Unique Saving Faith

This began our study of Romans chapter four.  We covered the first four verses.

Unique – Saving Faith

The Outline is for Romans 4:1-25

OUTLINE –

I. AN EXAMPLE OF A UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).
II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF A CREDITED ACCOUNT (vv. 5-8).
III. THE CREDITED ACCOUNT IS NOT DUE TO WHAT WE HAVE INVESTED OR PUT TO THE ACCOUNT (vv. 9-12).
IV. THIS RECKONING OF JUSTIFICATION IS GOOD FOR ALL THROUGH FAITH ALONE (vv. 13-17).
V. IT IS THE RECKONING OF GOD HIMSELF; NO HUMAN WORKS ARE CALLED FOR (vv. 18-25).

It was, and probably still is, a popular belief among Jews of Paul’s day and Jews and non-Jews of our day to believe that Abraham was declared righteous by God due to his obedience. Paul puts the record straight.

How were people of the Old Testament saved? Was it by complete obedience to God’s law? Was it by the sacrifice of bulls, goats, lambs, etc.? What do the Scriptures say?

“By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight” (Romans 3:20).

“Abraham believed God…” (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6-9).

No one has ever been saved by keeping the law, no one will ever be saved by keeping the law. To see that it is by faith in God alone that saves, God gives us ample Scriptures to prove it. For example Psalm 32:1-2; and Hebrews 11.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, David, Solomon, etc. are all evidences of justification by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. They believing what would be; we believing what has been and shall be.

There are three words in this study which stand out as a theme. The first word is ‘Reckoned’ found in verses 4, 9, and 10. The second word is ‘Impute’, is used six times, in verses 6, 8, 11, 22, 23, and 24. The third word is ‘counted’, it is used only twice. They all come from the same Greek word logizomai – log-id’-zom-ahee – of these words are terms for accounting. God’s declaring us righteous, and justified.

AN EXAMPLE OF THE UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).

Salvation by grace through faith is unique – one of a kind. There is nothing like it in religion. Grace is not possible by work. If it is not by faith it is not grace.

Since many of the Jews believed that Abraham was justified by works Paul realized that this fallacy needed correction. If Abraham was justified (declared righteous by God) by his works he would then have a reason to boast. His boasting, of course, would have to be before men. He would not glory before God. God’s glory is a glory of its own. Man’s glory cannot match the glory of God.

God delights in those who believe in Him. Those who realize they are weak and helpless to save themselves. Those who have no one else in which to turn, but Him. Those whose hearts are broken and shattered because they realize there is no other hope by Him. Those who have reached the bottom of the bottom, the lowest low. These realize then, God is my hope, my strength, song, salvation, my very source of peace, life and joy.

“A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17).

When God called Abraham to leave his native land he obeyed, and left. Now understand, Abraham was at that time what the Jews would call a Gentile – there were no Jews. In his culture they worshiped idols, and were despicable in their behavior. Somehow in the midst of all this darkness God shined brightly His light into the life of Abraham, he saw, he heard, and he left this land of despicable sin and shame – the Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:31). He even came out with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and his wife Sarah as well as others who are unnamed.

If you heard God speak for the first time would you get up and leave your home, friends, ownership of your land, business, etc. to obey God? Many will not do that whose lives they say belong to Him. Abraham did. How did he do it? He believed God, then he put one foot in front of the other; over and over again. Faith is the end of any attempt to gain God’s favor on any personal merit. If you could gain God’s favor by personal merit it would be by works not grace, therefore, if the works ceased, so too would the favor of God.

When a man or woman takes on a job (work) he/she expects to be paid. The employer is indebted to the employee until the employee receives his/her wages. In like fashion if we worked for our salvation God would be indebted to us until the debt was paid. God is indebted to no one. He did not, nor does not even owe us the possibility of salvation. In His grace He paid our sin debt, and then, when we believe He declares us righteous. What wonderful grace.

“Wonderful grace of Jesus; greater than all my sin. How can my tongue describe it? Where shall my praise begin?”

-Tim A. Blankenship

Seven Things God Hates # 7

This is the final message of THE SEVEN ABOMINATIONS WHICH GOD HATES. We must take heed to the warnings and teachings God gives us in His Word.

SOWING SEEDS…

Proverbs 6:16-19

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,   An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,   A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

*Let’s have a word study –

Discord = from Strongs – #4066 v. 14 or v. 19 4090 = discord and strife;
Soweth = from Strongs – 7971 = send forth, sow;
Among = from Strongs – 996 = בּין
bêyn
bane
(Sometimes in the plural masculine or feminine); properly the constructively contracted form of an otherwise unused noun from H995; a distinction; but used only as a preposition, between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also as a conjugation, either… or: – among, asunder, at, between (-twixt . . . and), + from (the widest), X in, out of, whether (it be… or), within.
Brethren = from Strongs – 251= brother, kindred.

The idea presented is that of sowing seeds of dissension. Like one who ‘Broadcasts’ the wheat seed by hand as they walk about the field, so does the one sow seeds of discord (Tares rather than wheat), who walks about with contention in their hearts.

The one who is contentious will find fault, then tell it to whom ever will listen. One who is ‘Spiritual’ ie. ‘Walking in the Spirit’ will not have the soil for receiving ’seeds of discord’. The one who is Spirit filled will send them to the one of whom they are contentious with. Thus, it stands to reason that they soon learn not to take their complaint – ’seeds of discord’ – to the ‘Spiritual one’, but will take it to the one who has ears for it. For what do you have soil to receive, or ears to hear?

OUTLINE –
I. TAKE A LOOK AT THE SEED THAT IS BEING SOWN.
II. TAKE A LOOK AT THE HARVEST THAT COMES FROM THE SEED SOWN.
III. TAKE A LOOK AT THE END RESULTS OF THE SEED THAT WAS SOWN.
IV. TAKE A LOOK AT THE ANSWERS.

When we LOOK AT THE SEED THAT IS SOWN we find that these seeds are surely ‘Tares’ or weeds of the devil. They are in fact seeds of strife, “A froward man soweth strife:” (Proverbs 16:28a). These weed seeds do nothing but disrupt the growth of the actual good grain (Matthew 13:24-30).

When you look a the one who sows these seeds of strife it is in fact the enemy who came by darkness, because he is not of the light. He works under the cover of the absence of light, in order to deceive, and to lead people astray. He especially works of the people of God. Why should he bother those who are already his. His work is to attempt to destroy the work of God.

Now let us take a LOOK AT THE HARVEST. What does come from seeds of strife, except ‘Whisperings’ and that many a time has separated friends. Note Proverbs 16:28

“A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.” Prov 16:28 (KJV).

Friends, in this case could be family, best friend, It can be real to marriages and work relationships.

Seeds of earthly wisdom bring forth foolishness. It is devilish. There is confusion and every evil work.

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work”  James 3:14-16 (KJV).

The harvest of good seed of course, is very different. Good seed produces good fruit, godly, righteous, holy, Christlike fruit which will glorify God and His Son Jesus.

Now take a LOOK AT THE END RESULT. Lives are destroyed when evil seed is sown – seeds of discord reap an ugly harvest, and does no one any good except the devil himself, and he will laugh and mock any Christian who falls, and brings shame to the name of Jesus Christ. Relationships are ruined. Peace is stolen.

Finally, let us take a LOOK AT THE ANSWER to all of this. In Jesus Christ there is a changed, renewed heart, and life. In Him there is peace,

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Phil 4:6-7 (KJV).

There is Peace with God as well,

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1 (KJV).

When you are at peace with God you are at peace with others – whether they are with you or not.

“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Prov 16:7 (KJV).

When you are at peace with God there will be a love for others, and there will not be a heart which sows discord among our brothers and sisters in Christ. Look at what the Psalmist wrote of this matter,

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalms 133:1-3 (KJV).

Among the children there is no desire to sow discord. There is, however, the desire to be at peace with God, one another, and to be a faithful servant of God, His Son and His Word.

WHERE THERE ARE SEEDS OF DISCORD, THERE IS NOT LOVE.