All right, Romans 1:17, we are in the heart of the gospel. If there was ever a bible study for you to be a part of this is it today. You're in the right place, at the right time. We're looking at Romans 1:17. I want to begin just by reading this one verse. You may say, "Well, how could we spend a whole study on just one verse?" My challenge is going to be to get it all in in one study.
This verse is easily the most important verse in the entire book of Romans. This verse has been called the most important verse in literature period. The importance of this verse cannot be overstated. It is the central theme of the book of Romans. To understand this verse is to understand the book of Romans. It's that important.
This is the acorn in which the entire forest is found. Everything is flowing out of this verse. This is the heart that's pumping out the blood into the entire book of Romans. Let's look now at this fountain of truth that just flows.
Paul begins for in it. It's important that we understand what the it is. The it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, which has been the dominant theme of verses 1-17. Just to point this out to you at the end of verse 1 the gospel of God in verse 15, "I'm eager to preach the gospel." Verse 16, "I'm not ashamed of the gospel." Now everything is built up to this high water mark. To this crescendo for in it. It's all in the gospel. The righteousness of God is revealed.
Now for us to get our arms around those few words, the righteousness of God is revealed is to understand really the gospel. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed- a righteousness that is by faith from first to last. Paul now goes back to Habakkuk 2:4. It really speaks to how well he knew the Old Testament. That he could just dip back to one of the minor prophets and just pull out of the back of his mind Habakkuk 2:4. He now quotes that for us, "The righteous man shall live by faith."
This is a blockbuster verse. This is the heart of the gospel. Everything here in verse 17 revolves around this critically important word righteousness. It's probably a word that if we passed out paper and we asked everyone to write a definition of righteousness, we might be circling the airport just a little while to try to land a definition of – so what does righteousness mean?
The point of beginning for us in the study is we need to understand what righteousness means. The whole rest of the entire book of Romans unravels like a thread on a sweater and the whole sweater just unravels from this one word righteousness.
If we understand righteousness we're going to understand the book of Romans. If we miss this, then we're lost our ball in the weeds. It's called a mulligan. The word righteousness. Here's what it means. It means conformity to a standard. Just write that down. It means conformity to a standard. That's the most succinct simplest kind of vernacular definition I can give you without giving you a long lengthy dense definition. Conformity to a standard.
It's drawn from the marketplace in bible times. A woman would go into the marketplace and she would want to purchase a measure of grain. She would go up to the merchant and express her desire. I want to purchase a measure of grain. He would push forward his scales. On one side of the scales he would poor out what he would think to be a measure of grain. On one side of the scale. You can just see it now go like this. He would then take a one measure stone and place it on the other side of the scales. They would then go like this. He would see maybe he needs to pour a little bit more grain on or take a little bit off until the scales were righteous. Until they were in perfect conformity. Such that what's on one side of the scales equals what's on the other side of the scales.
That's what the word righteous, righteousness means. It's important for us to understand this standard over here on this side is the absolute perfect holiness of God. What is being measured and required is that we be brought into conformity to God himself to the perfect standard of God's own holiness. Which means primarily his transcendent and majestic. Secondarily that he is flawless and blameless. He's morally perfect.
Now some people have the idea – and on the other side of the scales is our life. Some people have the idea that okay, well, I just need to be close to righteous in order to be right before God. That God will grade me on the curve. I am better than other people. Well, on this side of the scales is not the average morality of an American. On the other side is not the guys I hang out with and I measure up to them. It's not my pastor. It's not my mother. It's the perfect righteousness – it's the perfect holiness of God is on one side of the scales. Our life is poured onto the other side of the scales.
You know when weighed in the balances we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That is what the word righteousness means. If we could really trace this out more theologically I would just simply add this, that there are curses and blessings associated with this. There is punitive punishment for failure to be in perfect conformity to the holiness of God. That's called hell. That's called eternal punishment. There is blessing to be in perfect conformity to the holiness of God and that is salvation and all the blessings that come from that.
The word righteousness means conformity to a standard. That standard is God's own perfect, pure, flawless, blameless, holy character. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.
Now the whole rest of the book of Romans spirals out, spins out of this word righteousness. And I want to just now do a fly over of the entire book of Romans for you to show you how everything is bound up in this one word. Starting in the next verse, 1:18 and extending through 3:20 is righteousness demanded. It shows that we have all sinned. It's Paul's case of indictment against the entire human race.
Jews have sinned and fall short of this perfect standard required by God. Gentiles have sinned and fall short of this perfect standard required by God. Then Paul summarizes in Chapter 3 and lumps it altogether and says that every mouth is closed before God. And the entire human race has been weighed against the perfect standard of God's holiness and is found wanting and as you see in 1:18 is under the wrath of God. The wrath of God is God's holy vengeance against all that is sinful. The infliction of his just punishment upon all that is sinful and is not perfectly in conformity to his own holiness.
To put it in one word it is condemnation that we all lack righteousness. We all fall short of the standard that is required by God. There's no grading on a curve. There's no sweeping our sin under the carpet. There's no looking the other way by God. There's no pretending that it just never happened. Every sin will receive a just penalty. More sin, more punishment. Hell will not be the same for everyone. Some places of hell will be hotter than other places. Because God has taken it all down. On the last day the books will be opened. Every single idle word will be brought to the forefront. Every sin of what I did that I should not have done that I did not do, but I should have done or what I did with a wrong motive and a selfish motive. It is possible to do a right act with a wrong motive and that's sin.
God has the entire record permanently recorded in his books. When you were in junior high school, when you were in high school, when you were at the frat party, when you were overseas with the military. What you said something to your little sister. What you said to your father growing up. The entire record, your every thought, your entire thought life, every fantasy, every idle word, every slander, every gossip, God has impeccable records. It is the condemnation of the entire human race.
That's big boy football. That's Chapters 1 through the first part ever Chapter 3. Righteousness required. Righteousness demanded. We don't have any. All our righteousness Isaiah says is as filthy rags. That means menstrual rags in the eyes of God. The best you have to bring to the table, God says that's like a woman's rags in my sight.
Within move to the next section. Righteousness declared. Righteousness declared and it started in Chapter 3:21 and it is what we call justification. That when we believe in Jesus Christ – when we put our faith in Jesus Christ the righteousness that God demands of us that we cannot provide God credits to our account. He deposits to our account. He declares us as a judge would declare a guilty criminal, as we stand before God. God declares us to be the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Now we have broken the law of God. Let's just take the ten commandments. We have smashed to smithereens the law of God. Every single one of us every one of the ten commandments. When Jesus came into this world he was born under the law. Galatians 4:45 so that he might keep the law that you and I have broken and Jesus for over 30 years perfectly obeyed the standard that we are being measured against. It is called his active obedience. And the active obedience of Christ is critically important just as his substitutionary death upon the cross. Because we are saved not only by the death of Christ, we are saved by the life and the death of Christ.
It's critical to understand this, because you don't hardly ever hear that from a pulpit. You don't hardly ever hear that in a bible study. You need to take careful note of this. Jesus obeyed the law that you have broken in your place. He lived in your place and kept the law that you and I have broken again and again and again. So that when we now believe in Christ God takes his perfect conformity to the moral law of God. He now credits that to our account, declares us to be the perfect righteousness that Christ lived under the law.
That's unbelievable. You need far more than forgiveness of sin. Forgiveness of sin only washes away your sin, but that only gets you back to zero. Zeros don't go to heaven. You have to have a positive righteousness. Positive righteousness in order to be accepted before God. This righteousness comes through Jesus Christ. There is no righteousness for us outside of Christ. We fail to conform to the standard. Jesus lived and perfectly conformed to the standard in our place.
That active righteousness, he secured it. He with his own sinless life lived the life that you and I cannot live, have not lived, will not ever live. He lived it in our place. He met the standard. He conformed to the standard. God takes that and now declares it to be ours in the act of justification. Here's another thing you need to know. The word justification and the word righteousness came from the very same Greek root word. They come into the English language as if one is right field, the other is left field. They don't even sound the same. You go into the original language in which Paul wrote this, very same Greek root word. Justification means God brings the gavel down and declares us to be the righteousness of God in Christ, in Christ. So that's chapters – in Romans it's 3:21 through the end of Chapter 5.
Now we're going to keep going. Starting in Chapter 6 of the book of Romans. And going halfway through Chapter 8 is now righteousness pursued. And it is living the Christian life. And we now daily must pursue practical righteousness. The standard is Jesus Christ himself. We are daily now being shaped and molded and conformed. Hear that word conformed into the imagine of Jesus Christ. I'm becoming less and less of what once was. I'm becoming more and more of what Jesus is. I am now talking more like Jesus. I'm thinking more like Jesus. I am obeying more like Jesus that is practical righteousness.
Justification is what we would call positional righteousness. It doesn't – we don't live perfect. We're just declared to be perfect before God. If you see the distinction. Now what Paul will argue in the book of Romans – and this is critically important. Everyone who is genuinely justified will begin this pursuit of practical righteousness. Such that you can tell who is saved and who is not saved by looking at the fruit in their life. Jesus said you'll know them by their fruit. We're not to judge one another in a censorious sense, but we are fruit inspectors.
We are to be looking for fruit in our children's lives. We're to be looking for fruit with people we come in contact with. Because I need to know, do I need to witness to you the gospel or not. And sanctification becomes a validation that you're actually a real Christian, because we see the evidence of it. No fruit means there's no root. If you have the root of justification, by necessity there will be the inevitable fruit of sanctification. It's a package deal. They go together.
Down here in the buckle of the bible belt, being here in Texas, there are a lot of people who say they're Christian. And assume that they are justified. But there's no sanctification – yourself deceived. You've talked yourself into this. If you're truly justified you will be pursuing sanctification. Practical righteousness. Your life will be increasingly progressively over time becoming more and more like the standard of Jesus Christ. Now let's keep moving. The last part of Romans 8 is righteousness secured.
That you cannot lose this righteousness that God has declared you to be. And he will build this extraordinary argue. Those that he fore knew, that he predestined, he called and he called he justified. Whom he justified he glorified. God's golden chain of salvation, it's in irrevocable declaration by God of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us. If you are in Christ today, if you have been justified you are as certain this moment for heaven as if you've already been there 10,000 years.
You're not going to be justified on the last day. You're justified now. And if you're not justified now, you may not ever be justified. We're not waiting for the final verdict on the last day. We've already settled out of court. We have been declared righteous. We are now pursuing a practical righteousness. It is predestined that this righteousness belongs to us and can never be taken away from us.
Paul launches into this huge thing at the end of Romans 8 and you know these verses where I'm convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor death, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. A few verses earlier he says God is the one who justifies. Who is he who condemns? And no one can overrule God's verdict.
Righteousness secured we'll call glorification. Here are the keywords: Condemnation, justification, sanctification, glorification. It's a package deal. It's not multiple choice. We get to pick three out of the four. It's all or another nothing. And it all is related to righteousness.
Then in Chapters 9 through 11 is righteousness predestined or chosen. And it's Paul's extraordinary taste for the doctrine of sovereign election. He uses the chosen people of Israel and chose that well not all Israel is Israel. They are an elect nation but there's a remnant that has been chosen for salvation inside the nation and then he says yeah and gentiles too are chosen for this righteousness.
It is the most extraordinary case for the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation. If you're in Christ this morning. If you're justified, ultimately it is because God chose you by himself and for himself in eternity past. Before the foundation of the world. It's all God. Paul will wrap up this whole section at the end of Romans 11 – Chapter 11:36. It's my favorite verse in the bible. People ask me to sign one of my books, I sign my name and I put Romans 11:36 underneath my name. Because there is no statement in all of any language that tops this verse. It's the most all inclusive statement in the universe. There is nothing outside of Romans 11:36. Everything is inside of Romans 11:36. If you understand Romans 11:36 you sir are a good theologian. If you don't understand Romans 11:36 you're in VBS backyard club.
Romans 11:36. Let me just at least read it, with all that build up. Romans 11:36 “for from him and through him and to him are what? Audience: All things.”
All things. Do you think anything is outside of all things? All things is all things. There's nothing outside of all things. This is how absolutely sovereign God is, my friend. Even the devil at Martin Luther said is God's devil. And God is using the devil for God's own purposes. From him, that means – God is the architect. He is the author of this gospel. He is the provider of this righteousness. Through him he is the applier of this righteousness. And to him he is the aim of this righteousness. He's the author of it or the architect of it. He is the applier of it. And he is the aim of it. It is all about him. It is not about us. It is all about him.
At the end of verse 36 is the only rational, logical response that there could possibly be. If we don't conclude as Paul does at the end of verse 36 we didn't understand the first part of the verse. When you understand the first part of the verse, you will respond with the latter part of the verse. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
Paul ties up Chapters 1 through 11 with that statement. It's all of God. He provided the gospel. He provides faith. He provides repentance. He provided the savior. He provided the righteousness. He provided everything. Then he's the one who applied it your life. Working in and through you. It is all for his own glory. If it was any part of us then it wouldn't – all the glory would not go to God. Now Chapter 12 to the end – Chapters 1216 is just righteousness practiced. It is the practical spelling out of Romans 6, 7 and the first part of 8. What it looks like in a practical way in your life.
You remember I told you a couple of times ago I had a professor say he was going to come here – each one of us preach. He's going to sit on the front row. He's going to hold up a sign it had two words on it. So what? In other words guys you're going to have to get through the doctrine and get to the exhortation. If there is no exhortation there is no preaching. And if there is no exhortation you are a bridge that's not connected to the other side. You're a bridge that's only connected to one side of the chasm.
Beginning in Chapter 12:1 the word therefore is maybe the most important therefore in the bible. Because it's the bridge from Romans 1-11 to 12-16. And Chapters 12-16 gets down into the nitty-gritty and just the so what. Paul tells us how this is fleshed out in our daily lives. He becomes painfully practical. Christianity is unbelievably practical. It's not a head game. It's not a mind game. It's not us sitting in an ivory tower and staring at our navel and answering philosophical questions no one is asking.
It is down in the weeds, down in the roots, getting down into the fabric of our lives. How we live every moment of every day. And by the way that's what the word belief has – it comes in the English language by live. How you by live. What you really believe, you live by. Everything else just talk. Everything else is just you're checking a box. But what you live by is what you really believe.
Chapters 1216 is this practical righteousness pursued. How we are to be increasingly living in conformity to the standard of God's own holiness which is revealed in Jesus Christ. Okay? Now let me just stop for a moment. I usually wait until the very end before I throw it open for questions. Let me just drop anchor for a moment. What questions would anyone have? What thought would you like to put out on the table? I know this was crystal clear in the teachings. Any questions on you really? Obviously it's a lot to get our arms around, isn't it? I'm trying to measure my words and be as economic as I can be and not be long winded to go through this whole thing.
Audience: I understand the righteousness of God. I want the righteousness of God, but I'm not certain I have it. You know I've been around it all the time. But I'm not certain about it. Then what? You're talking about assurance of salvation?
Audience: Yeah, like how do I know for sure?
Well, first of all, you need to know the gospel itself, that it's not by my works. It's not by my righteousness. It's exclusively by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, his sinless life, his sin bearing death, my faith, my total commitment of my life to Christ. That's really where assurance of salvation begins. I mean do you understand what you've put your faith and trust in? Because you just can't commit your life to thin air. You have to know the truth. The word faith as we've talked true saving faith three components, mind, heart, will. Simple, mind, heart, will. You've got to knows gospel with your mind. You've got to be persuaded of the truthfulness in your heart and give assent to it. Then with your will take that step of faith and commit your life to Jesus Christ. Not just think about it. Not just pray about it. But actually as an act of your will, you commit your life to Jesus Christ. Nobody else can do that for you.
Your mother can't do it for you. Your roommate can't do it for you. Your wife can't do it for you. This is a personal commitment of your life to Christ. So that's really where assurance of salvation begins. Some people have committed their life to thin air. Some people have committed their life to just religiosity. Have committed their life to own morality. Have committed their life to their church. Have committed their life to their pastor. Have committed their life to the ten commandments. Have committed their life to trying to do good. But that's like grabbing a hold of a rope of sand. Trying to pull yourself up. You're not going up. You're going down. That's where it begins.
Second it involves saying this fruit of righteousness being produced in your life. Do you see your life – do you see yourself being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ? Do you see yourself becoming more like Christ?
Christianity is Christ. Christianity is not church. Christianity is not a bible study. Christianity is Christ. Christ will get you in church and Christ will get you into bible study. But you can know the bible and go to hell. You can be a member of church and go to hell. Church won't is save you, bible study won't save you. Christ is the savior. You have to commit your life to Christ. And when you do you begin to follow Christ.
You begin to live like Christ. You begin to imitate Christ. That's what it is to be a Christian. You know what the word Christian means literally? It means a little Christ. It's a diminutive form of the word Christ. It means you are a Christette. You know? Whatever the masculine form of Christette is. That's what you are. You're a little Christ. You need to be thinking like Christ. You need to love what Christ loves. You need to hate what Christ hates. You need to live like Christ lived. You need to mimic Christ. That's what being a Christian is.
You do it in the power of the Holy Spirit. This isn't like going on a diet. You just grit your teeth and I'm all in. Let's just do this. You know which never happens. It just never happens. It's only by the power of the Holy Spirit does it happen. Paul will belabor that for first half of Romans 8.
Now the last way you know that you're saved there's the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. The inward testimony of the Holy Spirit. That is subjective. The one who convicted you and called you and converted you confirms you in the truth. And I know that I know that I know that I know that I'm saved. Because within the Holy Spirit is pulling strong on my heart. That I belong to Christ and is bearing witness to me that I belong to Christ. That too is in Romans 8. The first half of Romans 8. So that's how you know you're saved. And that's huge. Especially in this part of the world. I go preach up in Boston and New York, nobody is – no one is struggling with assurance of salvation up there. Basically because no one is saved up there. Except for a few people.
I go to California, and there you are either in or out. It's the most polarized place on planet earth. I mean you're either the biggest nut who ever walked the earth or you're the strongest Christian who ever lived and nobody is straddling the fence in California. Because you're going to be shoved one way or the other. There's no gray area. But in the south and in the southwest there's a lot of gray. A lot of gray. People born in church, grew up in church. Daddy was a deacon. We got a little plaque on the punch bowl in the fellowship hall.
The last church I founded, the first rule I made in the elders meeting there will be no plaques in this church with anyone's name on it. Nobody is hanging on by a thread of some kind of salvation because you're related to whoever's name is on that plaque or you knew them or whatever. Here in the south you really need to have a genuine assurance of salvation. I'll tell you the worst thing in the world is to be unsaved by think you're saved. To wake up in hell. How did I get here? I thought I was waking up in the new Jerusalem. And I just woke up in hell and I'm never getting out of here ever. It's called self-deception.
You have so convinced yourself that you're a Christian, you've learned vocabulary. You know which pew to sit in. You know what to wear. You know how to answer a few questions. You know when to be quiet. You know which Christian concert to listen to. You just fit in. You just blend in. That is called being lukewarm. You're just room temperature. You just fit in to your environment perfectly. You're not hot. You're not cold. You're just lukewarm. Jesus said I spew lukewarm out of my mouth. It's a stronger word than spew. It means I vomit you. I regurgitate. I just throw up that kind of an empty confession. It's a dead testimony.
Matthew 7 talks about it. Not everyone says to me Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven. But he who does the will of my father who is in heaven, that person will be clearly evidenced by the fruit of obedience in their life. Let me just quote that verse one more time. I'm not quoting a commentary. I'm not quoting a systematic theology. I'm quoting Jesus Christ who is the truth, who is the head of the church. "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord." And it's repeated like, Lord, Lord you know me. What am I doing here? You know me? "Shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father." That is not saying that you must earn your way into the kingdom of heaven by doing good works. It is saying that you will reveal that you're in the kingdom by your path of obedience. No obedience it's obvious there's been no justification. There's no sanctification. There's been no regeneration. You're just saying Lord, Lord until you're blue in the face.
Then he goes onto say, "And on that last day many will say to me, Lord, Lord –" same group. "Did we not prophesize your name? Cast out demons you name. Did many wonders works in your name?" I mean we were down at the church. We were at the bible study. We even preached. We cast out demons. No, you didn't. You were so self-deceived about your entire life, you actually thought you were casting out demons. You thought you were prophesying. And you thought you were doing good deeds. In reality you were doing nothing. You were play acting. That's what the word hypocrite means. One who puts on a mask and plays a role on a stage. You were just playing the part.
Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, lord, will enter of the kingdom of heaven. But he who does the work of my father. On the last day many will say to me, Lord, Lord do we not prophesize on your name. Did we not cast out demons? Did we not perform many wondrous works?" I will say unto them on that day I never knew you.
Now I know all about you. I just never knew you. I never had a personal relationship with you. So Kit, your question. I didn't mean it go off on an excursion, but your question is critically important. Because what we're talk being here is do you have the righteousness of God or do you not have the righteousness of God. If you don't have the righteousness of God, you're in big trouble.
Come back to Romans 1:17. We've just got a minute. I told you we wouldn't be able to get this all in. Because you're not listening fast enough. Okay?
Let me just pull out one thing. Then we're going to come back to this next Thursday morning. In verse 17 for in it in the gospel the righteousness of God. That little prepositional phrase of God, huge. We're going to make a mountain out of an apparent mole hill. This means the righteousness that comes from God. It means it's God's own righteousness. Yesterday I pulled out my Greek dictionary and looked up this word, just like let me just bore down. What does this word of mean? Have you ever thought about the word of means?
In this context it means the righteousness that comes from God and it means that it is the righteousness that belongs to God has come to us. Every one of us is clothed in either our own righteousness or God's righteousness. And if we're clothed in our own righteousness, I mean we just have filthy rags on. Or kicked out of God's presence. God provides the righteousness for us. Here's the sentence what God requires God supplies. And God will not lower the standard one half inch to meet anyone where they are. God is not going to meet us halfway. The standard is what the standard is. The standard is God himself. The standard is God's own holiness. The conformity that God requires to his own perfect holiness God supplies in the gospel.
When we believe upon Christ and believe the gospel, God takes his own righteousness in Christ and supplies it, gives it to us, declares it to be ours. Deposits it into our account. Clothes us with it. The great exchange of the cross all my sin taken off me placed upon Christ. He bore my sin. His righteousness taken from him placed on me. I now have his righteousness. When Martin Luther came to this text he was converted by this text, Romans 1:17. Martin Luther 500 years ago. When he came to this verse, it was like every light in the room went on. In a moment he saw it. That what God demands God supplies.
He put his faith in Christ and he was justified before God. Martin Luther called this righteousness. You can write this down. He called it an alien righteousness. A foreign righteousness. Meaning outside of himself. It comes from another realm. It comes from another kingdom. It comes from another country. It's foreign to us. It's alien to us. It has come down from God himself. It was secured by Jesus Christ in his mission here upon the earth. And that was spelled out in verses 35 of Romans 1. It's Christ's perfect righteousness given to us. Our sin given to him.
That's a good deal. That's buy low, sell high. You want to get in on that deal. You want as much of that action as you can possibly get. You'll never hear better news than that. I don't care how long you live. I don't care where you go. I don't care who you listen to, you'll never hear better news than the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let's just wrap it up here. We'll actually pick it up here next time, because there's still some meat on the bone. There's still some coins on the table. Okay? And we still need to finish this. This is so important. It's like we're standing on top of Mount Everest. Let's just enjoy the view for a moment. Okay, because it's going to be a tough walk down. It about killed me to get up here. Let's just enjoy the view. Because this is as good of a view as you're going to get. This is the heart of the gospel.
Let me just say a word to those watching on live stream, thank you for joining us. People are joining us all around the world from Singapore to Dubai to Iraq to Europe to Africa, Mexico, all over the world, thank you for joining us for this bible study. We're going to be here next week at this very same time. We're going to finish out verse 17, because there are some great truth remaining in verse 17 that we need to get our teeth on. Let me just close in a word of prayer, thank you for being here and you have to be here next week.
Let me just close in a word of prayer. Father, thank you for providing this righteousness for us. We cannot conform to your standard. Can't do it. We are condemned, but thank you that you have provided one to stand in our place and to live perfectly where we have failed. And to die on the cross and take our sins far away. Thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ and now this perfect righteousness that you have provided for us. I pray that you be with these men. As they live today, help them to pursue a practical daily righteousness. Help them to be more and more conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. And tell others this message that we talked about today. In Jesus name, Amen.