Title: Children of Abraham
Focus: We are accounted righteous (right with God) on the basis of faith, not on works or law because law can only bring the wrath of God. However, God does not count our sins against us on the basis of his faithfulness to his promise which he gives to us on the basis of his grace.
Function: To motivate the hearers to have active, obedience faith in God through every transition in their life and to let God determine the direction in their life.
Text: Romans 3:31-4:23
Intro: 1. The other day someone asked me how old I was, not remember, Jeremy remembered my age though 2. Birthdays not a big deal to me anymore like when I was a kid a. Had a party with freinds b. Birthday presents c. One time asked - Why do I get presents - what did I do? d. You were born!! (Is that an accomplishement or a feat?? no) 3. We call them birthday “gifts” because they not earned 4. Salvation is a birthday gift as well (or a re-birth gift) 5. Paul is going to talk about the basis of our right relationship with God (righteousness) I. Righteousness with God is a gift (v.1-8) A. It is not something you work for B. Abraham is Paul’s example 1. Abraham believed God (Gen 15:1-6) a. Hebrew - He “amened” God b. He trusted in God’s promise 2. It was reckoned to him as righteousness a. Financial term - to reckon = to credit to an account b. ILL: In Air Force - Got an LES to show what was credited to my bank account for all my work c. But Paul said God “credited” to him not on basis of work but on faith d. It was a “favor” (not deserved) not what was “due” 3. Quotes from Psalm 32 a. Doesn’t say - How blessed is man who pay off debt of sin b. 2 Sam 12:9-14 - David and Bathsheba - God forgave him when he confessed - David did not work off sin debt c. Only way out - GRACE (God justifies ungodly = grace) C. Pharisees needed to learn about grace (Mt 9:9ff) 1. Similar to story in Mt 20:1-10 - Laborers all get same wage, some angry about master’s generosity 2. Begrudge generosity for those not work for or deserve it 3. Begrudge generosity to ourselves as well a. If by grace, mean we not very worthy b. We place worth in self-sufficiency c. Self-sufficiency is Satan’s illusion D. Bottom line, only way to get right with God (righteousness) 1. Through God’s forgiveness (grace) 2. Which is a gift (we not deserve or earn it) II. Righteousness (rightness) not based on law A. Paul makes this point by asking question (v.9-12) 1. Is blessing of forgiveness for circumcised or uncircumcised? 2. Looks to Abraham for the answer a. When was Abraham counted righteous? Gen 15:6 b. It was before circumcision Gen 17 (14 yrs before!) c. It was before faith tested Gen 22 d. Before law at Sinai B. So Righteousness is not based on law (v.13-15) 1. If it were based on law - 2 things happen a. Not based on God - but us - promise is void b. Would bring about God’s wrath - 1 Cor 15:56- Power of sin is the law 2. Sin and law like flypaper, get stuck, can’t get out 3. Keeping the law is not something extraordinaty C. ILL: When I in 2nd grade, got first list of chores: 1. Simple stuff - Clean room, put laundry in basket, make bed, etc. 2. Did Mom thank me when I did it? a. Usually not - because that is what I supposed to do b. If I NOT do it - consequences c. Doing it was not extraordinary 3. (Lk 17:8-10) - Jesus said law keeping not extraordinary D. Thank God being right with him is not base on law 1. Why? Because we are fickle, fickle, fickle! 2. But if it not based on law, why 3:31? 3. Brings us to the final point III. Righteousness (rightness) is based on faith A. After 3:31 - He said we “establish” the law. How? 1. Law based on faith (so rightness based on faith too) 2. Not about externals Rom 2:21 - Jew is one inwardly 3. Children of Abraham are those who walk in faith 4. Always been about faith (Able better sacrifice by faith - Heb 11) B. (v.16-22) - Faith enables grace but the law condemns C. What is faith? 1. Believing God will (not just can) do what is best for you a. v.17 - Gives life to the dead b. v. 17 - Create what not exist (a baby!) c. v.20 - Abraham not waver in unbelief - Thought God’s plan was through Hagar - But he did not have unbelief D. Israel had to learn about true fatih (Hos 6) 1. (v.1-3) - In their “faith” they said the right words 2. (v.4-6) - They are bad weather believers a. God not interested in worship service faith b He interested in enduring faith 3. (v.7) - They sinned like Adam (not trust God knows best) 4. They “diversified” with idolatry - Not put all eggs in one basket Concl: 1. Review - Rightness a gift, not based on law, but on faith so can be by grace 2. Faith involves taking a risk a. Put all your eggs into one basked b. Let God determine direction in your life 3. It was faith that led Abraham to let God determine direction in his life a. Went far, far away. b. Imagine the scene when he came home to tell Sarah God told him to pack up and leave c. Sarah not think he crazy, so she had faith too! 4. Some of you about to take a new direction in life a. Military, graduation from High School, College b. Will find self in strange place, new challenges, new delights c. By WHAT will you face up to those challenges d. HOW will you decide what to do, where to go, who to be with? 5. This is where rubber meets road a. Faith is letting God lead you, your decisions, your life b. Trusting in him 100% How? - Pray as Jesus did when at a critical point in his life - Your will be done! Are you doing God’s will?