Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 4, Part 4

Today is Palm Sunday. Today is the day that we commemorate Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem. We can read about this story in Matthew 21:1-9 But the image I have is always about how the people understood Jesus as their king. They would lay the palm branches at his feet and cry

Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!

Matthew 21:9 – New International Version

Did you know that Hosanna is a Greek word that finds its root in Hebrew, but its meaning is that of praise and adoration? Translated it simply means, Oh Save us!

Now it seems like God never quite does things in the way we think He should. This was certainly the case with the Jews of the first century. • They were an occupied people. The Roman Empire was intruding, to say the least, they were under Roman law and the Greek Culture and fashion were still very much at play. All of this threatened their religious practices and traditions. They believed that the coming Messiah would save them from the Roman’s iron grip.

Our context today is in continuation of the Apostle Paul explaining the details of their salvation that took place only about 30 years prior (this very week). Paul has proven the basis of Abraham’s righteousness and now relating it to salvation in Jesus Christ.

I have been listening to old sermons by the late Billy Graham. • He said something that really resonated with me, he said that he had come across many people, even those in the ministry who struggled with the certainty of their own salvation. This resonated with me because there were times in my younger life where I too struggled with this certainty of my own salvation. My prayer for you today is that by hearing this message you will become more secure in your heart and mind regarding the integrity of your salvation through your personal relationship with Jesus as the Lord of your life.

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Let’s see what God has for us today, Amen?

The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 4:23-25 – New International Version

In keeping with tradition, I have broken this passage down into 3 parts/points that I will be sharing with you today. Here’s my first point.

Faith is about Belief In Divine Revelation

The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone,

Romans 4:23 – New International Version

For Abraham, This idea of crediting righteousness was meant for Abraham in his time and in the construct of what was revealed to him by the words of God. At first God promised him Land and descendants and blessings, therein.

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing 3 I will bless those who bless you, and 3 whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 12:2-3 – New International Version

Abraham believed in God’s Promise. Abraham’ faith was rooted in what God had revealed to him supernaturally. In this way God was revealing to Abraham the promise of the coming Messiah.

Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

Genesis 17:19 – New International Version

Abraham Believed that God Could call life from death. Abraham Believed that God Could call into being that which did not exist. He believed that God could create for him descendants out of decaying 2 elderly people who were never even able to have Children. Abraham received this promise in his spirit even though he would never lay his hands on it himself.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1 – New International Version

even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”

Hebrews 11:18 – New International Version

It was because of this faith that he was credited righteousness.

For us here today, our faith in God through Jesus Christ is where God has chosen to bring about this gift of righteousness.

but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Romans 4:24 – New International Version

The same God that Abraham believed in who had the power to bring life Is the same God that raised Christ from the dead. Now the resurrection of Christ is past tense.
I know what you’re thinking, Pastor, why do you need faith to believe in something that already happened?
I’m so glad you asked. It is faith that leads us to our blessed hope. The same power that raised Christ will also raise you and me. It is Faith in God that brings about the transformation of a sinner like me. Where I once was dead in my sin, but now, I am alive in Christ Jesus That He is coming soon and will set all things right.

We’ll continue to my second point.

Faith is about belief in God As Revealed In Christ Jesus

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John1:1 – New International Version

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.

John1:14 – New International Version

All through time God has been revealing himself pointing us to Jesus. • He has always been there and every word God has ever spoken has come through Jesus Christ the Son and second person of the Holy Trinity.

For Abraham, there was this idea that God was restoring the garden experience. That God was taking him to a place of abundance and safety where they could be with God and in an everlasting relationship.

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Genesis 14:18-20 – New International Version

God was revealing the structure of a redeemer who is prophet, priest, and king. The king of righteousness. The king of peace. To whom, Abraham acknowledged his tithe. And was marked by the bread and wine. That we now symbolize as the elements of communion. The body and blood of Christ, our blessed redeemer.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 6:19-20 – New International Version

For each of us God has made us promises specific to us in our time. The promise of our redemption and of the forgiveness of our sin, through the blood of Jesus shed on Calvary’s cross.

and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Hebrews 5:9 – New International Version

Let me ask you this:
Have you put your faith in the God who calls life out of death?
Have you asked Jesus, the source of eternal salvation, to be your Lord and Master?
God has promised us, Christ that has already come and is coming back soon.

let’s move to my final point.

Faith is about Belief in God’s Promise of Justification

Its God’s ability/desire to do exactly what He said He would do.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 4:25 – New International Version

Can he, Will he? This is where your faith takes action. God said it has already been done. This is why I believe God creates certain miracles. To inspire us to faith. His way of creating the circumstances to which we are able to express faith.

For Abraham, Justification was to be like a pattern of things to come. Just like in our Judicial system, there are precedents set out for our direction. Did you notice today that throughout the Bible there are reoccurring patterns that create emphasis to what God has already done? Phrases like: “I Am the Lord” or “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt. These are precisely how God chooses to encourage us to believe for the next season of our life. He reminds us of what he has already done and ensures us that we can continue to trust him.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 4:25 – New International Version

The work in this case of justification, has already been done.

All we have to do is receive his gift. Why is it so difficult for us to receive from God? For many of us this is a total pride issue. We either can’t bear the idea of humbling ourselves or we don’t believe we are in need of a savior. Oh, we spout off all the time with false humility. We say things like, “I know I’m not perfect!” But what we really mean is, I don’t want to submit to authority. Aka, “I want to do what I want to do and I don’t want anyone bugging me about it.” Sound familiar?

Lets look at these take-a-ways today. God has revealed something in your life, and he is asking you to trust him today. Will you express your faith in his promise of righteousness and Justification? We don’t talk about this enough, the definition of justification is being declared innocent. On that day don’t you want to hear Jesus say I Have declared you innocent. This faith is faith in God as revealed in Christ Jesus.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 – New International Version

God has declared his messiah/His holy anointed one as the narrow gate to eternal life.

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.

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;
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.”’

Numbers 6:24-26 – New International Version