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4. Justification by Faith

Mark Howard
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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

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  • June 19, 2018
    6:00 PM
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Morning everyone are we this morning all right listen we've got an exciting topic this morning I want to mention a couple things as we begin this morning again I want to welcome you dysmorphic I want to welcome those who are joining by you know I have Sunny you have the campers who say I heard you this morning. That means is I woke up and I really was thinking about getting out of bed and I wasn't quite sure I wanted to do it but that's fine you're listening in the Lord you know Faith comes from hearing not by seeing right so that works and those who are streaming online want to welcome you this morning as well. Yeah this I want to mention to you I've talked about loosely basing this I say loosely on the book steps to Christ because there's so much in that book you know yesterday we talked about repentance but we really didn't get into the confession aspect of it those 2 chapters I wanted to cover but there's just more that you can cut than that you can cover there's 13 chapters in the book steps to Christ I'm saying that because as I had gone through that and I am going through it in preparation there is there is so much rich in beautiful practical instruction in that book that goes so well with what we're saying better than what I'm saying and how I can say it just want to encourage you if it's been awhile since you've looked at the book steps to Christ or if you've never read the book go through that book and it will be it will no matter where you are in your experience it will help you to step closer and closer to Jesus in fact I like tell people doesn't only help you to step to Jesus but also with Jesus and so this morning we're going to ask the Lord would bless our time as we move forward in our series and ask your heads with me I'm going to kneel and ask the Lord to bless our time this morning. Father in heaven we are thankful this morning for your presence bother we are thankful for your word we're thankful for the opportunity we have to come together and study we know it's not an opportunity that we will always have I pray that we would treasure it as we should and I pray this morning Lord for your Holy Spirit to give us understanding the Lord to keep us free from distractions I pray that you would not only be with my words but we with our ears and our hearts that we would receive an embrace the truth you have to teach us this morning we ask it in Jesus' name in our series is entitled Going the Distance looking at maybe man and I'm thinking oh I didn't put anything up there yet today I want to talk to you about justification by faith Now yesterday we had talked about repentance we learned that repentance is the 1st step toward price and the 1st part of repentance is we talked about yesterday is sorrow for sin and that's something that we can't do we can't just muster up sorrow for sin or make ourselves sorry for sin it's God's part in drawing us to himself just as we said on our 1st day God always takes the initiative raises name for it now God does this draws us to himself by revealing Christ to us through His word and through His law you know Christ as in the law you don't get Christ out of the Law Christ is in the Law He's the embodiment of it and so we see elements and aspects of his character we see that in the Word and those things that lead us to look upon Him whom our sins our transgression of that law have Pierce. In the cross we see sin in all its ugliness. Contrast it with God in all his glory and goodness in our hearts are humble it leads us to a horse in and long for holiness of heart and life a character like Christ's by His grace we choose to turn from our sin the 2nd part of repentance and seek the Lord I was I mention we don't go into confession of sin where we go before God and virtually confess those things specifically that we have been shown by the Lord that stand between us and him and then God points us to Christ the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world Amen and assures us that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life this experience is often referred to as justification by faith and that's we're going to talk about this morning how many of you read the book steps to Christ here now this was fascinating to me I never realized this until I got ready for this particular message the book steps to Christ really is a book on salvation and as ever and ironically as it is such a book on salvation in fact it's said to be by some a response and say response but coming in in that context of God Survival of the message of righteousness by faith among his people in the late hundreds and early 1900 in light of all that I was a bit surprised to discover that Ellen White does not use the word justify or justification in the whole book you never read it in the book steps to Christ the word justified is in there in one place page 40 where it says those who acknowledge their guilt will be justified they were justified justified in justification all come from variations of the Greek word for righteousness. And today often we use the term righteousness by faith when we're discussing how to receive the righteousness of Christ for justification. Neither does Helen White use the word sanctify sanctified or sanctification in the book steps to cry Has anybody ever noticed that before I was floored when I said wait a minute it's got to be in here something's wrong I've got a good there's a reason I think that she did this is the author Illinois I mean she uses the terms elsewhere here in review and here an article written in 1905 it says the righteousness by which we are justified is what it's imputed the righteousness by which we are saying to 5 it is imparted The 1st is our title to heaven the 2nd our fitness for heaven and as I'm going to share with you a quote in a minute some people want to major in the differences between these 2 things and we get into trouble when we do that as somebody once said that it's like 2 pieces of the 2 sides of the same sheet of paper now I could ask you to take a sheet of paper and divide it in you think I can rip it in half this way no not that way this way you really can't do is justification in the Christian life is the equivalent of that new birth experience it's the work of a moment sanctification is the new life justification is like being born and sanctification is like staying alive in you really wouldn't separate the 2 if I asked you which one is more important being born and stay or staying alive it's kind like well they both have their advantages. So she uses this terminology here in other places but she doesn't use it in steps to Christ justification is what's imparted that work of a moment sanctification the work of a life time one's our title for heaven the others are fitness for heaven. But she does speak of the concepts in the book steps to crisis you're going to see here Page 63 says our only our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us now elsewhere she said justification you won't read the book steps to Christ but the concept is there are only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and in that wrought by His Spirit working in through us we call that sanctification those are the 2 components and both make up righteousness by Fay So why would she steer clear of the terms now I'm not sure I couldn't ask her but I have an idea and I'm going to share with you a statement that I've read in maybe you've read it in the book faith and works page 18 in fact 2 statements the 1st one says this The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining as a people what false ideas of justification by faith I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to compute the mind on this point why because he doesn't want us to be justified by faith he doesn't want us to have this experience with Christ so the devil works constantly at making the issue confusing how many of you've ever been confused by justification by faith some of your thinking right now I sure wish this was a message on something else because this thing always confuses me and by God's grace hopefully will bring some clarity today so the devil one of the reasons I think that Ellen White steers clear of the turn of the theological terms in the book steps to Christ is number one Satan is constantly trying to find the mind on the matter and I think Reason number 2 he often enlist our help. Notice this statement from the materials Ellen White says many commit the error of trying to define minute Lee the fine points of distinction between justification and sanctification Now I just hear a statement from her there are distinctions but notice what she goes on to say we're defining trying to define minute Lee the fine points into the definitions of these 2 terms they often bring their own ideas and speculation. Why I try to be more minute then his inspiration on the vital question of righteousness by faith you're in danger of making a world of an atom and an atom of a world sometimes people get into it's not just this subject we get into theological subjects we'll take a term that's become a cliche term like justification and then we'll read into it all kinds of other stuff that the Scripture may not at all bring up when talking about that and so she warns off that ground so I believe in steps to Christ he wanted to bring clarity and so didn't want to bring in all that theology a logical term and give the opportunity for people to read things in I think that the Gospel is a very complex thing that is yet at the same time very simple and must be or only complex thinking people could be say Now make no mistake we were told that this is going to be a theme of study for us through the terminal ages but I don't think that means we can understand clearly now how to be justified. And that's what we're going to be talking about this morning now incidentally this message cording to this statement in testimony to ministers page 91 says justification through faith is the message that God commanded to be given to the world it is the way. Their dangerous message important this time in history it is the 3rd angels message which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice and attended with the outpouring of his spirit and a large measure we would call that the outpouring of the Latter Rain using scripture language sound important you bet it is so let's let's see what we can discover on this subject of righteousness by faith now the 1st thing I want to do is just pose the question what is right is what is right and I thought it had something right there on it let's look up Isaiah 45 turn in your Bibles with meet Isaiah 45 back before I even look at Isaiah 45 let me just ask you this what's the root word of righteousness right and I'll tell you this that right is right righteousness is what's right not according to your idea or my idea but it's what's right according to God's idea lot of people have opinions of right and wrong we're not interested in people's opinions righteousness is what's right according to God as if 45 Verse 19 notice what the Scripture says Bible says in Isaiah 4519 I have not spoken in secret in a dark place of the earth I did not say to the seed of Jacob seek me in the name of the Lord speak righteousness I declare things that are what that are right go with me to Psalm 119 righteousness is what's right according to God's idea can we haven't concept of what that is we're going to Psalm 119 verse 172 Psalm 119 verse 172 long soem the Bible says In Psalm 119172 my tongue shall speak of your word for all your what. All your commandments are righteousness now we know this when we talk about the law being the moral law that's what we mean it tells us morally what's right and wrong Gaz law is a standard of right and wrong so righteousness is God's idea of what's right the law of God defines that for us go to Deuteronomy 6 with me if the book of the Bible Genesis Exodus of it is numbers Deuteronomy Chapter 6 we're going to look at verse 24 just asking the question what is right to snus righteousness is what's right according to God's idea we see that rightness defined in the law of God and if you go to. Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verse 24 The Bible says is this is when the people had come to the Mount Sinai and God's recounting the experience and it was quaking and the Lord was there and he proclaimed the law and his majesty says and you said surely the Lord our God has shown us his glory and his greatness and we have heard his voice from the midst of the fire we have seen this day that God speaks with man yet he still live this now therefore why should we die for this great fire will consume us if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more then that I say OK I was wondering that myself in a way I was thinking what was my what was my point here you know I told you that the other day were preachers are up you guys don't know it's gone through your head you think oh is this Come come thinking Lord what was I getting at in this verse and I looked at it and see I have 6 right there and I'm done I'm on 6 and I was in 5 so that's why I listen that's that's why you got to study for yourself I was testing you is what I was doing this morn. 62462425 sorry the Bible says and the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes to fear the Lord our God for our good all ways that he might preserve us alive as it is this day we've already said that the only reason God gives us any kind of instruction is to preserve us alive that's his purpose he's not trying to ruin our day is not trying to take away things that we like Notice verse 25 known then it will be right just news for us if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God as He commanded us and we have to be careful sometimes we want it we we get into the habit of talking disparagingly about the law of God because the law can't save us listen just because the law can't save us doesn't mean it's not good if we could keep the Law of God it would be righteousness for us because the law defines righteousness it defines what's right according to God That's what we're talking about what is right just in US it's what's right according to God But there's more to right just just an A list of do's and don'ts is a more to righteousness than seeing Alyson say OK do not steal do not bear false witness you know it cetera et cetera I can go and look at the at and do it but that's that's coming short of the Bible idea of righteousness so we see the righteousness defined by the law but I want to go on the commandments of God fall short of revealing God's righteousness to us the same way that a picture falls sort of revealing a person write a picture of my family is not my family if I go on trips I travel a lot and I have a picture of my family that's great but it's not the same thing you understand I'm saying a truth of the law of God is a transcript of God's character but it's not the embodiment of God. And so righteousness is more then just a list I want you to look at Isaiah 51 I love this verse it just takes us another step Isaiah Chapter 51 verse 7 let me make sure I'm in the right place Isaiah 51 verse 7 I noticed this this is powerful as if 51 verse 7 the Lord says to listen to me you who know what OK not stay tuned he's about to tell us the people who know righteousness you know righteousness the people you people in whose What whose heart is my law so righteousness is not just an external thing or a stone a page that we can read you have to have it in the hearts Now let me flesh something out for you here a little bit the New Testament word I had mentioned this already for righteousness is the Greek word. This word is defined in the Strong's lexicon as integrity virtue purity of life listen carefully rightness talk to uprightness being right correctness of thinking feeling and acting OK So I mean it's just absolute rightness being up right and there's only one who has it I mean this is the Bible's introducing us to something that we don't have and I'll touch on that in a moment Well let's touch on it now righteousness is is the essence of the character God God is the only one who is righteous remember when the rich young ruler came to Jesus a good teacher what should I do to obtain eternal life and Jesus said You remember Jesus said to him Why do you call me good there's only one who is good and that's God Now I believe Jesus was trying to say get that young man to recognize that the goodness he saw was because Jesus was God. But the point is this Jesus is trying to make this clear that there's only one source of righteousness and that's God there's one source of goodness that's God That's why Paul says the Romans 3 as we looked at the other day there is no one good no not one goodness doesn't come from me and we don't we don't some patients in developing the goodness in ourselves have mercy there is nothing good in us that's why the Bible says we are to seek 1st his kingdom and what his righteousness because we don't have it and righteousness my brothers and sisters is the requirement of heaven rightness of thinking feeling and acting OK Don't tell me you paid your tie Don't tell me you went to church on Saturday we do this this is what God's people have done and it's not just God's people let's just be clear on this there are people who don't even worship God but when you ask them if there's any kind of afterlife they believe in why they're going there you know what they're going to say I'm a I'm a good person at least I try to be there is no one good no not one you get it James says you can bring forth sweet water out of a bitter fountain if I'm corrupt What do all my own attempts to be good amount to if you've got a bitter fountain all the water come out it's going to be better no matter how hard that 10 pound tries to produce we. Go with me to 1st Corinthians Chapter 6 and verse 9 1st Corinthians Chapter 6 and verse 9 Bible says here do you not know that the. Unrighteous will not hear the kingdom of God is more of the text but that's that's point the unrighteous are not going to inherit the kingdom righteousness is required for eternal life. When should a notice a statement from the ruin herald of September 21906 is why I cannot those who claim to understand the Scriptures see that God's requirement under grace is just the same he made in Eden perfect obedience to His law in the judgment God will ask those who profess to be Christians why did you claim to believe in my son and continue to transgress my law the gospel of the New Testament is not the Old Testament standard lowered to meet the sinner and save a minute since God requires of all his subjects' obedience entire obedience to entire obedience means that means from the heart that means even in the thoughts I hope you're getting overwhelmed I want to tell you the Christian world today doesn't we've lost a sense of what it really means to be fit for heaven when people heard the preaching in the New Testament what did they do in the apostles were preaching what shall we do because they were gripped the Holy Spirit in the light in their mind and they said I don't have that kind of righteousness God requires of all his subjects obedience and Tyrell be to install his commandments he demands now as ever perfect righteousness as the only title to heaven you know why the Lord sets the standard so high you know why because if it was any lower you know what happens when we think we can accomplish it in our own strength that's what we do it's like men not asking for directions because we think we've got it figured out but right when you think you can do it in your god wants to set the bar so high that when we look at it we realize this is this is out of my reach and so when we as Christians try to soften it when we as preachers try to soften it and make it more manageable we're just taking away your need of Christ. And we're perpetuating self righteous ferrous e ism in Laodicean ISM so I can I think I can do that I can be as good as that. I can be as good as that lady in the church that's why Jesus said unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees you will by no means enter heaven book faith and works page one on one says righteousness is obedience to the law the law demands righteousness and this is the sinner owes to the law but he is. Incapable of rendering it the only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith by faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ and the Lord places the obedience of his son sorry by faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ in the Lord places the obedience of his son to the sinners account how. Christ's righteousness is accepted in place of man's failure and God receives hardens justifies the repentant believing soul treats him as though he were righteous and loves him as he loves his son this is how faith is accounted righteousness and we're going to look at that a little bit further in a moment how much righteousness do we have that's a picture of absolute 0 that's where our righteousness stands we don't have any Where can we get it there's only one place and this is why we get in the people say you know you Christians there's a lot of roads to heaven no there's not a lot of roads to heaven you know why because righteousness is a requirement for heaven and there's only one place to get it and the place is Jesus Christ and it's freely given him you got to go to him for it. So when we're talking about righteousness by faith we're simply talking about right to right to snus by no other way that perfect rightness of thinking feeling and acting that we have to have for heaven to fit with the society of heaven can't come to us any other way than by faith how does it work we're going to go to Scripture in one of the clearest to me one of the most clearest and powerful examples of righteousness by faith and that's why it was given it was a story of Abraham we're looking at the Book of Romans in Romans Chapter 4 Paul explains to us from the story of Abraham how we obtain righteousness by Thing Romans Chapter 4 go there with me Romans Chapter 4 starting in verse one the Bible says what shall we say that Abraham our father has found that he has called the father the faithful you see that the minute Abraham our father has found according to the flesh 4 of Abraham was justified by works he has something to boast about but not before God for what does the Scripture say Abraham was believed God in it was accounted for him to him for righteousness Now this is taking this is taking the concept from the story that we had in our scripture reading in Genesis 15 in Genesis chapter you go back to Genesis Chapter 12 and God calls Abraham at 75 years of age out of his retirement to a place that he doesn't know where he's going that's what Scripture says Now I'm going to tell you that at 75 years of age I am sure Abraham was not thinking this is be a great time to move and for those here who have even considered a move whether young or old whether it's a before or after retirement I would guarantee that before you do that you check into all your options what's it like there. What's the weather like to have a nice golf course nearby whatever it would happen to be but the Bible says God didn't gave Abraham a travel brochure Abraham look I want you to pick up and move everything I know you've got some questions let me show you this beautiful spread he didn't know where he was going but at 75 the Lord said go and he went and God promised Abraham I'm going to make you a great nation now at the time Abraham had no children and his wife was barren she couldn't have children should be a 4 woman couldn't have children even in her prime she couldn't have children now many years pass and we come to Genesis 15 where we read when we look at Genesis 15 this is where polls drawing from we're going to go back to Romans 4 but in Genesis 15 several years later I want to say it's nearly 10 years later gone comes Taber Ham again and repeats his promise that he's going to make him a great nation Genesis 15 starting in verse one after these things the word of the Lord came to Abrams in a vision saying Do not be afraid Abrams I am your shield your exceedingly great reward but Abrams said Lord God what will you give me seeing I go childless and the error of my house is a leader of Damascus a servant right so God promised he's going to make him a great nation kind of hard to have a great big family when you don't even have one like it's lord you've got to work on this is a neighbor It's not different from us we want it NOW The Lord is not alarmed by the situation a room is like look we're getting up there in years and I mean keep in mind that Sarah is barren anyway but I'm going to make you a great nation so he's right now in my house as a servant verse 3 says The neighbor said look you have given me no offspring indeed no one born in my house is my heir let me hold the word of the Lord came to him saying this one shall not be your air. But one who shall come from your own body shall be your area then he brought him outside and said Look now towards heaven and count the stars if you are able to number them and he said to him so shall your descendants be and he was he believed in the Lord and he accounted it to him for righteousness he didn't have any more evidence and that he just showed him all the stars and he said every minute it doesn't look like it now but your descendants are going to be as numerous as the stars you know some of those stars were you and me today those are the descendants he was talking about they came to the promise so show your seed be and Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness so Paul takes this story and builds on it in Romans 4 go back to Romans 4 with me and as you're going to see he's actually using this as a model to teach us how we receive the same righteousness that Abraham did again Romans 4 Verse 3 what does the Scripture say Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness it was put Does a count it was put there like it wasn't there it's like you have a bank account it's empty and somebody makes a deposit for you and bam now you have money in the bank but it wasn't money it was right just missing God put righteousness there that's what the Scripture tells us he counted Abraham's faith for righteousness the Apostle goes on in verse 4 now to Him who works wages are counted as Grace not counted as Grace but as debt right you earned it if you work for it but he didn't work for it that's the point that he's making and I'm going to jump ahead a little bit in our story and look at verse 13 with me he says for the promise that he Abraham would be heir of the world was not to Abraham or his seed through the law but through the righteousness of faith for if those who are of the law are errors faith is made void and the promise of no effect and let me just clarify this simply means if there's any other way to get there. Then it isn't the grace of God when we talk about the grace of God we're talking about what's undeserved we're talking about what we can't obtain and put in polls just saying if there's some other way to get there from here besides Christ and His righteousness then we would need God's grace verse 14 for if those who are of the law are heirs faith is made void in the promise made of no effect because the law brings about wrath for where there is no law there is trans note no transgression Now you can have to bear with him Paul gets real wordy sometimes he's going to do so here just bear with me says the verse 16 therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace so that the promise might be sure to all the seed not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham that's why as it applies to us it's not only those who are natural born descendants of Abraham it's those who have the faith of Abraham which he goes on to say here but also to again verse 16 but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham who is the what the Father of us all is the father of the faithful we say that's what Paul saying here now Here's where here's where he gets real practical with is in verse 17 he says as it is written I've made you a father of many nations not just the Israelite nation in the presence of him whom he believes now that again the language is choppy here here's what I want you suppose about to describe. How all Abraham viewed God how he believed in God The reason this is important is because when we say were saved by faith are justified by faith another word for faith is belief Well you can believe in different ways the Bible says the devil and his angels believe you want to say oh you're going to believe Jesus died on the cross guess what Satan and his angels believe these are done in the cross where you believe he's got to believe is the Son of God Satan is a does believe is the Son of God So the different ways to believe so Paul is going to show us how Abraham believed. He's going to show us the way he viewed God and this has everything to do in how we become justified the same way Bram was in verse 17 he says in the presence of him who he believed God who gives what God who gives life to the new to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did you know there are Christians today who question whether God really created in 6 literal days because man can't explain it God forbid that our faith is only based on what man can explain but Scripture tells us that God spoke and it was and what post telling us is Abraham believe that about God He believed that God could coal the dead to life do you believe that now be careful because I don't know of many Christians you wouldn't say oh yeah of course God can call the dead to life because as soon as you say that you've just taken every argument out of your mouth about what God can't help you do. God can bring the dead to life but he can help me overcome this sin are you serious and this is where this practically comes in post trying to explain to us that Abraham believe that God can bring life and death and he can call things that don't even exist as though there they did let there be light while God There is no one 0 I guess there is life let there be. This is what Abraham believed about God He continues in verse 18 who contrary to hope in hope believes so that he became the father of what of many nations according to what according to what was spoken by whom. See Abraham knew that if God said it he could trust it he could believe it didn't matter what his senses said and it became reality he became the father many nations according to what was spoken he believed in it contrary to hope let's just flesh this out God says I'm going to make you a great nation all of your descendants Oh by the way you have no children and your wife is barren and she can't have children and I'm going to wait until after menopause cause so it's not like she could have children in her prime God waits until be on her prime and comes back again in fact you have the whole story in between where Abraham and Sarah try to work it out themselves or says you know I got an idea let's go here's my slave girl God said it was going to be your child not mine child maybe one of us to work it out and God had to come back and given the promise again and Abraham like wait a minute we've already got this worked out he says no you don't you're going to have a child in both Abraham and Sarah laughed at the idea it was so preposterous they named the child Isaac the name means a lot faster because Sarah laughed when she heard God say you're going to have a child in your old age but contrary to hope this is what the Bible saying contrary to hope Abraham believed in hope now gets better and I wouldn't want to miss this next verse verse 19 says and not being we can face he did not consider notice 2 things he did not consider his own body already dead since he was about 100 years old seems kind of impolite and the dentist but he's talking about from the standpoint of childbearing or fathering a child not being we can thing he did not consider his own body let me just interject here the possible just told us that one of the definitions of being weak in faith is considering your own bodies. He was not weak in faith because he didn't consider his own body nor the deadness of Sarah's room let me call that circumstances now Abraham could have easily said Lord it's in any did in part they laughed at it but he still believed what God said in spite of the how ludicrous the whole thing sounds he did not consider his own body or the dead necessary as soon but when Jesus Christ when God through Jesus Christ promises you a transformed life through the righteousness of Christ how many times are you tempted to say but look at my weaknesses and you start looking at your body you start looking at your your frailties you start looking at all of your imperfections take your eyes off of those that being weak in faith don't consider your own body and then we look at the circumstances say but the thing is Lord I was the thing if I would have had better parents or probably come to church earlier if I didn't have all of these obstacles we look at circumstances I.E. the deadness of Sarah's womb and we say it's impossible rather than sisters let me make something very clear this was impossible for Abraham and Sarah but it was not impossible for God and God is not limited by your limitations but I can tell you that all day long and your feelings are going to tell you something different that's why the Bible says faith and feeling are distinct we're not saved by feeling we don't walk by sight we walk by faith not being weak in faith he did not consider his own body already dead since he was about 100 years old in the dead US of Sarah's whom he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened in faith giving glory to God and verse 21 notice and being fully convince me the Bible could have just told just said he was convinced but he says he was fully convinced he was absolutely convinced no shred of doubt. That God could do and would do what he. Being fully convinced that that what he had promised he was also able to perform therefore you know that we're there for means for this reason this is the reason Don't miss this therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness the implication is if he didn't believe in the very way that Paul described it would not have been accounted damper righteousness if he would have considered his own body if he would have considered circumstances and if he would have doubted and so will God can't do anything with this situation if you would have doubted that God could not fully complete and perform what he had promised and he wouldn't have had the quality of thing that could have been counted righteousness so let me ask you today do you believe that God can do for you what he has. Do you believe that God can transform your life make you holy cleanse your heart in your mind in your thoughts fill you with his righteousness so your thoughts your feelings and actions just reflect Christ I'm not asking if you feel that way I'm asking if you believe that way you believe God can do that he's promised it if you believe God can save to the uttermost all who come to him to cry if you can and if you will then that faith will be accounted to you as the righteousness of Christ was what he said again in verse $21.00 being fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to perform and therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him but also for him to also for us why. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification it shall be imputed to us who believe just like Abraham believe and so his faith was counted as righteousness I'm debating I'm looking at the clock and I'm just going to do this I always run out of time for this part so I'm not going to do it today you know that Martin Luther the reformer had a problem with the book of James because James said a man isn't only justified by works by faith is justified by works he said was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar you have to see it go with me to James we're going to do this quickly with go with me the book of James this is such a powerful verse in the Lord is telling me not to pass it this morning James Chapter 2 verse 21 The Bible says was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar do you see that they thought was working together with his works and by works they thought was made perfect and the scripture was what fulfilled which says Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness now you have to get this this is powerful as I said now Luther when he 1st read James and he read some of that language he got this doesn't sound right mean Paul says that Abraham is justified by faith but then James says Abraham is justified by works but I want you to know this is a span of time in between and James even brings it up because when God told Abraham he was justified by faith it's when he made the promise way way back before Isaac ever came around he made the promise and he said you're going to be a father of many nations and he said Abraham believed God and it was counted the number right to snow. What James is telling us is when we see Isaac born we see Isaac grow up and then God Test Abraham he tests Abraham to see if the righteousness let me rephrase that God didn't need to see it but to demonstrate that the righteousness he pronounced was there so I want you to understand this when God pronounces read us write this it's not a trick with smoke and mirrors Christ lives in us He transforms us and we see in the life of Abraham that test of faith and James says when Abraham offered Isaac on the altar he was justified by works because he demonstrated that this scripture spoken so long ago was fulfilled in the life of a very he's not taking away from the justification by faith he's saying that when God works that experience of justification by faith it brings a reality of change in your life I want to notice a couple things here in closing. Some prophets tells us Abraham's unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith to be found in all the Bible just take that home look you don't have to be a theologian you know what is faith all these people get in these big terms faith is trusting what God says based comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God you believe what God says not do you feel it not you see it not the circumstances look like it can work out do you believe it Abraham's unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith to be found in all the Bible but based on work says while God can be just and yet just by the sinner through the merits of cries no man can cover his soul with the garments let me change this light I want to show you something here how many of the seen this picture before drives me batty I mean. All respect to the artist but this is not righteousness by faith. You go to the book of Zechariah and you see that God takes away the filthy garments he doesn't cover the filthy garments Now I know you can say yes bless me I mean give me the OK You know I'm not trying to trash the artist but you understand I'm saying and you can see it in the statement here God doesn't just cover up our sin He takes away our sin and closes in his righteousness while God can be just and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ's righteousness while practicing known sins are neglecting their own duty. God requires the entire surrender of the heart before justification can take place and in order for man to retain justification there must be continual obedience look obedience is just me continually trusting what God says and so I'm going to do what he says because I believe it is I mean back up there must be continual obedience through active living thing that works by love and purifies the Soul James writes of Abraham and says was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar in order for man to be justified by faith based must reach a point where it will control the affections and impulses of the heart and it is by obedience that faith itself is made perfect it's actively stepping L. in that trust in what God says brothers and sisters and you to God it is worth to do it can you believe what God says Can you believe his promises despite what you see and feel can you believe that what God has promised you he is fully able to perform and let it be accounted to you are right to bother in heaven Oh father we praise your holy name that in spite of our bankruptcy of anything good in spite of the fact that we have absolutely no righteousness. Father you have freely offered us the righteousness of your Son Jesus Christ if we will simply take you at your word and Lord's I confess on my part and I'm sure on behalf of many here and ask that you would forgive us for so many times when we have considered our own body our own weaknesses the circumstances around us and question your promises of father today by faith we say we can believe what you say and we believe that you are fully capable of finishing the work you have started in us. Now Father let it be according to the word we ask and prayed in Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons Please Visit W W W audio verse or.

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