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3. When Righteousness By Faith is Impossible

Eugene Prewitt


Eugene Prewitt conducts a review of previous sessions. Prewitt discusses righteousness by faith and cites biblical examples of people who acted in faith.


Eugene Prewitt

Director, The Institute of East Asia Training (IEAT)



  • June 23, 2015
    7:00 PM
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Our Father in heaven I asked a chill bless. The slab. Of this day like you've blessed all their hours. In this day that you would find a way by your Holy Spirit to use the Bible to speak to each one here. Even with different messages to meet different needs and I ask for this gift. In the name of Jesus. A man before I was married I had a cat and. Cat's name and what's got. To means Kitty and some language. And tissue was a cat raised by a boy. So he was very masculine. And even though he had a name that some kind of feminine. But he didn't know that. Because he doesn't know human language. And so for example when I would feed Tisha. I never ever made a little bull and put food in it. I would take a little handful of food and scatter across the yard. And he had to race to get it before the apps and the birds and whatever else. And I just was raising my cat to be a strong cat. He he became my cat because he would climb trees jump on a roof and then crawl over and jump in my second story window. And that's how he became my cat so I knew that he was up to. You know being tough. When. Welcome ladies and gentle servers are gentle sir. More ladies and one gentle sir. Heidi when she married me. Didn't particularly like to. He was a little bit too much. Boy cat for her. He could per And then he could scratch for example. And he one time scratched her. On the face. When she was trying to be really really sweet with him. And for Heidi that's just about the unpardonable sin and. So Heidi. Did not like. My cat. I have to say anything about her dog that I didn't say anything but anyway. She she did she didn't like my cat. Then one day. I put out. Ant poison because we had a problem with ants and found that you have to poison. And to eight. You have to poison. The effect of that was really very sad. He developed diarrhea vomiting. Full main. He looked like he could hardly think he could like. If you tried to make him stand up it kind of fall down. And I didn't think he would live through the night. When we found him. But it did something for Heidi to see him like that. He no longer seemed like a ferocious animal. He seemed like a needy. Pet. And she began to mother him. And she force fed him a charcoal. And she made sure he got liquids and he hovered. On that balance between life and death for about ten days. And then he recovered. And that was nine years ago. He didn't die till last summer. Live to the ripe old age of sixteen. Which is quite a bit. For a cat. Quite. No he did not live to sixteen though. I don't think he was born in ninety nine. And it was last year or so anyways getting up in that range you know that that was OK it was going up getting up there. Were not yet in two thousand and sixteen that's what I'm thinking. What I learned from that experience. Is the value of letting people help you. Do you realize you and people that when Jesus asked for a drink of water from that lady at the well. That made it much easier for him to help her. When people. Help you. It puts them in a mode where they're willing to receive some service and. It is sensible for us that we not try to act like we always have no need like we're always strong and able and we don't have any problems. We don't glorify God so much by saying we have no problems. Is by admitting we have problems and knowing. We admit that we know God can help us with our problems. Someone asking for two children stories and that was the first one. Now let's do a review. I'm not a preacher I'm a teacher. And for me long term retention is more significant than people. Feeling like they've been blessed in a sermon. Who remembers anything. From the last five days of what's been shared on to public things I've shared because I want to know if you remember it right. But you were anything that I've shared in the last five days. Let that. I know you are something but who would tell me one thing you remember one idea that stuck out. One idea that like. Helpful. But what's one courageous thing go ahead ma'am. OK the idea that to memorize the Bible makes a tool that the Holy Spirit can use. To really help us good someone else remember something you raise your hand I think. So God has given us. He's given us these higher powers are designed to help us make our choices. But he's given us the lower powers to get us moving. And then they reward us. So you feel lonely. Your higher power helps you find the right person. You get married in your lower power says. Wonderful or. You're hungry. That pushes you your Higher Power says I'm going to eat. Potluck. There's good food there and. I didn't know it was care about. But anyway. Hide and have no doubt too late that there is good food there. And you take the good food. And then your lower powers rewards you. They say delicious that was nice. Aren't you glad you have lower powers. Were glad that God has given us those lusts. It's not like he gave them to us to test us. He gave them to us to help us. But where do they get us in trouble. That's when it. When the steering wheel. When the celebrator tries to steer the car. That's when you have trouble and. Who are is anything else we talked about here what something. OK so. Solomon the wisest man and. And the Bible contrast him with the wise men of his age right with the gurus that were all around. He was wiser than all the gurus people travelled long distance to see him. And then what. Jesus said. Is one wiser than Solomon is here that was Jesus. We. You don't need to go find a guru you have the red letters in your Bible they're amazing. The. Whoever you think is like the wisest person ever. He's just not. If you have in your bible good think you were anything else. From our time here what something. OK so. The philosophy of. How you find truth. Some people rely on their reason some people. On their gut feeling that be Pentecostals and Buddhist for example on their internal feelings. And also be a lot of people who come to church because of the music that would be the thing right there that's getting them. If you're going to be very consistent. The Jewish religion in the Catholic tradition. They have the very same foundation for their face. And that is a mixture of us forty and tradition. They just acknowledge different authorities and different traditions and that's why they amount to two different religions. What do we acknowledge as the only alternately reliable source of truth. That's the revelation that God has given to man in the Bible God. Challenges all. Other claimants to to authority to to this challenge can you accurately predict the future. Can you. Accurately tell the ancient past. The Qur'an. Makes no significant predictions. And the Book of Mormon is just a mess when it goes to the ancient past. The Bible stands alone. As a book in that regard. You're anything else we talked about what something. If you're going to teach young people pro fiercly illustrate because people remember your illustrations more than about anything else you share. Good. Sister Jane. OK so. To say that and our third grade. Lingo we would say that a lot of us know better than we do. And the distance between what we know and what we do is a shame. Right. And. It's a shame the ought to be reduced not by forgetting things but by doing better. Right. In the gospels involved in that. Good thank you remember something that's IT WHEN YOU. When you teach young people be sure you're not a theory. Be certain that you're addressing the kind of questions that they're feeling. If you don't address those. Those questions are going to stop them from even listening. For example a young man who is struggling with masturbation. Can't even really listen to what you're trying to say in Bible class all year long. He can't really pay close attention. Until this issue is resolved for him. He is going to not be gaining much help you or anything else really talked about what something. OK this idea that. Bible should not be that easy. A Bible should require some devotion and study and systematic study. If you take your chemistry book in every morning. During the school year you open it up to a random page and read for ten minutes. A random page every day all year long and how are you going to do on your chemistry exam. It's not because chemistry is too hard for you. It's because there are very few things that you can learn well by a random. Perusal. The Bible is no different than chemistry in that regard. It requires a systematic approach to gain a serious benefit. And that's an important lesson or anything else. Yes. We looked at this. In three of the four gospels. They all say a little differently and they all throw. New shades on it. But Jesus when he told Peter that you're going to deny me three times. He said. You are going to be converted. You said you were going to strengthen the brother and he said meet me after I'm resurrected. He said Let not your heart be troubled and. I was glad that brother dant. Gives name right. He asked me to find the quote that I made reference to their ability to help people proportionate to their confidence in our confidence in them. And I went tried to find it and I could not find it. But I did find it. The word isn't confidence the word is belief and you can find this in fundamentals of Christian education. This is a much slower much less paraphrased quotation of it. That our ability to help people will be proportionate. To their belief in our belief and confidence or appreciation of them. I bet someone here on the phone could even find it. You know if you find it tell me I'll just let you read it to us. Fundamentals are Christians occasion. Are their belief and. Our belief in them is a real swimmer anything here that we talked about. I really enjoy this kind of review is I think for many of you that heard this one thing it's moving the thing from short term to long term memory. And that will just make it to be twice as useful. Yes brother. So that's getting to the to the conclusion of the sign that it's getting there. I grew up in Alaska watching a lot of T.V.. I had my own T.V. and my own remote control and I used it not to leave in my parents thought I was a good boy. But. I stopped watching T.V. while I was in Alaska. Because God reached me not through my mom not through my dad not through my pastor but through a hippie Sabbath school leader who was really a consecrated man and. The Bible promises. Were powerful and that's what gave me. Power. Good I'm glad you remembered that. Someone else remember something. Yes. OK once you read it to us. Yeah it's a simple idea your ability to help. People is going to be proportionate to what they what they think you think about them. If they think that you like them and they think that you expect good signs of them. Than that. You're going to be able to help them. And if they think you don't like them or they think that you don't expect good things of them. You're not going to do much good for them. Even if you preach at them a great deal. If you're anything else. Yes. Viki who was faithful and God. Honored his faithfulness by Americal very good. Yes sister. Ideally. And this is the way you ought to speak can teach is that someone should not have to trust you to learn from you. You should. I mean speaking as a Bible teacher. If you're going to teach chemistry or American history or. They're probably not going to find those things out for themselves initially I mean they might need to trust you some. But if you're going to be teaching the Bible you should be able to connect them direct to the source. Where they believe what you say because they see it for themself. Because we're trying to lay a foundation. That's going to work out in the long term. And when they believe it because they just love us. We're not setting them up to handle the future challenges very well. OK We've spent a third of my time on review. But you can do this kind of exercise yourself after you listen to decent lectures. If you'll review what you will help move that stuff from short term to. Long term and that's just a great thing to do. What I have here on the board. Let's just go there Turn to Romans for our topic tonight. Is when. Righteousness by faith is impossible. When righteousness by faith is impossible. Let me just tell you what I'm trying to say and then I'll see if I can prove it to you. It's impossible to have righteousness by faith if you do not have faith and faith. Is taking God at His word and depending on that word to do what it says. So unless you take God at His word and depend on that word. Unless you have this experience that we call faith. It's impossible to have. Righteousness by faith or to say this even a little more harshly. If you have that. Academic habit of doubt in the way that you approach Scripture. That does not take every bit of it as an inspired authoritative source. That very academic discipline. In the Bible is called unbelief. And I believe is the antithesis of faith. And there is no such thing as righteousness by unbelief. Maybe they would be called Catholicism but it doesn't work. It's not real. So that's where I'm going to now let's see if we can get there ARE YOU IN Romans for. Romans for a look at verse seventeen Romans four was written for an age that. Had better. Attention spans than we do. At how some very long sentences. And verse seventeen as in one of those very long sentences but we're just starting in the middle of it. So I don't I can hold you to the whole thing. So I'm not there. Just a moment. The Romans for. Verse seventeen says two things about God that I want you to notice. As it is written I have made you a father of many nations. Before him. Whom he believed. So just listen to the last half the verse that ought to explain the first half. Even God was a say about God who quickens the dead. Now quickens do you all know the old English verb what that means. Makes alive. God who makes dead people alive. And calls those things which be not as though they were. Were trying to learn something about faith the sea of men and I want you to start with these two ideas in verse seventeen. One is that God brings the dead to life. And he speaks of a future thanes often in present tense. That had not understanding that second point confused Ballenger. Have you heard that name Ballenger Ballenger saw in the Old Testament. References and prophecies. About Jesus's ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. They were written in present tense. One that really got his attention was I'd say a six. I say a six as in present tense. You know Isaiah six I think you do. And that's the prophecy where he says. Here are my Send me but he says the Lord High and lifted up in his train fills the temple. Ballenger saw that he realized wait a minute. This puts Jesus in the holy place. Before the cross. Because I'd say it was written before the cross. And that idea was the beginning of a slippery slope that led Ballenger right. Out of the church. But do you see how verse seventeen offers a solution to that Does God speak about things that are not as though they will be or as though they are. You know it sometimes even as if they already were. God speaks about future things as if they're very real. Jesus use this. And simple in a passage. That doesn't make any sense unless you're a Seventh Day Adventist. It's the passage where he was talking about the resurrection to the sad you see S.. And what he said there. Is that God said I am the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. Then Jesus sad. God is not the God of the dads but of the living. Now if you're not a Seventh Day Adventist you would think. Oh they're already living there up there in heaven. That's what he's talking about. If that's what he's talking about that doesn't say anything about proving a resurrection. But if they're still sleeping in the grave. Then that proves that there is going to be a resurrection. Prove the resurrection by the fact that God said. I am the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob after they were dead. Sometimes a devotion to Scripture. Can go even deeper than we think it can or should. Jesus found. Proofs in the Bible we might not have even seen evidence. If I didn't make any sense you can ask me later. Because I don't have time to try to make it make sense right now. But Jesus understood and Paul understood and Abraham understood that God speaks about things that are future and then you can be sure they're going to happen when he speaks about them in present tense. So how does this relate to Abraham. I think. Abraham is remarkable in. The Bible has faith. Is amazing to me. And let me explain. Like one of the ideas that just really catches me. If I had a son I don't have one but if I had a son and God asked me to offer him. Up on a mountain as a sacrifice. Wow what a difficulty that would be the one major step is that God would have to convince me that it was him and not Satan masquerading. And God hasn't given us any tools to know how Abraham figured that out because Abraham didn't have a Bible to rely on so that whatever method he used it is not relevant to us. But we have a method and what's the method we have. The Bible and so. If God does appear to you and ask you to offer your son you should just know right off that's not him. I hope you'll know that. But suppose we skip the problem and I do know it's him. Yet for me to offer up my son as a sacrifice is nothing compared to how difficult it was for Abraham. Because when Abraham. Took a knife up to slay his son. There had never been a resurrection. In the history of the universe. No one had ever returned from the dead. And there was no direct statement. About a resurrection from the dead. Abraham had never heard of a resurrection from the dead. He just figured that there must be a resurrection from the dead. Because he had two statements from God one that Isaac should be killed and one the Isaac was going to be the father of a great nation and Eber him didn't figure he should have to choose between the two. So he looked for a way that they both could be true. And when he came to was the doctrine of the resurrection. That's what you find in the book of Hebrews when it talks about Abraham. That's pretty incredible. FACE. But you're in Romans four we want to look at it here. Let's go to the next verse Romans four verse eighteen. Speaking of Abraham It says two against hope. Believed in hope that he might be the father of many nations according to that which was spoken. So shall die see BE WHO against hope that's it and we don't use but we have one like it. That is when it seemed hopeless. Abraham believed. See and completely hopeless. The reason we're studying about Abraham is because the Bible uses him as a model for how righteousness by faith works. And this is the passage that does it. Very plainly and. So we want to see what is it about Abraham's faith that makes a good model for righteousness by faith. And here's one part. When it seemed hopeless he believed. Why would you believe when it seems hopeless that sounds kind of foolish kind of like the leap in the dark that scientists talk about. Brothers and sisters my face that I haven't creation. Is not a leap. In the dark. I don't think god. Ever has asked me to make a leap. In the dark. What he's done is he's given me. Evidence. And he's asked me to make a leap based on the evidence. Even though I can't see exactly how it's going to go. But the evidence. It's like. I would have to ignore evidence to disbelieve God. Faith is based. On evidence not guesswork. So what about Abraham if you believe in it seemed hopeless How is that based on evidence. The evidence is in the end of verse eighteen. According to that which was spoken Do you see that there in verse eighteen. It was the Word of God. So Abraham. Abraham had the Word of God. That was what he relied on. He had the hopeless situation the fact that. Well you know his hopeless situation we talk about it more in the next few verses. He didn't think about that verse nineteen. And being not weak and face. He consider not his own body. Now dead. But I almost preached you tonight was a sermon that I talk about. Week faith and strong faith. But there is no time to do it. But you know that website. Audio Verse dot org You ought to listen to it. To find a sermon there by me on faith upright talk about what the Bible says about weak faith and strong faith. What it says here is Abraham was not we can face. But then was a say he did he consider not his own body now dead. When he was about one hundred years old. One thing. Abraham did not think about when he had the Word of God. Was his own weakness. Worked in the canvassing field a bit in my life and. I remember my experience in high school where I was asked if I'd want to join the canvassing team. And I said yes. But I found myself I would canvass one day a week. That's how it was my Academy of the first year I did it. I found myself dragging my canvas an hour or two. All week long. Like all week long on. I was anticipating negatively. With fear. My next couple hours canvassing. And that was week after week after week after week for the whole school year. Then at the end of the school year. I was asked do you want to do it again next year. That's a hard question. It depends where you ask my lower powers or my higher powers. Part of me doesn't. And part of me does. The part of me that did thought like this. I figured that I had never in my life done something so useful as canvassing. I mean meet Tina hundreds and hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn't have a chance and it was interesting because you know the different ways people learn. Like by their hearing or by seeing or by. By doing. My two really great methods are to see and to hear. Which perfectly matches. School. As typically done. So. School was easy for me. So if you talk about that like the academic disciplines. If there's math. I'd be at the ninety nine percent tile. If you talk about science at the ninety nine percent tile. If you talk about some of the other things well. Pretty much I want to be right here and the less you count spelling. And that's going to be right here. I got a D. in that. When I was in high school and. I really really didn't like that. Believe it or not ladies and gentlemen I have one point. Forgotten how to spell my own name. And that was like eight years ago I was. I was just there and I couldn't. Nothing looked right. And I go through. Waves in my spelling. There's never a really high one. But there's a lot of troughs. And when I get into a deep trough my spelling is really. I know. At least ten times more words than I know how to spell. When I'm in a trough. But thankfully once you get past. Elementary school that doesn't show up too much. And so academically I was used to really excelling. But you know where I was when it came to sales. Just below average. And what. Made sense to me when I was making that. That decision right there. Is that my below average sales. Was accomplishing far more for God's kingdom. Than my above average math and science. So that even though I have an aptitude in one area. If I start think about my usefulness my usefulness was somewhere else can sort of figure that out. And so that's when I said. Yes. I want to do it next year. And it wasn't till after I decided that that God took away a large portion of the fear. That was associated with canvassing for me. I didn't tell that to use a story to make you canvass but if that's what it does that would be a great thing. I really don't know why I told you that story. Receive I can remember. Oh my own weakness. If you think about your own weakness you will excuse you from many of the things God would like to have you do in life. Because God Frankly uses weak people. And if you only use strong people could be used in the arrogant ones at the same time. And he'd much rather use weak people so Abraham didn't think about his own weakness. He didn't consider his own body now dead been about one hundred years old. Neither yet the deadness of. Sarah's womb. The way I. Word that my own mind is he ignored. Factors that were out of his control. I remember I was leading a team in northern Maine around caribou and. Presque Isle. And. We got there on a Sunday and I'll just summarize and say it was the best week we had in the state of Maine. The people up there was kind of like a bible belt in that part of the state and. Like forty percent more spiritual than in Portsmouth and. The down allow in the. When you get close to Massachusetts. I really enjoyed it. That on Church. Church on Sabbath we went to church and. We were introduced as called porters who were in the area to canvass. But no one told the church we'd already been doing it for five days. And a little old lady came up to me. During the intermission between Sabbath school and church. And she began to warn me that the area we were in was a very difficult. Area that the people are very receptive. That they aren't going to want anything and I shouldn't be discouraged if we don't sell anything it's just the way it is. And I was trying to find that. I had a hard time not smiling while she was saying that it's hard for our to tell her that. It's not true. But I've found it now all over the world. Many of us think about how hard our neighborhood is because it makes us feel a little bit better for not talking to them. We feel a little bit better for not getting involved by. Excusing ourselves that. Sarah's womb is dead. There's just no sense in trying. But if you have the Word of God You don't need to think about external factors that are out of your control. You could just take the word of God. And you could run with that. And God would make His Word does not fail you can put a lot of weight on it not so you can put an infinite weight on it because you don't have an infinite weight. But you can put as much weight as you have right there. Let's look at the next verse is that twenty. He staggered not at the promise of God. Through unbelief. The way I illustrate this in my mind. And I have seen a lot of people talking about faith using chairs. And I don't like it. I don't like it when people talk about faith by sitting down in a chair and say. This is you have faith in the chair. Why do I like the illustration. Because the way I understand faith is faith is something you do with the Word of God. If you have confidence in me don't call it face. If you have confidence in your textbook don't call it faith. If you have confidence in this chair don't call it faith. Because faith. Is an experience with the Word of God and there's nothing like the word of God that you can relate put your weight on. But what happens if the Word of God is that when God gives instructions or counsel or promises like Abraham you're going to be the father of many nations. That's a real good example. When you come to that promise. To depend on it requires some internal work. And you need to step up on that promise. And the Word of God it will hold you up if you step on it. Scuse me. But if you don't step up you know what you do with a promise. You trip over it. Trip over this chair if I didn't step on it when I was walking that way I'm just trying to make an illustration of what you see in verse twenty. That is when you approach God's promises with unbelief. They don't do you any good at all. That's like the man's thought in the first couple verses of. Of Hebrews four blood us also fear lest any of us. That. That's a promise being left us of entering into His rest. Any of you should seem to come short of it for unto us was the gospel preached as well as under them. But the word preach did not profit them. Not being mixed with. Phased in them that heard it a step idea. Promises help you. Or they hurt you. Depending on whether or not you meet them with face. So we staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief but he was strong in faith giving. Glory to God. I want you to see a couple verses about this turn your Bibles to Psalm. Psalms one hundred sixteen. Psalm one hundred sixteen. And verse ten. It's a very simple idea. And I just like you to think about it. It says how. I believed. Therefore I have spoken. There's more there but that's the part I want you to see. It's just a simple idea. To make a correlation between what you believe and what you say. I want to make it so clear. I'm a Seventh Day Adventist. I believe that Jesus is coming soon. But when I say it has a different effect on me than when I just keep it to myself. I believe that Jesus paid for my sins. And that when I sent it hurts him. I believe that but when I say it. It has an impact on how I feel about temptation and weakness and about just giving up. When we speak What We Believe. It gives the truth more power in our life. In fact. This idea of speaking what you believe. This is the mind set of face. It's the spirit to face. Look at Second Current. Second Corinthians four second Corinthians four in verse thirteen. Second Corinthians. Four and verse thirteen. Well silly me. I was looking on the wrong side of Romans for it. Second Corinthians four in verse thirteen. It says. We having the same white spirit to face called out a mindset of faith that's what the word spirit means there in many places in the Bible. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio. If you would like to listen to more sermons. Lead to visit. W W W. Audio verse or.


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