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Romans 4 "The Faith of Abraham"

Norman McNulty

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Norman McNulty

Neurologist at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN

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Recorded

  • April 8, 2009
    7:00 PM
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Harold evening everyone who defeated here you are setting Roman chapter forty nine this is really a beautiful chapters one yet indivisible have some time at the end for prayer requests and testimonies Ali Bowers affair were deferring instead other hand we thank you for this Wednesday evening that we can come together for Bible study and prayer ask for a special blessing now as we have been at your word and we study the faith of Abraham and Romans for me it helps us in our walk with you Jesus RIAA or Romans four is one of the beautiful chapters in the book of Romans and so I'm looking forward to going through this chapter deny and that we have studied in the first three chapters if you wanted to summarize the first three chapters with basically the first three chapters teach that all men Jews and Gentiles are under condemnation for breaking God 's law and yet all men Jews and Gentiles are eligible to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and receive salvation and the first three chapters essentially bring home the point that Jews and Gentiles are guilty before God there is deserving of the wrath of God in the judgment that yet because of the righteousness of God it is possible for us as human beings to avoid God throughout the judgment by having righteousness so that's obviously good news now that there is some other key points that we've seen in these chapters one is that by the time we get to chapter three in verses ten and nine seen Paul describes the condition of the human flash and the tendency of human flesh to wander from God so that by the time I can diversify and he says that all the world may become guilty before God said then when he gets into the concept of righteousness by faith and verses twenty one to thirty one the question could be as well how is it possible shoe have the experience of righteousness by faith the Romans chapter four is going to answer that question and the answer the question is sound in the experience of Abraham known as the faith of Abraham so why is it about the faith of Abraham that gives us an example and as we know Abraham is the father of the faithful so let's go ahead and get under Romans chapter four starting in verse one here the Bible says what shall we say then that Abraham our father is pertaining in the flesh I found forth Abraham were justified by works he hath whereof to glory but not before God for what saith the Scripture Abraham believed God and it was counted on to him for righteousness surf the first thing you notice when verse one says is what shall we say then that Abraham our father as pertaining to the flesh as found so what's Paul trying to say here Paula sang hillock we had Avery him as righteousness and yet she have the same flash that we we you see the we all have to fight flash that is described in Romans three versus ten three nineteen and yet so did Abraham and of course because Abraham is like every one of us he is the key fell short of the glory of God and apart from the gospel he would be guilty before God and the judgment therefore he cannot be justified by works the first key because if he worried he would be for his glory and not for God and he because of falling short of God 's glory can never be justified in themselves serve drama chapter four verse one and versus wine she teaches that Abraham deals with the same flesh that we have to deal with and when it comes to being justified is obviously not by his own work so there Abraham is not justified by works because in his flash he has fallen short of God 's glory he is sent therefore not easy illustration before once you send one time you can keep the law perfectly the rest of your life and you would still be under condemnation if it wasn't for God 's grace so that's what Paul is saying here no verse three health is to understand how Abraham receives righteous him and the answer is very processed for what saith the scripture I like how Paul further he's the one of the Bible say how was Abraham considered to be righteous the policy really using it he's obviously not using philosophical armies like let's see what the Scripture says how is it that Abraham 's righteousness and the Scripture says Abraham believed God and it was counted on to him for righteousness so this is a key verse in understanding all of righteousness by faith you want to understand righteousness by faith Romans for verse three describes it for us and we've talked about this already they hear the says Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness and if we go back to Romans chapters three we see the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ is unto all and upon all them that believe for there is no different some Romans three the righteousness of God is to all who believe in Romans four verse three Abraham believed CC that connection there righteousness by faith in Romans three as all of you believe rooms for verse three Abraham believed in because Abraham believed it was accounted to him for righteousness now the question then is what is it mean to believe does it mean that you believe that Jesus died on the cross and because of that you receive eternal salvation no matter what or doesn't mean that because you believe in the existence of God that you're counted as righteous and the answer that I would give to both of those is Seo Web six of the way Paul first things he says what does the Scripture fluency with the Scripture says now when Paul says for what saith the Scripture and he gives you the idea that he is quoting from something that started in written Islamic sons he says what does the Scripture and then he says Abraham believed God it was counted to him for righteousness you have a margin or a center column that gives you cross references you will see that Paul is quoting from the book of Genesis when he makes his point about Abraham believing in this assignment Genesis chapter fifteen Genesis fifteen and the story here is that Abraham is a hundred years old twenty five years earlier God had promised him that he would have a child now is a fast not testing your faith I don't know what is twenty five years God promises you when you're seventy five A Juergen have a child and then twenty five years later the promise hasn't come to pass and Abraham if you need if you look at verses one and see Abraham basically says Alexa Eleazar he's the steward of my house he can be the error of my house and he can be the child that you promised and he says I have I don't have a secret hate Eleazar he can work he can be my air and notice what Roman art Genesis fifteen verse forces and behold the word of the Lord came in the in thing this shall not be thine heir speaking of Eliezer the you shall come forth out of my mouth shall be thine heir send out notices as is the word of the Lord came to him saying he has sure come forth out of unknown valves shall be than here and noticed this Abraham of a hundred years old Sarah 's mind he so obviously the rough past childbearing age and yet the word of the Lord says your guy have a child that comes forth from you and Sarah from your own now so God is saying one thing and human reality is saying Abraham and Sarah cannot have a child there past childbearing age humanly speaking it is impossible for them to have a new child of themselves at this point in their human experience but the word of the Lord says yes you will and that's the first one the word of the Lord says in verse five God does something else and hear God brought Abraham forth abroad and said look now toward heaven until the stars it shall be able to number them and he said and in social ICD so now what is now his God he first he says according to the word of the Lord you will have a child that comes forth from your own bowels even by your past childbearing and then he says most amount Abraham and look up at the sky and count the stars and obviously at that time in its history there are no lights outside their destroy the beauty of the service at the sky would've been full what is it are being reminded of first he hears God worth in God 's word saying he shall have a child and then God shows him the stars in heaven what does that remind Abraham know that God is creator and when Abraham remembers that God has created for what to see room member about how God creates in the beginning God created and God said let there be and there was an God said let there be in there was an Abraham is thinking hey God just said you will have a child now he's showing me all these heavenly bodies by which his words spoke those heavenly bodies into existence and I can't even count them and he just said I'm one human being and my wife there is one human being and he just saying that the Chi of us will have a child if he can create those stars from zero or nothing into heavenly Danes why can't he take issue human beings and create a child with us and so in verse six it says and he Abraham believed in the Lord and hear God 's counted it to him for righteousness that is not sound familiar a sound the same as Romans for it does is the same thing so what Paul is doing an drama chapter four verse three is he's assuming you understand the background of Genesis fifteen in the background of Genesis fifteen Ms. Abraham was past childbearing age it was humanly impossible for him to have a child but the word of the Lord said he would have a child and then got sick amount shown in the or hey by the word of the Lord of the heavens were made I created the heavens by the by my word and my word says you will have a child and Abraham believed what he believe he believed in the creative power of God 's word to do what it says and what was God saying he would do you hear God was saying she would create a new earth for Abraham and Sarah even though physically speaking they were dead they had not create why and God was doing something very special here what God was doing was he was using this as an illustration to show that while it may be each free that humanly speaking we because of the flesh are dead in trespasses and so he is still the creative tour and his word still has creative power so when we need by faith and believe as Abraham did in the creative power of God 's word to change your life the word of God will come into our lives and changes from being dead in sin chew being dead to sin and being a born-again threat even though humanly speaking it's impossible humanly speaking with then we come short of the glory of God therefore we deserve the wrath of God in the judgment but when we base faith believes in the creative power of God 's word that creative power can change our lives and re-create a new life in and Abraham believed he believed you Lord and God us counted it it counted to him for righteousness now here in Romans for it it just mentions that way in verse three but it's going to come back in versus seventeen through twenty five so this right-of-way for the framework for what it means to believe with respect to righteousness by faith believing with respect to righteousness by faith means to believe in the creative power of God 's word to change your life and to create something out of nothing Abraham believed that and all those you believe the seed it will also be counted righteous and will continue on here is picking up inverse for Romans chapter four Paul Kennedy developed the slot now to him at work this is the reward not reckoned of grace that of debt but in the work is not to believe in him that justify the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness so now this concept of believing and being counted for righteousness comes again here we see when we have a true conception of who we are and who God is we will realize that we cannot work our way to receive righteousness we can't like payoff the debt work really hard and it was simple what is nominal work really hard at him all that debt what we have to realizes is that we need it like Abraham to believe in the creative power of God to totally change your life so that when we start a new set of speech were starting with a new life were not just continuing on in trying to give you the thing to make up for the past were starting a completely new life him my work if not but believe upon him that justifies the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness same as Abraham number six even as David also describe the blessedness of the map under whom God imputes righteousness without works saying Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered as interesting verse seven of Romans four is cited from Psalms thirty two versus one C and if Yugoslav chapter thirty C versus one C Mrs. David speaking when he says Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven process covered blessed is the man under whom the lord impute is not inequity and Houston and in whose spirit there is no guile please see another when God imputes righteousness to someone who believes when that righteousness is an end unit God also says there is no guile in that person and policymaking references here in Romans four it's interesting that one of the characteristics of a hundred and forty four thousand it says that in their mouth was found no guile so clearly these people have had a righteousness imputed to them and it also gives us the idea that having righteousness imputed to us involves more than just an outward covering in Psalm thirty Q talks about how you have no dial which is an inward issue Paul in Romans for right now is emphasizing forgiveness and covering of sin being counted righteous having righteousness imputed to us that he is making that point with the assumption that he understand from Psalm thirty two that when you have righteousness impunity when you have righteousness Kennedy when your sins are forgiven but you also have no God now with me that assumption he's making her face is blessed with a man to whom the Lord will not impede son so obviously there is a blessing when we have been forgiven when we have been justified so that the Lord does not impute sin QS now call the makes and transition here and he comes back to Abraham this is very remiss in the rest of return this evening on the concept of how Abraham received righteousness servers nicest comment the blessedness of them upon the circumcision only or on circumcision often remembered Paul is writing the book of Romans the creative the gospel is for Jews and Gentiles and that the wrath of God is often for Jews and Gentiles for those huge amount of a or follow God through singing are those you are justified is the only composer circumcise are those who are uncircumcised and he makes it yet he's asking a question you can't know what you say knife he says for we say that faith was reckoned a righteous reckoned to Abraham for righteousness and the word reckoned as the same thing is counted number studies of how was it then reckoned when he was in circumcision or on circumcision this is an interesting question to ask and you because Abraham is the father of the cheese and policy hey you know remember back in Genesis fifteen promises Abraham believes in the Lord and was counted to him for righteousness was he circumcised happen or was he uncircumcised when God said he was righteous and NEG reading this half of the same old question Paul good point yet he was uncircumcised and Dorothy was righteous so Paul is using this to make a clear point he's as of the end of her size is not an circumcision but him circumcision so what Paul is making them making very clear here is what Abraham he's the father of the faithful he was counted as righteous when he was uncircumcised and all those hued like Abraham are physically uncircumcised now can still spiritually be circumcised and receive righteousness as Abraham did this method is not just for the Jesus for the whole world Celeste part of the good news of the gospel verse eleven continues and he received the sign of circumcision a CEO of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised that he might be the father of all them that believe though they be not circumcised that righteousness might be imputed under them off the service couple of interesting points here Abraham received the sign of circumcision even though he wasn't circumcised which is a seal of the righteousness of faith which he had when he was uncircumcised and it's interesting is obviously his rooms for verse eleven to show how the Sabbath is the seal of God because we should have but the words sign and seal are synonymous here and in Ezekiel twenty the Sabbath is a sign throughout all generations so this happens to be a Bible verse that we used to prove that the seal of God is the Sabbath the policy using it is primarily using the Spurs and by the way I would recommend uses respect pause using this verse to show what it means to receive righteousness by faith and righteousness by faith is a sign it's also a seal that comes when spiritually speaking you've been uncircumcised that yet then you believe him your counted as righteous as interesting and rummage efforts to Bruce twenty six it talks about how if the M circumcision keep the righteousness of the law shall not his own circumcision be counted for circumcision for the first time the word count is used in the book of Romans so here Abraham is described as being righteous even though he was uncircumcised and described as a sign or SCO which came through his belief is not just for him as for all them that believe that they are not circumcised so that righteousness can be imputed to the now will continue on here versus twelve through fifteen basically makes the same point how Abraham he's the father of those two are circumcised and those who are uncircumcised if they believe and I want to skip down to her sixth he or sixteenth is therefore it is a faith that it might be by grace to the end of the promise might be sure to all the seed not that all languages of the law but to that also wishes of the faith of Abraham who is the father of all numbers seventeen as it is written I've may be a father of many nations now forward an idea for the next twelve minutes or so basically verses seventeen to twenty five which is into the chapter is basically the meat of the chapter and this is where Hall says per member one Abraham believed in the Lord and it was counted to him for righteousness now I'm many used basically nine verses to show you what it means to believe that we talked about that by going back to Genesis fifteen the Abraham believe that by the word of the Lord he has creative power to change something that's impossible it him as possible what Paul is vanity now he's going to spell it out very clearly so that we understand what it was that Abraham was believing in him we understand what it means for Abraham to believe then we will understand what it means for us to believe in order for us to be counted as righteous this is an important point that lays the foundation for the rest of the book of Romans with respect to righteousness by faith to Romans four seventeen two thousand is written I may be a father of many nations before him and he believed even God who witnessed the dead and calls those things which be not as though they were some notice here with Abraham believe he believed in God who quickens the dead and all of those things which be not as though they were so here he's believing that God and quickened and the God has resurrection power and he can't haul things into existence that are and he can just say let there be light and there's why even though white never existed hereunder that's basically what Paul is saying here and what's interesting is when you get a Hebrews eleven it talks about how Abraham believed that God would raise Isaac up from the dead nothing about this the story is a little child Abraham and Isaac after the top the mountain and the Lord has told Abraham to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice and then the RAM is provided for its cotton the thicket and your thinking world Abraham is the belief of the Lord would've provided a RAM in the thicket and and see what my faith and survivorship they're expecting around the shot that Hebrews eleven pulses actually Abraham was really going to fill eyes him because the promise of God he actually believe because God is Creator he would raise Isaac up from the dead plus the type of faith Abraham had Abraham not the voice of God the same voice are called believer of the Chaldees the same voice that told him he would have a child is the same voice it seldom does offer up Isaac as a sacrifice to Abraham believes that if God wants to take Isaac 's life the reason back up to fulfill the promise that he made so this is the type of belief that Abraham has he believes in God who quit methods and call of the things which be not as though they were in members speaking crew we can't hope believed in heaven so sometimes what God says goes against natural human growth but because the word of the Lord sets Abraham believed that he might become the father of many nations according to that which was spoken social my CV so because God said your seed will be like the stars in the heavens even though humanly speaking it was impossible Abraham believed in what was humanly impossible because God says and that's why I say when people talk about how it's impossible for certain end time events to take place it's impossible for a group of people to be fully obedient to have the faith of Jesus and all those things might might come back to that is you may never have seen the phenomena go with what the word of God says as the first of what your eyes have seen drifters your human being Abraham had never seen a resurrection Abraham had never seen people have children after childbearing age but because the word of the board sensor he believed in us the word of the Lord says that there is any aggregate people to keep the command forgotten the faith of Jesus I'm in a believe that over some of his as well people just don't live that way I take the word of the Lord and us the faith that Abraham had first nineteen notice how this continues and being on each interface Fergie was not weak in faith he clearly was strong in faith he considered not his own body now dead when he was about an hundred years old neither yet the deadness of Sarah 's one values this is something that those of us who are married and maybe appreciate more the notice what Abraham 's faith needed to overcome not only the sadness of himself but the deadness of Sarah 's one and because of his faith was so strong the Lord was able to produce fruit through both of an obviously Sarah had to exercise faith as well the question is would Sarah have exercised faith of Abraham then so here's a practical application if we expect for our faith to be acceptable in the sight of God our faith needs to produce fruit in other people if we can produce fruit in other people were not exercising faith that sufficient to be counted as righteous to just say why believe in God that he died for me and then they go out and just a little sinful life and to have what you say and neutral effect on everyone around you was just that your life has no impact whatsoever on anyone else forget or for evil that goes against what Abraham did that since faith was so strong that even produced fruit in the in the life of Sarah in verse twenty he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief now as were starting to go through these verses are you saying that there is more to some abstract belief in something there is something very active in the belief that Abraham have that cause God account him as righteous as he staggered not a promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith giving glory to God so Abraham through his faith gave glory to God and you probably seen this in Genesis twenty three when Abraham had faith to believe that Isaac would be resurrected from the dead lots of them now I know that you truly fear me Abraham feared God and he gave glory so that the description of someone living on the first Angels message he staggered not the promise of bathroom belief but was strong in faith giving glory to God in verse twenty one is key says and being fully persuaded that what he had promised he was able also to perform another way to read it being fully persuaded that what God had promised God was able also to perform the notice it's hard to believe Abraham has is not just some abstract believe it's being fully persuaded that when God 's word says something God is going to perform what his word says you see that Abraham was fully persuaded that God what God promised he was able off the performance of the question we need to be asked ourselves the are we fully persuaded in the promises of God are we fully persuaded when wife gets a little tough when things start to go in our minds in the wrong direction and humanly speaking there seems to be no way out are we fully persuaded in the word of God I mean Abraham reached the point where he said he what I need to figure ways are my servant has as the heir to the promise of the mice see will be is as the stars in heaven and God does not afford another word of the Lord you will have a child from your own bowels and Abraham then ream was reminded that God is creator and his words spoke this heavenly bodies into existence therefore God could and do what he had promised he could do or perform what he had promised to Abraham became fully persuaded of that M1 Abraham became fully persuaded of it then God said you are righteous and Abraham 's faith was so strong that he didn't consider his own body now dead or the deadness of Sarah 's one and because of his faith Isaac was born and spiritually speaking we call this a new birth experience Isaac was born out a few dead bodies that couldn't produce and it's an illustration of how we who are dead in trespasses and son have a new birth experience when God speaks his creative power into our hearts he forgives us and he cleanses us from all right all unrighteousness and then we become a new creature in Christ before the violence is therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature opens her pathway all things are become me we become a new creature and unbelief would be to say well but is it really possible to put away the old one well according to the word of the Lord yes that is and those you believe God will count them as righteous and he will and power as righteous now then verse twenty three server twenty one as being fully persuaded that what you promised he was in will perform notice first twenty two and therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness that's justification by faith in order to be justified by faith you need to believe in the creative power of God 's word to take your life which is spiritually dead and creating new life with in and when you believe that what that because God has promised he will do you said that he will also perform when you are fully persuaded of the God book snowing you righteous and he will do what he promised he will be enough justification by faith and here's the one in order for Abraham to be counted as righteous to be justified he needed to believe that God is creator and that God created the way that he said stays rested the seventh so here's my point if you're struggling to believe that God created is the Bible said it's going to be hard to be fully persuaded that God can do what he promised because of guy can't really create the way the Bible says he created how can he really change your life if he's not powerful enough to create the earth the way he said in his word by the word of the Lord how can see speak is working to your life and change your life it creates a whole different scenario of righteousness by faith into what I am saying is it's crucial it's essential it's absolutely one hundred percent necessary to believe in God is created for in order to exercise faith to be justified and that's very important and if you have actor Romans one basically the how wicked you will receive the wrath of God and those who deny God as creator however I finished the chapter here this is where the beauty and the power the gospel becomes a very special and sweet for each one of us those first twenty three Anne and Paul heat I could almost hear him preach in this nice is now even was not written for his or Abraham 's sake alone that it was imputed August for Abraham to receive righteousness verse twenty four but for us also check initial BMPs if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead it was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification other than versus forty three to twenty five are probably three Mama 's favorite verses in the Bible so Abraham he's the father of the faithful behavior wasn't just written for him it was imputed to him that you shall be imputed as if we believe also on hand oozes on God that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead what's Paul talking about now what's the significance of believing on God who raised up Jesus from the dead is there a comparison to what Abraham believed okay Abraham believe that God is creator and by his word he can create something out of nothing what we are believing it's the same as Abraham is just a different side of the same point we are believing in God who raised up Jesus from the dead so were believing in someone who has resurrection power and then verse twenty five sister was delivered for offenses and was raised again for a justification what if you jump ahead to Romans six if you study Romans six you see in verse four therefore we are buried with him by baptism and the Internet that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the father even so we also should walk in newness of life 's analysis if we believe on him that raised up Jesus from the dead righteousness will be imputed to us also what's the point of believing on him that raised up Jesus from the dead that white is Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father even so we also should walk in newness of life so what are we believing what we believe to be counted righteous were believing that as Christ was raised from the dead we will be raised from the dead spiritually to live a new life it won't be I'm in a be covered with Christ's righteousness and continue to send the way I always have to know a death takes place just as Christ died and when we are raised by faith is a is not the same old life that's covered with a road that keeps on sending and so inside were still selling the same we always had an outside we sort of have this covering the keeps his coverage of the second coming what Paul is saying is look Abraham believed in something that could create a new life we believe in God who creates a new life and it's the same thing Abraham it was imputed for righteousness this am and is imputed righteousness for us if we believe if we believe that God can give us a new life and if we believe that means were fully persuaded that God will raise us up to walk in newness of life to have a new life and will talk about that in Romans six compulsive what shall we say then shall we continue in sin that grace may abound God forbid how shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein and will show clearly from the Bible that to be dead to sin these Joseph Heinemann to be justified to be dead to sin but to be imputed as righteous means to be dead the second man to walk in newness of life and so the Bible is going to come alive as we see the power of the gospel the power the gospel in the work power which comes from the Greek word dynamite means such that it is so explosive and so powerful that it does away with that which is old and create something totally need that we can't even recognize from for last with the power the gospel does so as we look at Romans for as we look at the faith of Abraham we see he is the father of the faithful because he gives an example for each one of us what Abraham lived according to the flesh just like every one of us but he was able to believe that I got the account is righteous and God is able to use them as an example to each one of us that we also can be raised to walk in newness of life some people may say one hey yeah didn't Abraham like Massa after he believe in God count them as righteous as he did that's why Mel Mariah happened God had to prove them true and faithful once and for all for the world to see that Abraham would have sacrificed Isaac as an offering and that true that Abraham really was a righteous serve as the faith of Abraham Abraham feared God he gave bored him and those of us you live the way he did can have the same experience let's apply this to our lives God is powerful God has merciful gracious and wonderful and we can be thankful for the power of the gospel that God can raise us up to walk in newness of life

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