Well I hope you are settling down comfortably in our shelter at home situation.
I’m hoping that you are using this time to grow in your walk with the Lord.
I just want to remind you that God is still in control. But as people who are called by his name we will march on spiritually if not physically. AMEN?
So Last week we looked at Romans 4:9-13. We talked about different aspects of the Gospel, It’s Inclusivity, it’s accessibility, and it’s ability to break down the barriers that separate us.
Today we are talking about faith and some of its attributes. I once heard someone say this about the kingdom of God.. He said, every kingdom has similar elements. A King, Citizens, and currency. Hopefully, we know our King (Jesus) And we (you and me) are the citizens of the kingdom And faith is the currency of the kingdom
Its my prayer that today by hearing this message that you will have a clearer grasp on what it means to have a personal relationship with God, that in Christ Jesus you will be made whole.
It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 2 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”Romans 4:13-25— New International Version
I have broken this down into 3 aspects of faith. Let’s start with my first aspect/point…
Faith Is Entirely Different From The Law
First, The Law, The Ten Commandments, Is a document handed down by God to Moses for the direction of the people of God. For the Israelites, They Saw God In the form of the pillar of smoke at the Tent of Meeting. Exodus 33 Moses, up and down the mountain.
For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless,Romans 4:14 – New International Version
The law was a directive from the God that they already knew. • Faith at this point was not an issue, because it was not required for them to receive the law. The Law was to be carried out. The commandments were to be obeyed. Faith, in contrast, Is a state of the heart. (Humility) Faith is an attitude, where one positions himself to receive. One writer say, Faith is like open hands…
Believing is like stretching out our arms and opening our hands t receive a gift that God wants to give us. We cannot take credit for accepting the gift. Nor can we take credit for our faith. God has called us to faith. He has called us to believe. •Yes, it’s true that God has even created the conditions that has brought us to the point of faith. Faith is our response to the work of God. Not the other way around. Here faith is not a work that would place God in our debt.
God gave the Israelites the Law to expose their sin and bring them to repentance.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.James 2:10 – New International Version
The purpose was to impress on their hearts a sense of realization that they were in need of God’s mercy and grace. That by humbling themselves before God and asking his forgiveness they would be forgiven and restored to God in right relationship. Keeping the Law/doing God’s will is a necessary result of faith. But Keeping the Law should never replace our relationship to God.
Church, we are so predictable… some of you are thinking, Pastor what do you mean predictable? I’m glad you asked, here goes:
Church, we are so predictable in that we always look to the things that we can do to earn our salvation. Especially here in the America, If we can somehow earn it than we can possess our righteousness. If we own it then no one can take it or control us.
O Lord , righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day— to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.Daniel 9:7 – New International Version
People this is why Righteousness can only be a gift. It belongs to God. The sin of our lives is what separates us from Him. Jesus Christ died to bridge that gap for you and for me. Jesus carried our sin and paid our penalty so the we could know Him. Have you put your faith in the things that you think you can do to earn your salvation, or have your put your faith in Jesus the Messiah, the Son of the living God?
Let’s look at this 2nd aspect/point dealing with faith.
Faith Has Power Because Of The One In Whom We Believe
As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”Romans 4:17 – New International Version
He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. The power is not in faith, in and of itself. The power church, is in God.
In the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid NY, It was Team USA vs the 4 time defending Ice Hockey Champs USSR. As Team USA upset the reigning champs 4-3. Sports commentator Al Michaels asked the one of the most famous questions in Sports history. He said, “Do you believe in miracles”
Church we have become so “Spiritual” that we are comfortable we our preoccupation with miracles and angels and the like that we’ve the neglected our relationship with miracle maker.
Romans 1:25–They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. •
Oh, we put it on our bumper sticker “Never drive faster than our guardian angel can fly.”
We have all the cool sayings, but we don’t tell our neighbor about Jesus. We talk about our miracle this and that but are we really giving glory to God. God is the one who creates EX NIHILO, Out of nothing.
Let’ look at verse 17 again,
As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”Romans 4:17 – New International Version
Did you notice the past tense inflection there? He calls it out from non-existence as if it where already done.
Abraham is 100 years old, people. And Sarah, It says that she was beyond child bearing years and her womb was dead. Its even says that when God told Abraham all that he had planned, Abraham laughed. It was a human physical reaction, but it was not a weakening of his faith. These are the miraculous elements of God’s promise. Through miracles God promise to Give Abraham descendants both Physical and Spiritual. In spite of his old age and in spite of Sarah’s condition.
Let’s just be clear here, the Bible never talks about belief in miracles. The Bible talks about belief in God, the miracle maker.
Church we can certainly get bogged down in the needs of this world. • We ask God for this and that, believing/having faith in a miracle, But there is not power in the belief in something miraculous, if there is no belief in God. •
Jesus says “…Everything is possible for one who believes”Mark 9:23 – New International Version
Jesus Is talking to the father of a boy who is possessed by impure spirt (deaf/mute) The father cries out to Jesus and says, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.” Are you confident in your belief in God, today?
Let’s move to my final point, talking about faith…
Faith Is Relevant To God’s Word, Not Our Perception Of The Evidence.
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”Romans 4:19-22 – New International Version
The evidence was that his body was as good as dead , Sarah also. We did not waver through unbelief, but was strengthened in his faith. • He glorified God.
being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.Romans 4:21 – New International Version
This was not about evidence or what he could reason in his mind. It’s was about talking God’s promise at face value.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—John 1:12 – New International Version
John 1:14—The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14 – New International Version
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 – New International Version
These are just 3 examples of the kinds of things the from the Bible that God is asking you to take Him at face value. • I’m talking about the Word of God here church!
Faith in God’s word, this is a conversation about trust and control. This is like a trust fall, only with God. In the corporate world they call it team building exercises. Because when we let go of the control and begin to trust God ,we learn something about God…
We learn that we can trust him. The evidence says there is no one behind me to catch me, but Jesus says
“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Matthew 28:20 – New International Version
The evidence says that its going hurt when I fall, But Jesus says.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9 – New International Version
The evidence says that I scared and I don’t think I can do this alone,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5 – New International Version
Paul continues to say in the next verse…
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”Hebrew 13:6 – New International Version
If you take anything away from this today, let it be this, God does not need anything from you, but he wants a relationship with you. If you were like me you might have thought, well I know I’m not living right, but God and I have an understanding. I believed in God but I was not following in Abraham’s footsteps of faith. I will let you know that I was deceived, because God does not have shady friends. He loves us all , but some of us have removed ourselves from his covering and out of his will. Our faith only has power because of we have put our faith in God. Faith in and of itself is of no use.
Jesus says “…Everything is possible for one who believes.” •Mark 9:23 – New International Version
Its Faith in God..
God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
Will you open your hearts today and receive what God has for you? • Will you ask Him to Help your unbelief today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. There’s some form of deadness in your life or your relationships today and God wants to call out in your life that which has passed on or maybe it was never there.
I believe that this is a prophetic message for someone today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to resurrect this in your life. He wants to bring healing in this area today.
There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late, It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today?
Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. remember, it’s just you and God here.
Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner.
I ask you today for your forgiveness.
I believe that you died for my sins and rose from the dead.
I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior.
Guide me and help me to do your will.
In Jesus’ name Amen.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;11 Numbers 6:24-26 – New International Version
25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’