Video Transcript: One God, One Plan, One People

Today we focus on God's Word in Romans 4. Romans has showed us the great sin of humanity, and also the wonderful righteousness that God provides through faith in Jesus' blood. And the  question that is addressed in Romans 4 is this. Is this really consistent with how God had been operating in the past? And the things he had promised in the past? And the people that he  

had chosen in the past? or is this some brand new, unforeseen, newfangled idea that is being  brought that God saves people through faith in Jesus' blood? In one sense, of course, it's new,  and in the sense that at the time, the apostle Paul had written, the resurrection, the death  and resurrection of Jesus Christ were really quite recent events. So in that sense, it was new.  But the Apostle Paul wants to show that this was what God had been planning all along, and  what all of the Old Testament books and events had been leading up to all along. And so he  goes back to the original Hebrew, the original Jew, if you will, Abraham himself. What then  shall we say that Abraham, our forefather discovered in this matter? If in fact, Abraham was  justified by works? He had something to boast about, but not before God? What does the  Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. So he  goes back to the story of Abraham. And we'll go back to the story of Abraham for a moment  to back to the book of Genesis, Genesis 12, says, The Lord had said to Abram, go from your  country, your people and your father's household to the land, I will show you, I will make you  into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, and you will be a  blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples  on earth will be blessed through you. Now, it's always good to follow mathematics and 12  comes after 11. And what happened in Genesis 11. In Genesis 11, you read the story of the  Tower of Babel. After the flood, the people of the earth have a fresh start, and what do they  do with their fresh start, they decide they're going to build a tower to heaven, and they're  going to do things on their own. And ever since then Babylon has kind of stood for the  kingdom of man trying to do it all on his own, without God and how did God respond by  cursing, basically, their enterprise, the tower remained unfinished, he confused the language  and scattered them into all different nations all over the place. So at the end of Genesis 11,  people have been scattered, humanity has been divided, and humanity is going its own way  without God. And that was not what God intended for humanity. It intended united humanity  to rule his creation. And when God calls Abraham, he sets in motion, the reversal of Babel, but He does it by choosing just one nation out of the many. But all along his purpose in choosing  this one man, and promising to bring out of this one man, one special nation, is to bring  blessing to all the nations again, and to make them back into one nation in the fullness of  time. So the call of Abraham follows the Tower of Babel and is intended ultimately, to set in  motion God's plan to reverse what happened at Babel to reverse the curse, to reverse the  division of nations against one another. And so God speaks to Abraham, he speaks of the fact  that he's going to be a father of a nation and in fact, a father of many nations. And at the  time, God says this, Abraham is the father of zero. And he's getting along in years, and his  wife is getting along in years, and they've been unable to have a child but God makes this  promise. And so he calls Abraham to come out of Ur of the Chaldees. And the Chaldees is kind of a location around Babylon, a kind of in that neighborhood of where Babel got built in the  first place, but God calls him out of the whole Babel setting, to a fresh setting. And so  Abraham believes God And he leaves. And he goes where God tells him to go a little bit later  then God speaks to Abraham again. He took Abram outside and said, look up at the sky, and  count the stars if indeed you can count them. Then he said to him, so shall your offspring be.  Abram believed the Lord. And He credited it to him as righteousness. That's the verse that  Paul quotes in Romans 4 Abraham is out there looking at the stars, and is invited by God to  try to count them if he can and as the stars are uncountable, so Abram's offspring are going  to be uncountable. And Abram, a man with no children, and no reason except the promise of  God believes that he's going to be the father of an uncountable multitude. And then in  Genesis 17, this is my covenant with you says, The Lord Abraham, you will be the father of  many nations, no longer will you be called Abram, your name will be Abraham, for I have  made you a father of many nations, still no children. And he's changing his name, not just to  father but father of many. For I've made you a father of many nations, I will establish my  covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you, and your descendants after you 

for the generations to come to be your God, and the God of your descendants after you. The  apostle Paul is going to have a lot to say about Abraham's God, and about Abraham's  descendants in in Romans chapter four. Another thing that happens before the time that that  Paul is writing is some teaching of Jesus that arises in the context of controversy of bickering  and arguing. The Jewish people, many of them during Jesus day, don't believe in Him. And so  he has this conversation with them. And they don't believe in Jesus, they reject Him, and they  say we are Abraham's descendants. And Jesus basically reply is, oh, no, you're not. If you  were Abraham's children, then you would do what Abram Abraham did. What did Abraham  do? He believed, you belong to your father, the devil. Your father, Abraham rejoiced at the  thought of seeing my day. He saw it and was glad. Let me just repeat that. Jesus says, your  father, Abraham rejoiced out the thought of seeing my day he saw it, and was glad by faith.  Abraham saw Jesus day coming, and he was glad. They said, How in our world, you're not  even 50 years old. And you claim that Abraham saw you and Jesus answers before Abraham  was, I AM. Jesus says that He is really the object of Abraham's faith, even from 2000 years  earlier, when Abraham lived, Abraham trusted in Jesus. And so Paul takes this fact that  Abraham trusted God's promise, and it was credited to him as righteousness. And he says,  Okay, this is proof of what I've just been teaching you. When a man works, his wages are not  credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation, however, to the man who does not work, but  trusts God who justifies the wicked or the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. Look  at what that verse says, when you go to work, and you work all day, and you put in long  hours, and you sweat, and you do all that work. Then does your boss come to you and say,  Here is your check. It's a generous gift. And you say, What are you talking about? I worked  and I worked, and I worked and I deserve that check. It's, it's coming to me because I did the  work to earn it. So if you are a person who works and you're getting paid your wages, it's not  a gift. It's not some generous crediting to you, you deserve it. And the Apostle says, On the  other hand, to somebody who doesn't work, but gets a free gift, then whatever they're given,  is a credit. And he says, that's how it works with righteousness. You believe you receive a gift,  and you didn't earn it. So don't think that you're earning your wages. Later on. He'll say in  Romans, The wages if you want wages, let's talk wages, The wages of sin is death. But the  free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. So When you receive that free gift, then  your faith in that gift and in the giver is credited to you as righteousness, even though you're  a wicked person. And you might say, Well, yeah, but how does Abraham prove that? I mean, it says that Abraham did some good things. And Abraham even was willing to offer up his own  son when God calls for it. The Bible says that Abraham's work was pleasing to God. How could God be justifying the wicked when he's just like Abraham? Well, think back what was  Abraham? When God called him, he and his father Tara and their family were idol worshipers.  God in crediting righteousness to Abraham was crediting righteousness to an idol worker and  idol worshiper. And later on, even after Abraham believed in God, he was not a man who had  a spotless record. When he and Sarah were down in Egypt, he got afraid of what might  happen if people saw how beautiful Sarah was. And so he lied, and said, Now Sarah, you've  got to say you're my sister. And even when it meant that Pharaoh was about to add her to his  harem, they kept on with a lie, because he was cowardly. And he was willing to just let his  wife go to save his own skin. If that weren't bad enough, he did it again, later with a king in  Palestine, and once again, God protected them from having Sarah go into the king's harem.  But it's not because Abraham was so brave, and so wise, and so good. If you ask Abraham,  how are you right with God, he will say, Well, I trust in the God who justifies the wicked. And  so Paul makes his point by saying, Hey, we can tell from the story of Abraham, Abraham  believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Now we've looked at the Great  Father of the Hebrews, and of the Israelite nation. Let's look at the greatest king, the one  who's line was going to produce the Messiah. Let's go look at King David. What does he say?  David says the same thing. When he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God  credits righteousness apart from works. Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven,  whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord net will never count against  him. So David is considering himself blessed and other people blessed if their transgressions  are forgiven, and their sins are covered. He does not say I earned all of God's favor, and I 

deserve all that God gives me. David believed in a God who justifies the wicked, and he  needed to you know the story of David and Bathsheba how he saw another man's wife and  desired her and took her for himself. And then he lied and tried to cover it up and his lies  weren't working. So he decided to get rid of her husband. And he arranged through his  general Joab to have have him advance Uriah the Hittite, against the toughest part of the  battle. And as they expected, Uriah was killed and problem solved. Well, not so much. God  definitely rebuked David through the prophet Nathan, and there were consequences. But one  consequence was not that God forever cast David off, or that God took back his promise that  David's line would be blessed forever and would reign throughout all generations and that an  offspring of David would be the great Savior. God had made a promise and God did not take  back his promise. Even when David pretty well covered the bases of breaking the 10  commandments, You shall not murder. Uriah is dead. You shall not commit adultery, David's in bed with Uriah's wife. You shall not steal he stole her. You should not give false testimony, he  tried to cover it up, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You know he pretty well covered  the territory when it came to breaking commandments. And well then he prayed against you,  you only have I sin and breaking those commandments against people. He of course was  sinning against God Himself and making himself an idol. So David needed a God who justifies  the wicked. And that's why he said, How blessed is he us transgressions are forgiven, whose  sins are covered. So when we look at Abraham, the father of the nation, and David, the  greatest king, what do we find? We find that there has been one God, and one plan all along  all along? God justified the wicked by counting their faith as righteousness. All along. God  chose Abraham to be the father of many nations, not just one nation. And this is very  important at this point in Paul's ministry, and it's important for us to realize still today,  because Abraham's story is our story. But how is that so? Most of us are not Jewish by blood.  And yet, Abraham's story is our story. Because all along God chose Abraham to be the father  of many nations and not just of the nation of Israel. It was his plan to do that, to reverse Babel and gather all nations back to himself. All along. That chosen nation was meant to bring  blessings to all nations and all along this forgiveness and justification of the wicked would  come through the Son of David. So Paul was just saying, this is God, this is who he's always  been. This is God's plan. This is what he planned all along. And just because the coming of to  completion of that plan is kind of new doesn't mean the plan itself is new. Christ was the  Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation, the world, in the plan of God. And all of  these things, though, the resurrection is fairly recent, does not mean it's a new thing in God's  plan. So this teaching that Christ is the Savior, that faith in Him is what makes you right with  God, and nothing else, is God's way of dealing with humanity all along, and it's been his plan  all along. Well, there were people in that day who thought that you needed to be circumcised  in order to be saved. We've already mentioned them in a previous message, and they come  up quite a number of times in the New Testament, people say you need this sign of  circumcision. And if you don't receive it, then you are not one of God's people. And so Paul  addresses that objection and asked this question, is this blessedness? Only for the  circumcised or also for the uncircumcised? We've been saying that Abraham's faith was  credited to him as righteousness. And notice Paul doesn't just throw stuff out there, here and  there he reasons very logically, we, Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness.  When did that happen? Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was  circumcised, or before? It was not after but before, and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith, while he was still uncircumcised. When you  read that Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, you got to  remember your mathematics. It happens in Genesis 12. And the covenant of circumcision  comes 14 years later. And that is when it's introduced for the first time. So Abraham was  justified by faith 14 years before God ever gave the sign of circumcision as a sign and a seal  of the faith that he had even before he was ever circumcised. So Paul says, Don't tell me  circumcision is the key to being right with God. Abraham was right with God, before ever, he  was circumcised. And then he goes on to explain a little bit more so then he is the Father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to  them. And he's also the father of the circumcised, who not only are circumcised, but who also 

walked in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.  So Paul is saying, if you weren't circumcised and you have faith in Jesus, then Abraham is your father? If you're circumcised, and you have faith in Jesus. Abraham is your father. And well,  he's not so much your father. If you're merely circumcised and aren't walking in the faith of  Abraham, he's, he's redefining who is really a child of Abraham who is really a Jew. Then he  goes on to talk not just about circumcision, but about the whole law that came in the  circumcision of Abraham happened a few years, like 14 years after Abraham believed God's  promise, but it was hundreds of years later that the law was given to Moses. So God's  promise, and the people of promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants were  around for hundreds of years, before the law of Moses was ever given. It was not through law, that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but  through the righteousness that comes by faith. Again, he just insists righteousness by faith,  righteousness by faith, it's always been God's policy. It always came first. For if those who  lived by law are heirs, faith has no value. And the promise is worthless. Because law brings  wrath, and where there is no law, there is no transgression. He is saying promise comes  before law. And if law just cancels out, promise, then the promise is no good. Let's say I tell  my son, son, don't take this seriously, boys. When you turn 16, I am going to get you  whatever car you want the hottest, best, fanciest car and I will pay the insurance. And they  they may delight in that. And they may rejoice in that. And then a few years later, you know, I tell them that when they're 14, and then when they're about 16, I say boys, I'm going to give  you the nicest hottest car that you'll ever want and I'll pay the insurance but I'm going to do  that only if you obey me perfectly at all times. Now, what have I just done, I have wiped out  the promise, because they're not going to obey me perfectly. If I make the promise conditional on a law that requires perfect obedience, there's really no point in making the promise. And  so that's what Paul is saying here he says, if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no  value, and the promise is worthless. When God called Abraham, he didn't say, if your  descendants live up to the law of Moses that I'm going to give hundreds and hundreds of  years later, and they do so perfectly, then I'm going to bless all nations through your  offspring. That is not what he said. He said, I've chosen you, and I am going to bless all  nations, and in you, all nations of the earth will be blessed. And I have credited your faith to  you as righteousness. The promise was unconditional, and was received by faith. So Paul  insists that it's not circumcision, and that it's not the law. That is the basis for a right  relationship with God. And he develops this even more sharply in the book of Galatians. I'll  just take a few samples. We know that a person is not justified by works of the law, but  through faith in Jesus Christ, I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness works  through the law, then Christ died for no purpose, Christ died for no reason, if you could be  made righteous, just by doing what the law said, Now, it is evident that no one is justified  before God by the law, for the righteous shall live by faith. And there he's quoting the prophet Habakkuk, just as he did in the great theme statement, the Gospel is the power of God for  salvation to everyone who believes first to the Jew, then to the Gentile, because in the  Gospel, a righteousness from God is revealed that is, by first by faith from first to last, just as  it is written, The righteous will live by faith. And here in Galatians, he's quoting the same  verse making the same point, nobody is right with God, by the law, you're made right with  God by the grace of God. And then he says, You who are trying to be justified by the law have  been alienated from Christ, you've fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, we eagerly  await by faith the righteousness for which we hope you're going to get righteous by faith. For  him, Christ Jesus, neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that  counts is faith, expressing itself through love. So that's the argument. Therefore the promise  back to Romans chapter 4, verse 16, and following, therefore, the promise comes by faith. So  that it may be by grace, and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring who are  Abraham's offspring, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the  faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written, I have made you a father of many  nations. He is our Father in the sight of God in whom he believed, the God who gives life to  the dead, and calls things that are not as though they were. Again, this is a question that Paul addresses in a number of places earlier in Romans chapter two, he says, To the question, who 

is a Jew? No one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and  physical. But a Jew is one inwardly and circumcision is a matter of the heart by the spirit not  the letter, his phrase is not from man, but from God. So circumcision and the law were  temporary things that God gave to administer his work among the Jewish people for a limited  time. And when the fulfillment came in Jesus Christ, then circumcision didn't count anymore.  The ceremonial aspects of the law of Moses didn't count anymore. Even perfect obedience to  the law of Moses was never ever a requirement. As a ladder to get you to heaven. It was  always going to be righteousness, through faith. And it was always going to be something  that got into your heart, not just into your ceremonies. Galatians also gets into this definition  of who are Abraham's children understand then that those who believe are children of  Abraham. He keeps repeating that and I keep repeating it because it's something that seems  to get forgotten, forgotten these days. People seem to think that the nation of Israel is the  children of Abraham, and that God's blessing comes to that national and political entity. Now  I, I've been to Israel, I love the nation of Israel, but those who believe are children of  Abraham, I am more a child of Abraham and Benjamin Netanyahu. Okay. That's what the Bible says, I am a child of Abraham. He is in one sense, but he's not in another sense because he  doesn't believe in Jesus as his Messiah, not picking on the Prime Minister of Israel just making  the case as obviously and plainly as I can, you can be Jewisher than Jewish in one sense. And  if you don't accept Jesus as Messiah, the Bible says you're not one of Abraham's children. The  Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and announce the gospel in  advance to Abraham, all nations will be blessed through you. So, to repeat again, those who  have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. He redeemed us, again,  continuing in Galatians, he redeemed us, in order that the blessing given to Abraham might  come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith, we might receive the promise of  his spirit. You are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus, there is neither Jew nor  Greek for you're all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed,  and heirs according to the promise. If you want to get the theology down fairly clearly, you  just need to learn that cheesy old song. Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had  father Abraham, I am one of them, and so are you. So let's just praise the Lord. That is a  theological definition of who the children of Abraham are, when you believe in Jesus Christ. He has many children, and you're one of them. And if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, you're  not. So that's the argument of Romans chapter four, up to the point that we're at. Faith comes before works. Before David was a man after God's own heart he was, he believed in God who  justified the wicked, Before Abraham was the man who was had such faith that he would even offer up his own son to God, he was believing in the God who justifies the wicked. So faith  comes before works. Faith comes before circumcision in the life of Abraham, faith came  before hundreds of years before the giving of the law. So faith comes first in God's plan. And  then after talking about this overall plan of redemption, and that's how the Bible teaches  much of it is we just have to understand the story. We've got to understand the plan, don't  just look for examples of I should be a little bit like that. Although there's value in that, as  we're going to see in a moment, but just look at the big picture and how the plan and history  of salvation unfolds. And where Abraham is in that plan. And then you can also look at the  example. That's what Paul does here. He says, against all hope, Abraham, in hope, believed,  and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, so shall your  offspring be. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as  dead since he was about 100 years old, and that Sarah's womb was also dead. So Abraham's  faith was not some dreamy little Oh, I've got no problems. There's a you know, it's  automatically going to happen. He faced the facts. I'm a codger. I'm old, my wife is old. There  is no way our bodies are capable of producing offspring anymore. We're more ready for the  funeral parlor than we are to the baby ward. It's a fact, but God says there's a baby coming.  So I am going to believe that fact. And so Abraham's faith was in the God who made the  promises. He believed the word of God, he faced the facts that were in front of him. But then  he took the fact of God's promise as being even more certain and more true. And so he is a  great example of how faith works. When you're told that you're going to rise again and live  forever. You believe that even when you're facing the fact that the statistics on death are very

impressive, we all die. And we don't see people popping back out of the grave. We just  believe God's promise, and we believe it based on what he did with Jesus Christ and raising  him. But we face the fact that when were dead, and yet God gives life we face the fact that  we're dead in sin. And that God gives life that our lives are about as likely to produce good  fruit for God, as Sarah's womb was likely to produce a baby. Impossible, except if God says so. And then God can accomplish whatever he says. And so Abraham and Sarah they believed  God, and he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was  strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to  do what He had promised. This is why it was credited to him as righteousness. Now, once  again, if you read the actual stories, you find Abraham doing some strange things. He takes  the maid Hagar and has a child by her contrary to God's plan and promise. He has another  time when God is promising that the baby's coming and Abram laughs and Sarah laughs too,  and God says well make you laugh. All right, you just name your kid laughter when he shows  up. So they named him Isaac, because he did show up. So again, this crediting him his  righteousness, you just read in the Bible reading plan, Hebrews chapter 11, about the heroes  of faith, and about all these people who did great things, because they had faith in God. And  when you read the real stories, you find out boy, some of them had pretty little faith. And  some of their faith kind of bounced around here and there, but in God's reckoning, hey, little  faith, he credited him as righteousness, He was persuaded that God had power to do it. And  so that's how God looks at these things. And he, he clung to the promise of God. And  overtime, his faith did keep getting stronger, and stronger, until he could actually give up his  son to God, reasoning, that even if he killed Isaac, God would bring him back from the dead,  and he would still fulfill all of his promises through Isaac. So he had such faith in God, who  brought something out of nothing, who could bring life out of death. That's the kind of god  Abram believed in. And then Paul, once again drives it home. He's talked all about Abraham  with a little sidetrack about David, and the way of righteousness. And then he says, the words it was credited to him, were written not for him alone, but also for us to whom God will credit  righteousness for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, he was  delivered over to death for our sins, and was raised to life for our justification. If you want a  summary of the gospel, that last verse will just about do it, he was delivered over to death for our sins, and was raised to life for our justification. That is the summary of the work of Jesus  Christ, He died to take away the sins and when God raised Him, He vindicated Jesus as his  son, and he vindicated and made righteous, all who are in Jesus, through His resurrection. And so later on, Paul will say, if you believe in your heart, that Jesus, if you believe in your heart,  that God raised Him from the dead and confess that Jesus is Lord, you'll be saved. And so this  is the plan of salvation that He teaches us again and again. So just to summarize a few things from this chapter, one God, one plan one people, the God who chose Abraham is not a tribal  God. He didn't just decide he loved Israel. And that's the only people he loved and the only  ones he was going to deal with. He is the Lord of all peoples. And his dealings. Even with  Israel, were always meant to be a light to the nations, and a blessing to all peoples and in the  fullness of time, the Son of God would come to Israel, and then be a light to the nations. God  does not have different plans to save different people's faith in Jesus, the Messiah is the only  way for all. It is a grave and terrible error, to think that God has other ways of saving Jewish  people, besides Jesus the Messiah. There are some whose theology says so well, if they don't  believe in Jesus, if they don't follow him, if they don't receive His righteousness, God has  another way to save them. No, he does not. Later on, Paul says, I have unceasing sorrow and  agony in my heart for my kinsmen the Jews, because so many of them don't believe, would he have had that agony if they had some other plan for being saved and made right with God.  And that's not just true Jewish people, of course, there are many different nations. And they  say, Well, Jesus was Jewish, and this whole bible kind of a Jewish thing. And so there's many  different religions, and whatever religion is out there works for you. That's not so God doesn't  have different plans to save different peoples faith in Jesus is the only way. And a final point,  just looking at this fact that God has one plan is that the church, the people of God, Christians who believe in Jesus and belong to Him, they are not plan B. They are not a parenthesis.  There is a kind of theology sometimes called dispensationalism, that God has various 

dispensation, and deals with people very differently at different eras in history. And there's  even the teaching that the Sermon on the Mount, for instance, doesn't apply to us today.  Because it was meant for a particular segment of Jewish people. And when they rejected  God's kingdom, then God went to Plan B, a kind of parenthesis in salvation history where he  deals with the church. And then at the end of that he'll get back to dealing with Israel again.  The church is plan B? The Sermon on the Mount doesn't apply to us? You got to be real careful with that kind of teaching because we are called to follow the teaching of Jesus and to be His  disciples just as much as The Jewish people who heard the Sermon on the Mount, and the  church includes the people of Israel. And the people of Israel, who come to Christ by faith are  part of the church just as much as any Gentile, we're all one. In Christ Jesus, all believers are  Abraham's children. So this is the great plan of God. And he doesn't have plan A, plan B, plan  C, and so on. The Son of God was slain before the foundation of the world. When God called  Abraham, Abraham was already looking to Jesus' day, and was glad. And he was saved by  faith in the promise of a coming Messiah. And as he was saved by faith in the promise of a  coming messiah, we look back and are saved by faith in the Messiah who has come and is  coming again. So the unity of God's plan, you say, Well, why do I need to know all this? I just  want to know, you know, how to get saved and how to go to heaven someday? Well, that's  not enough. In terms of what I want you to know. And what God wants, you know, that's more  to the point, it doesn't really matter what I want you to know, Romans four is God's word. And  God wants you to know not just how you get saved as an individual, but how you're part of a  great story. And you belong to a great plan. And you're a child of Abraham. So when you read  his story, it's your story. When you read David's story, it's your story. Because you have the  same faith and God's plan of how to save you. Yeah, that's that hasn't changed to the man  who does not work. But trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as  righteousness. If you asked Abraham, how were you right with God, what brought you to  heaven? He would say, Well, I was wicked. I was an idol worshiper, I was a coward. I was a liar. But I trusted God who justifies the wicked, and my faith was credited as righteousness. If you  ask David, how are you right with God? How did you make it into God's kingdom? David would say, Well, I was an adulterer, and murderer, and a coveter, and a thief. And I trusted God who  justifies the wicked, and my faith was credited to me as righteousness. If you ask Mary  Magdalene, how are you right with God? How did you make it into God's kingdom? She'd say,  Well, I was controlled by seven demons and living a wicked life. But I met Jesus and I trusted  him. And though I was wicked, I trusted in the God who justifies the wicked, and my faith was  credited to me as righteousness. And supremely if you meet the apostle Paul, and say, How  are you right with God? He'll say, Well, I was a murderer, and a blasphemer, and do not even  deserve to be called an apostle. But I trusted in God who justifies the wicked, and my faith  was credited to me as righteousness. So that's the point that Paul was making. In Romans  chapter four. If you trust the God who justifies the wicked, your faith is credited as  righteousness. God credits righteousness apart from works. God will credit righteousness to  us who believe in Him who raised Jesus, our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to  death for our sins, and He was raised to life. For our justification that has always been God's  way. It will always be God's way. Lord, we thank you that we are your children, and that we're  children of your chosen servant Abraham, through faith in Jesus Christ. And we pray, Lord,  that each of us here today may again rejoice in you that we are yours that you have come  and that through your truth and grace in Christ, we are yours and we can rejoice forever as  your children. Lord, if any of us are unsteady or, or far from you. We pray that you will  strengthen our faith or give us faith if we don't have a living faith, and that we too may enjoy  this right standing with you that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. And then Lord, fill us with your joy with the knowledge that being justified by faith. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. In his name we pray, Amen.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 10:50 AM