. Gracious III. Victorious.

When you think of the greatest tragedies in history, what comes to mind? Is it September 11, 2001? Is it one of the great wars like the Civil, or World Wars I or II? Is it the sinking of the Titanic or the explosion of the Hindenburg?

Much worse and much more widespread than any of those is the one the Apostle Paul mentions here and which we heard about in the first lesson for today: sin entered the world through one man. The fall of Adam (and Eve, as well) into sin will never be equaled when it comes to listing the top tragedies of all-time! Any of those tragedies that came to mind for you a few minutes ago is a direct result of this one.

Its impact is unequaled and universal. Not only did sin come into the world and ruin daily living for Adam and Eve when they answered the alluring appeal of Satan instead of listening to and obeying the command of God, but this also happened: sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

Their sin became our sin as it was passed down from Adam and Eve to their children, who then passed it to their children, and eventually it made its way into our lives to bring tragedy and turmoil, conflict and controversy, sadness and sickness. It not only ruined our daily living, but it brought an end to our living on earth forever. Sin brought with it death, both physically and, for those who die without trusting in the Savior they need, eternally. The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation.

Our perfect God demands perfection from his created people and when he doesn’t get it, he punishes them. People die physically, and some die eternally as unbelievers, because they sin. Even if they do not know what God’s law says, even for those who lived before it was written down, death is proof that they had sinned, as the Apostle Paul writes here: for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam. This is yet another Scriptural truth that tells us even babies are sinful because babies can die.

Just as Satan tried to use God’s word against Jesus, as we heard today in the Gospel, so Satan wants to use this section of Scripture to defeat and deflate us and deter us from following and loving God. But God wants us to know there is hope! God wants us to know we have the Savior we need. Let your heart and soul enjoy these wonderful words!

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Jesus is righteous, exactly the Savior we need. As true man, he faced every kind of temptation you and I face. As true God, he withstood every temptation. He never sinned. He met his heavenly Father’s requirement of perfection for us. He substituted his perfect life for our imperfect life.

Jesus is righteous and he makes us righteous. Remember those amazing words: through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Even though we still sin daily, God sees us and all who believe in Jesus as Savior as worthy of heaven because he accepts Jesus’ perfect life as ours and Jesus’ innocent sacrifice as our punishment.

Jesus is gracious, exactly the Savior we need. He obediently came from his place in heaven to live in our place under the law. He willingly submitted to the enmity of his enemies and the oppression of his opponents. He resolutely went to the cross to hang there in our place. He kindly won forgiveness for every one of our sins.

Jesus is gracious and he makes us gracious. Knowing what he has done for us moves us to show undeserved love to others: to the spouse who ignores our most passionate affection or intimate conversation, to the classmate who rejects our friendship or ruins our reputation, to the co-worker who deceptively “goes over our heads” or “throws us under the bus”, Jesus’ forgiveness and patience with us inspires us to forgive and be patient with others.

Because Jesus is righteous and gracious, he is also victorious, exactly the Savior we need! Satan could not convince Jesus to follow him and disobey his heavenly Father. Satan could not take Jesus down even through intense suffering and excruciating death. As we will celebrate here in seven weeks, God willing, Jesus claimed his victory over sin, Satan and death by rising from the dead!

Jesus is victorious and he makes us victorious. We don’t have to follow the old evil foe. We don’t have to fall into sin. We don’t have to forfeit eternal life. Jesus made us winners over all of our enemies.

Jesus is the Savior we need! Cherish the characteristics of Christ: righteous, gracious, victorious! As his people, these become our characteristics as well! Put them to use for yourself and for others.


0 views

404 E Glenlord Rd, St Joseph, MI 49085

Church (269) 429-4941    School (269) 429-4951

©2018 by Grace Lutheran Church and School. Proudly created with Wix.com