Romans 3: What Works Did Abraham Do to be Justified by God?

ROM-469-240512 - length: 98:09 - taught on May, 12 2024

Class Outline:


Faith deposited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re in the resident congregation turn off your electronic devices and put them away. Let this be a place where you aren’t distracted by the world.

 

Welcome To

BARAH MINISTRIES

 

Rory Clark

Pastor-Teacher

 

Good Morning!

 

Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with a worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  Thanks for listening to this Bible lesson!

 

OPENING AGENDA

 

You may be wondering some things about Barah Ministries, like…

 

Who is the God we worship?

What is our source of truth?

Who is our enemy?

 

We're always happy to begin each lesson by answering those questions.  It’s a Pastor’s job to keep on reminding you of the vital things that are the assets of Christianity.  In Second Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 14 and 15, Paul reminds his protégé Timothy how to teach the teachers…

 

SECOND TIMOTHY 2:14

Remind the flock of the faithfulness of Christ…and solemnly charge the Pastors in the presence of God the Father not to wrangle about wordswhich is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

 

SECOND TIMOTHY 2:15

Instead, remind them to keep on being diligent to present themselves to God the Father as ones who are approved workmen…needing not to be ashamedbecause they handle the Word of Truth with accuracy.

 

 

Who is the God We Worship?

 

We worship a Triune Godhead.  There is One God who reveals Himself to

mankind as three separate beings who are distinct…co-equal…co-infinite…and

co-eternal Persons…God the Father…God the Son…and God the Holy Spirit.

 

GOD THE FATHER is the author of the Triune Godhead’s plan for all creatures.

God the Father loves you unconditionally and He is willing to do anything for you…Luke, Chapter 12, Verse 32 says…

 

LUKE 12:32

Do not be afraid…little flock…for your God and Father has chosen gladly to give

you the kingdom.

 

Great fathers provide…and our God and Father sets the standard for provision.

 

GOD THE SON (the Lord) volunteered to execute God the Father’s plan…taking on human form as Jesus…the Christ…the Jewish Messiah…He is the ONE AND ONLY WAY to heaven.  Galatians, Chapter 3, Verses 24 to 27…

 

GALATIANS 3:24

Therefore, the Mosaic Law has become our tutor to lead us to the Christ (the Jewish Messiah)…so that we may be justified by faith.

 

GALATIANS 3:25

But now that faith has come…we are no longer under a tutor (the Mosaic Law).

 

GALATIANS 3:26

For you believers in Christ…through faith alone…are all sons of God the Father through faith in Christ Jesus.

 

GALATIANS 3:27

For all of you who were baptized by God the Holy Spirit into union with Christ

have clothed yourselves with Christ.

 

When you invest your faith in the Lord Jesus…the Christ…the Jewish Messiah… asking Him to save you…by believing in Him you instantly have the resurrection life…eternal life…in His name.

 

We worship GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.  He is our Mentor and Teacher…the guide who is the rudder of a Christian’s life.  God the Holy Spirit injects enthusiasm into our spiritual lives with His enabling power according to Galatians, Chapter 4, Verse 6…

 

GALATIANS 4:6

Because youbelievers in Christ are sonsGod the Father, He has sent forth God the Holy Spirit of His Son (the Lord) into our hearts…making us cry, “Abba!(which is Hebrew for Father!)”

 

The Holy Spirit is in unity with our spirit to confirm that we are children of God.

 

What is Our Source of Truth?

 

It’s important to get to know Your God as a Person.  As Christians, the way to develop a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with the entire Godhead is through the study of the Word of God.  The Bible is the Word of God.  First Peter, Chapter 2, Verse 2 exhorts us…

 

FIRST PETER 2:2

…like newborn babies…long for the pure milk of the Word of God…so that by learning the Word of God you may grow up in respect to your salvation…

 

For believers in Christ, there is nothing better than learning about all the gifts that accrue to our accounts because we are saved.  The Bible is a supernatural work… breathed into human writers by God…and it is the ultimate source of absolute truth.  At Barah Ministries, we teach the Bible from God’s perspective and not from man’s perspective because we refuse to teach as doctrinal truth the precepts of men.

 

Who is Our Enemy?

 

GOD HAS AN ENEMY…Satan…whom God made ‘the ruler of this world’ for a finite period.  He also is the enemy of believers in Christ.  Many Church Age believers have an overconcern for the “end times.”  All you need to know about the end times is that Satan loses the Creator-creature conflict.  Revelation, Chapter 20, Verses 1 to 3…

 

 

REVELATION 20:1

Then I (John) saw an elect angel coming down from heaven…holding the key of the bottomless pit in Hadesand a great chain in his hand.

 

REVELATION 20:2

And the elect angel seized the dragon in one fell swoop…the snake of old…who also is called the devil and Satan…and bound him for a thousand years…

 

REVELATION 20:3

…and the elect angel threw Satan into THE ABYSS…and locked it and sealed it over him…so that he would not deceive the nations any longeruntil the thousand-year Millennial reign of Christ on the earth is completed…after these things Satan must be set free for a short time.

 

Of course when Satan is released, he’ll prove that imprisonment did nothing to change his character.  As Church Age believers, weare waiting for our physical death or the exit resurrection of Church Age believers, commonly called "The Rapture" … and it will happen in an instant…in the twinkling of an eye.  Fasten your seat belts!  The day is near.

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

What Works Did Abraham Do to be Justified by God?

 

LESSON INTRODUCTION

 

Perhaps a friend offers you a ticket to an Arizona Cardinal game (proof this is not a friend)…and you say, “No thanks.”  But you go to the gameanyway.  Rather than accepting the free ticket, you want to pay your own way into the game.  Well, the game is sold outwhen you get there, so you blew it!

 

That’s a perfect description of most people in the world.  They would rather pay their own way into heaven by working instead of simply accepting a free gift from God.  In today's lesson, we continue our study of Paul's letter to the Romans in Chapter 4 to see if works help us get to heaven.

 

OPENING SONG INTRODUCTION

 

Let’s hear some music!  In Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 28 the apsotle Paul makes it clear…

 

ROMANS 3:28

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

 

Let’s hear it in song…JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE by Thief to King.

 

MUSIC

OPENING SONG

Let’s Sing the Lord’s Praises

 

JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE

Thief to King

 

OPENING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

We’re gratefulHeavenly Fatherfor the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…

 

Father, thank you for the Word of God which is relevant yesterday, today, and forever…thank you that the Word of God going forth never comes back void… thank you that the Bible is life-changing…it’s a two-edged sword when God the Holy Spirit leads us believers in Christ on the offensive…and it’s a shield when we are on defense against our enemy, the devil…

 

…as we listen to the lesson today, help us to understand the Word through the enabling power of God the Holy Spirt…let the Spirit take us right to the heart of Your message…that faith in Christ has eternal benefits that You want every creature to have…help us to spread the light of Your Word in this lost, dark, and dying world…

 

…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

What Works Did Abraham Do to be Justified by God?

 

LESSON PART ONE

 

We continue our study of Paul’s letter to the Romans in Chapter 4.

 

In the last lesson, we studied the final passage of Romans, Chapter 3.  Quick quiz…what was the subject matter of that passage?

 

It was…

 

To begin today’s lesson, let me take you back to June 1994.  You’ll remember it well.  It was the month that O. J. Simpson was accused of killing his wife…Nicole Brown Simpson.  Was he guilty?  If you poll a representative sample of people throughout the United States, about 95% of them probably would say he is guilty of the murders of Nicole and Ronald Goldman.

 

However, in the United States of America, a person is innocent until proven guilty.  In our system of jurisprudence, the thought of the Founding Fathers was articulated by Benjamin Franklin…“It is better that a hundred guilty peoplego free than for one innocent person to suffer.”

 

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that O. J. was guilty.  In a court of law, in front of a jury of his peers, he was acquitted.  Even if he was guilty, he was pronounced “not guilty” of the crimes when he went to court.

 

So it is with each of us who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We were born guilty according to the Lord…physically alive and spiritually dead…condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  Seeing our plight, God the Father sent His Son, the Lordto take on the form of a human being…as Jesus…the Christ…the Jewish Messiah.  Jesus lived a sinless life…was persecuted unjustly throughout His life… was crucified by unbelieving sinners…died on a Cross to pay for the sins of all mankind with His blood…was buried…and was resurrected from the dead on the third day after His death.  Because of His work on the Cross, we are acquitted even though we were guilty.

 

We are studying the doctrine of JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.  In the next two chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans, the apostle is going to help us understand a very simple idea that most human beings refuse to grasp.  God offers every one of His creatures a “so great” salvation free of charge.

 

Why do people have such a hard time with “free” things?  If you ask marketers, they don’t.  Marketers would tell you that people love things for free.  Netflix will offer you a month of streaming free of charge hoping you will continue with the service when the month is up.  Most people do.  The mobile phone companies frequently make BOGO offers…BOGO…Buy One Get One (free).

 

Is your experience the same?  Do people like free things?  Have you ever experienced being generous with people only to hear them say, “What’s the catch?” or “This sounds too good to be true!”  Marketers may say people like things for free, but in the spiritual life, the free gift of salvation baffles most people.  That’s why religious churches are filled to the brink.  Their message…that you have to work to please God…resonates with the multitudes.

 

The apostle Paul is doing battle with the works mindset as he teaches us JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.What is justification by faith?Simply stated it’s…

 

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

The process by which God declares the guilty to be not guilty, legally considering them to be right with Him because He credits His own righteousness to them.

 

The definition I gave you last week was lengthier.  Justification by Faith is…

 

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

God’slegal declaration that you possess the righteousness required for salvation at the moment you are saved by God.  It is not a righteousness you perform through works…it’s a free gift from a gracious God who credits His own righteousness to you when you place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

 

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

As a result of justification by faith, those who believe in Jesus Christ have right standingbefore God.  From the moment of your salvation on,you live as a new creation, and as God sees it, it’s as if you have never sinned.  In the eyes of God, you have the exact same standing before Him as does His Son…the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Let’s listen to the next passage of study…Romans, Chapter 4, Verses 1 to 17…

 

ROMANS 4:1

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?

 

 

ROMANS 4:2

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

 

ROMANS 4:3

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

 

ROMANS 4:4

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.

 

ROMANS 4:5

But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness…

 

ROMANS 4:6

…just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works…

 

ROMANS 4:7

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven…and whose sins have been covered.”

 

ROMANS 4:8

“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

 

ROMANS 4:9

Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or the uncircumcised also? For we say, "Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”

 

ROMANS 4:10

How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised…

 

ROMANS 4:11

…and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them…

 

ROMANS 4:12

…and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

 

ROMANS 4:13

For the promise to Abraham or his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law but through the righteousness of faith.

 

ROMANS 4:14

For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified…

 

ROMANS 4:15

…for the Law brings about wrath…but where there is no law, there also is no

violation.

 

ROMANS 4:16

For this reason, it is by faith, so that it may be by grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all…

 

ROMANS 4:17

…(as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

 

How did Abraham, the Jewish hero, get right with God?  His good deeds did not make him acceptable to God.  God counts us as right with Him based on faith not works.

 

Paul begins making a case for JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH for the Jews who rejected the idea that they had to express faith in Christ to be saved.  Thew Jews believed they were born saved because they were racial Jews.  Paul calls to the front the lives of two Jewish men, Abraham and David, to make his case.

 

To the Jews, Abraham and David are heroes.  Let’s begin studying the first passage of Romans, Chapter 4 verse-by-verse beginning at Verse 1…

 

 

ROMANS 4:1

What then shall we say that Abraham discovered in the matter of salvation when our forefather was “in the flesh?”

 

When Abraham was in the flesh, he was an unbeliever.  The same was true for us when we were unbelievers.  Did Abraham get saved because he kept the Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments?Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 2…

 

ROMANS 4:2

For if, for the sake of argument, Abraham was justified by his works…he has something to boast about before men…but no one canboast about anything before God.

 

Abraham became a believer five hundred years before there was the Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments.

 

Abraham did many good works.  None of them were good enough tor righteousness.  None of us are good enough to save ourselves…not one of us.  Without a relationship with God all of us are lost, helpless, and hopeless.  Fortunately, God doesn’t want any of His creatures to perish.  Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9 says…

 

SECOND PETER 3:9

The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of…instead, He is patient toward unbelievers…NOT WISHING FOR ANY TO PERISH IN THE LAKE OF FIRE…but wishing for all unbelievers to come to repentance (a voluntary change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).

 

As unbelievers, we simply repent…we change our minds.  Instead of being unbelievers, we choose to become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 3…

 

ROMANS 4:3

For what does the Old Testament Scripture say (in Genesis, Chapter 15, Verse 6)? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED IN GOD THE SON...JEHOVAH ELOHIM...AND HIS FAITH WAS CREDITED TO HIM BY GOD AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

 

FAITH!!!!!!

 

One of the most cherished things that can come out of any creature’s mouth when these words reach the ears of God is, “What does Scripture say?”  The Bible is the absolute truth and it is the guide for human life.  God loves it when we use His mind to answer our life questions.

 

What did Abraham discover?  He discovered that salvation is a free gift from a gracious God…and then Abraham became a friend of God just like all believers in Christ.  You may ask, “How did Abraham end up being a friend of God?”  Isaiah, Chapter 41, Verses 8 to 10 answers…

 

ISAIAH 41:8

But you, Israel…My servant…Jacob whom I have chosen…descendant of Abraham My friend…

 

ISAIAH 41:9

…you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth and called from its remotest

parts, and said to you, ‘You are My servant…I have chosen you and not rejected you.”

 

ISAIAH 41:10

“‘Do not fear (Israel)…for I am with you…do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you…surely I will help you…surely I will uphold you withMy righteous right hand.’”

 

So what saved Abraham?  Faith in the Lord alone.  Romans, Chapter 10, Verse 13…

 

ROMANS 10:13

…whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…

 

John, Chapter 3, Verse 16…

 

JOHN 3:16

“For God the Father loved the world unconditionally…and He loved the world so muchthat He gave His uniquely born Son (the God-man…the Lord Jesus…the Christ…the Jewish Messiah…to be crucified on a Cross)…so that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish…but has eternal life.”

 

The word CREDITED in Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 3 is the Greek word logizomai…and Paul uses it thirty-five times in his letters…he says over and

over…credited…credited…credited…credited…credited! What does credited mean?  It means…

 

CREDITED

To deposit funds into an account that is without sufficient funds

 

Nobody has sufficient funds in his account to pay for his own salvation.  That’s why the Lord Jesus Christ stepped in through His work on the Cross to be in a position to credit righteous to the account of every creature who requests it.

 

God justifies guilty people.  Is it by works?  Do we do things to earn justification?  Do we have to clean up our acts or behave certain ways or maintaincertain lifestyles to be justified?  Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 4 has the answer…

 

ROMANS 4:4

Now to the one who works for salvation, his payment is not paid as if it were a gracious favor from God, but his payment is paid because it is what he is due...it is paid to him as what he has earned because of his work.

 

ROMANS 4:5

But to the one who DOES NOT WORK for salvation, but believes in the Lord Jesus Christ who justifies the ungodly (the God who pronounces a “not guilty”verdict to those who are “guilty”)…this person’s faith is credited as righteousness...

 

God made a promise to Abraham in Genesis, Chapter 22, Verse 18…

 

GENESIS 22:18

“In your seed, Abraham, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed…because you have obeyed My voice.”

 

Abraham believed God.  Believing God is not something for which we can take credit, especially because God gave us faith as a free gift.  Simply stated, believing God is something we choose to do…a choice with no merit…and it is a wise choice.  Through faith, Abraham believed God keeps His promises…he believed God tells the truth…and of course He does…and Abraham’s faith was credited to his account as righteousness.

 

So being saved is not about being good or working on your character through self-

improvement workshops.  People have a tough time believing this is true.  So how did Abraham get saved?  He believed God…faith…and God gave him righteousness.

 

When we return from the break we’ll take the offering, and then we’ll continue our study of the opening passage of Romans Chapter 4 at Verse 6.

 

FIVE-MINUTE BREAK

NOBODY

Casting Crowns

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

What Works Did Abraham Do to be Justified by God?

 

OFFERING INTRODUCTION

 

Did Jesus ever think about money?  Rarely!  What the Lord did think about was giving.  As you think about giving, today and every day, let your attitude reflect the Lord’s giving attitude as communicated in Acts, Chapter 20, Verse 35…

 

ACTS 20:35b

“…remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

 

Since you benefit from the Lord’s thoughts in these Bible lessons, it just makes

sense to contribute to the workers who communicate His thoughts to you.  Give generously just as the Lord gives and watch what the Lord credits back to your account!

 

Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with one of his always inspiring offering messages.

 

THE OFFERING

Deacon Denny Goodall

 

 

 

OFFERING VERSE

 

COLOSSIANS 3:14

Beyond all these things put on the unconditional love that comes from God… which is the perfect bond of unity.

 

OFFERING SONG

THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

Instrumental Version

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

What Works Did Abraham Do to be Justified by God?

 

LESSON PART TWO

 

Having illuminated Abraham, now Paul turns to King David in Romans, Chapter 4, Verses 6 and 7…

 

ROMANS 4:6

...just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God the Father credits righteousness apart from works, saying...

 

ROMANS 4:7

“BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.”

 

Forgiveness is powerful because it is something youhave control over.  If you’re waiting for someone to pay a debt they don’t think they owe, it costs you a lot of angst.  Forgiving them releases the debt.

 

That’s what the Lord did for us at the Cross.  He isn’t waiting for us to pay Him back for our sins…He paid the debt for us…releasing Himself and releasing us from the obligation to right the wrongs committed.  Instead, we can focus on the relationship.  Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with Christ.

 

This is great marriage advice.  Get your eyes off the wrongs committed by your spouse so you have the time and the energy to focus on enjoying the relationship.So many married couples are petty and competitive in their relationship with each other…always looking to make the other person wrong…always looking to point out the other person’s flaws…always looking for the upper hand…always seeking credit for their work.  Your God and Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you in secret.  Press on!  Cooperate…don’t compete.

 

In Old Testament times…in David’s day, sins were covered once a year on the Day of Atonement…celebrated by our Jewish Friends today as Yom Kippur.The Torah tells us that the animal sacrifices on the day of Atonement are just a symbolic ritual of a down payment for sins.  Hebrews, Chapter 10, Verse 4 says…

 

HEBREWS 10:4

…it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

 

Something bigger needs to happen to remove sins…namely a blameless

one…the God-Man…the Lord Jesus Christ…the Lamb without spot or blemish who pays for all sins with Hisblood…completely REMOVING THEM.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the PROPITIATION for our sins…the only perfectly satisfactory payment for sin in the eyes of God the Father is the blood of His Sonshed at the Cross.  Hebrews, Chapter 9, Verse 26…

 

HEBREWS 9:26b

…Jesus Christ has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself at the Cross.

 

In Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 8, David hails the Lord for giving us a righteousness without works…because of Christ’s work at the Cross, God never brings up our sins…

 

ROMANS 4:8

“BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT NO WAY NOT NO HOW (OUK) TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”

 

“Take into account” is logizomai…the Lord will NEVER credit our sins to our account.  Instead, He credits our sins to Himself!  How cool is that?  The world absolutely hates what the Lord did for David…the Lord calls David a man after his own heart (Acts13:22)…the Lord came through the line of Bathsheba…the Lord gave David and Bathsheba another son…Solomon…and made him the richest and most well-dressed man of all time…God’s forgiveness at work!

 

Is God’s righteousness credited because a man is circumcised?  Let’s check…Romans, Chapter 4, Verses 9 to 11…

 

ROMANS 4:9

Is this blessing of the Lord not taking sin into account directed those who are circumcised…the Jews…or is this blessing on the uncircumcised Gentiles also? For we say,“FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

 

ROMANS 4:10

How then was the righteousness from God credited? Was the righteousness from God credited to Abraham while Abraham was circumcised or while he was uncircumcised? Righteousness was NOT credited while Abraham was circumcised, but while he was uncircumcised...

 

ROMANS 4:11

...and Abraham received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the

faith which he had been given while uncircumcised so that he might be the father

of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them as well, even though uncircumcised...

 

ROMANS 4:12

...and that Abraham might be the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision…the Jews…but also to those who follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised as a Gentile.

 

Abraham’s righteousness came before his circumcision.  For the circumcisedspiritual Jew, circumcision reminds them they no longer belong to the world…they belong to God.  For the racial Jew, circumcision is a ritual that stands for nothing because they are not saved…they do not have the righteousness that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have that comes through faith in Christ.

 

Today’s pseudo-Christians are much like the racial Jews.  They add things to faith…they want to repent of their sins (whatever the hell that is) and be dunked in water to be saved…that is NOT salvation.  Justification is by faith in Christ alone.  No works necessary.  Salvation is free of charge.  Christ justifies us when we are ungodly, unrighteous unbelievers.

 

Humans have such trouble accepting free gifts!

 

Can we simply trust Christ…believe His Word…accept His work on the Cross for us?  Is that hard?  It isn’t.  It’s soooooo easy!  And most people want nothing to do with things that easy.  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Bathshebaand so many others simply believed what the Lord said and it was credited to them as righteousness…JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.

 

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

The process by which God declares the guilty to be not guilty, legally considering them to be right with Him because He credits His own righteousness to them.

 

Romans, Chapter 4, Verses 13 to 17…

 

ROMANS 4:13

For the promise made by God to Abraham and to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was absolutely not no way…not no how…given through the performance of the works of the Mosaic Law…but the promise was given by God to whosoever desires it through the righteousness that is credited by God because of faith.

 

Faith…not Law…is where God’s righteousness comes from.  Abraham became the

father of the Jewish race through faith.  It is Abraham's spiritual seed, not the racial seed that are saved.  Faith not works is credited as righteousness by God.

 

ROMANS 4:14

For if, for the sake of argument, those who are the heirs of the world become so because of keeping the Law, then faith is made void as a principle, and the promise of God to Abraham is nullified...

 

The only person who ever kept the Law…every jot and every tittle of the Law…is Jesus…the Christ…the Jewish Messiah.  Law and faith are different principles.  What does Paul say about Law in Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 15…

 

ROMANS 4:15

...for the Law brings forth God the Father’s wrath…but where there is no law, there can be no violation of non-existent laws.

 

Law breakers are sinners…and sinners need a Savior.  Are you Jewish?  Have you broken just one of the Mosaic Laws?  You need a Savior.

 

ROMANS 4:16

For this reason, righteousness is given by God as a gift…by faith in Christ… so that righteousness may be by grace…so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants of Abraham…not only to those who are of the Mosaic Law…the Jews…but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham…the Gentiles…who is the father of us all...

 

In God’s plan, Jews and Gentiles are descendants of Abraham.  When his name was changed from Abram to Abraham, he became the father of a multitude…Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 17…

 

ROMANS 4:17

...(as it is written in Genesis 17:5 “THE FATHER OF A MULTITUDE OF NATIONS I WILL MAKE YOU ABRAHAM”)...the father of all in the sight of the God whom Abraham believed (Jehovah Elohim...God the Son), even in the sight of God the Father, who gives the resurrection life to the spiritually dead ones and who calls into being that which does not exist.

 

The message of this lesson is very simple…and it is intended for the Jews and the

Gentiles…if you want to be saved…PLEASE don’t work for it.  Just trust the God

who saves the ungodly.  Let’s see what we covered today by looking at the New Living Translation…

 

ROMANS 4:1

Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God?

 

ROMANS 4:2

If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way.

 

ROMANS 4:3

For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as

righteous because of his faith.”

 

ROMANS 4:4

When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.

 

 

ROMANS 4:5

But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

 

ROMANS 4:6

David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it…

 

ROMANS 4:7

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.”

 

 

ROMANS 4:8

“Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

 

A full divine pardon.

 

ROMANS 4:9

Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith.

 

ROMANS 4:10

But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!

 

ROMANS 4:11

Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith.

 

ROMANS 4:12

And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.

 

 

ROMANS 4:13

Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.

 

ROMANS 4:14

If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.

 

ROMANS 4:15

For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

 

ROMANS 4:16

So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.

 

ROMANS 4:17

That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

 

Thank you Lord for making salvation so easy…justification by faith in Christ

alone…the ticket to eternal life.

 

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

The Good News of Jesus Christ’s Salvation Offer to the Human Race

 

The closing moments of this lesson could be the ten most important minutes of your life.  You’ll be introduced to the good news concerning how you can spend all eternity in heaven when you close your eyes in this life.  We want you to know that…

 

GOD WANTS YOU!

He Wants You Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life

 

Even if you don’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you still matter to God.  He created you…you’re one of His creatures…and He wants the highest and best for you.  Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9 says…

 

SECOND PETER 3:9

The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of...instead, He is patient toward unbelievers…not wishing for any to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all to come to repentance (a voluntary change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).

 

The bad news is that everyone is born in a state of unrighteousness, including you.  You were born physically alive and spiritually dead as an ungodly, unrighteous unbeliever.  You were born on Satan’s team.  In God’s eyes, you were born a sinner and you need a Savior.

 

It’s not your fault, but it is your circumstance.

 

In First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22, the Bible says…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22a

For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human being who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…

 

To God’s enemy, Satan…the ruler of this world…you don’t matter at all.  First Peter, Chapter 5, Verse 8 says…

 

FIRST PETER 5:8

Be of sober spirit…be on the alert! Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

 

You are the “someone” on Satan’s list.

 

Satan despises you so much he doesn't want you to be saved.  He doesn't want you to be with God in heaven when you close your eyes in this life.  Instead, he wants you to be with him in the Lake of Fire, and he wants you so badly that he sends false teachers with false teachings to deceive you.  In Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 15…the Lord Himself warns about this…

 

 

MATTHEW 7:15

“Beware of the false teachers…who come to you in sheep’s clothing…but

inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

 

When an animal is ravenous it has an insatiable desire to tear you apart.  So it is with false teachers who pretend to be for you, yet truly they want you to be twice the sons of hell that they are.

 

This gospel message offers GOOD NEWS to rescue you from the kingdom of death and darkness you were born into, inviting you to be born again to the spiritual life available in God’s kingdom of light.  You can choose to be on God’s team.  John, Chapter 3, Verses 16 and 17 highlight Jesus’ mission concerning you…

 

JOHN 3:16

“For God the Father loved the world unconditionally…and He loved the world so much…that He gave His uniquely born Son (the God-man…the Lord JesusChrist…to be crucified on a Cross) … so that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish, but haseternal life.”

 

JOHN 3:17

For God the Father did not send God the Son (the Lord) into the world to judge the world…but the Father sent the Son into the world that the world might be saved through Him.

 

God wants you to respond positively to the good news of this gospel message so He can save you!

 

Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3

For I (the apostle Paul) delivered to you as of primary importance the gospel message I also received from God…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Old Testament Scriptures…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4

…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Old Testament Scriptures…

 

If a gospel message makes it sound like you have to work to get to heaven, it’s a false gospel message from a false teacher.  Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says you don’t have to work to be saved…

 

ROMANS 11:6

…if salvation is by grace (a free gift from God) … and of course it is…it is no longer based on your works…otherwise, grace (as a free gift) is no longer grace (it is not free).

 

Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 4 says you CAN'T work for salvation…

 

ROMANS 4:4

Now to the one who works for salvation, his wage for his workis not credited to his accountas a favor from the grace of God, but his wage is creditedas what is due for the work.

 

Your hardest work is not perfect enough to earn you a spot in heaven.  So relax!  You can get to heaven when you close your eyes in this life free of charge.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31 says…

 

ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved by God, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”

 

John, Chapter 3, Verse 36 warns you and invites you…

 

JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment…but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”

 

If you choose, you can spend eternity with God's enemy, Satan, in the Lake of Fire…OR…you can have the free gift of eternal life right this minute!  RIGHT WHERE YOU SIT, RIGHT NOW God can save you if you let Him.  You can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that is the moment of eternal life for you.

 

Romans, Chapter 10, Verses 9 and 10 exhort you…

 

ROMANS 10:9

…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord (that He is God)…and if you believe in your heart that God the Father raised Him from the dead… you will be saved…

 

ROMANS 10:10

…for with the heart a person believes…resulting in the imputation of absolute righteousness by God (your admission ticket to heaven)…and with the mouth a person confesses (admitting faith in Christ alone)resulting in salvation.

 

There is a consequence for rejecting a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ…in Matthew, Chapter 8, Verse 12, the Lord says…

 

MATTHEW 8:12

“…the sons of (Satan’s) kingdom (unbelievers) will be cast out into the outer darkness…in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

Many parents are false teachers leading their children to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  Do you want to know if you’re a good parent?  Just ask yourself a simple question…are you influencing your children to have a relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Sovereign God of the Universe?

 

He is the ONLY WAY to get to heaven according to John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…

 

JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am

the truth (through the gospel message…the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”

 

There’s no time to waste!  God wants you.  If you want to go to heaven when you close your eyes in this life, simply believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!  Take His word for it concerning salvation, and the resurrection life is yours free of charge!

 

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

The Good News of Jesus Christ’s Salvation Offer to the Human Race

 

CLOSING SONG INTRODUCTION

 

Let’s close with music!  We place our trust in the Lord for our salvation.  Psalm 37, Verses 4 to 6…

 

PSALM 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

 

PSALM 37:5

Commit your way to the Lord…trust also in Him…and He will do it.

 

PSALM 37:6

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.

 

Matthew West and Jenn Johnson say in song…I TRUST JESUS.

 

MUSIC

CLOSING SONG

Let’s Sing the Lord’s Praises

 

I TRUST JESUS

Matthew West and Jenn Johnson

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

Almighty God and Father…

 

…thank you for the mirror that is the Word of God…thank you for reminding us that to love You we also have to love the Word of God because the Word helps us get to know You intimately and to know Your thoughts…help us not to forget who we REALLY are when we walk away from the mirror of the Word of God…

 

…keep on reminding us that the Word of God is spiritual food…keep on reminding us that salvation is by faith in Your Son…remind us of the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ…help us share the gospel message with those we love and with those who don’t love us…let the voices of Your believers here on earth penetrate to the depths of the souls we touch…let our lives reflect Your glory…and bless those who are part of Barah Ministries with the courage to share the gospel message at every opportunity…

 

…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.

 

THE ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Please make it a habit to listen to the announcements.  They are posted separately.  Keep current on the things going on and coming up in Barah Ministries.

 

DISCUSSING THE LESSON AND PRAYER CIRCLE

 

Join us Live or on ZoomImmediately Following the Lesson

 

GOT BIBLICAL QUESTIONS?

 

Ask the Pastor

pastor@barahministries.com

 

WANT US TO PRAY FOR SOMEONE?

 

Send your request to pastor@barahministries.com

 

KEEP ON STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD DAILY!

 

Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!

 

www.barahministries.com

 

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