Summary: This is the 7th sermon in the series "The Cure". Abraham is used as an example of faith.
Series: The Cure [#7]
A PERFECT CREDIT RATING
As we continue to look at the cure, I want us to see how we can have a perfect credit rating. Before you purchase a house, take out a loan, etc…, they will run your credit rating. In order to have a perfect credit rating, you must be able to pay all of your debts off on time.
Spiritually speaking, we are all in debt. Sin cost a great deal. Sin cost Adam and Eve their lives and they passed the nature to sin down to each generation. Sin cost Adam and Eve their fellowship with God. Sin cost the lives of innocent animals for sacrifice. Sin can cost us eternal punishment in Hell. Through the years, people have tried many ways to pay for their sins. Our text uses Abraham as an example of how to have a perfect credit rating with God.
Romans 4:1-8 (NIV)
“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." Now 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, his faith is credited as righteousness. 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 will never count against him."
A perfect credit rating with God…
1. Is not earned.
God had promised Abraham that He would make him the Father of a great nation and that there would be many people in his family. The interesting part of this promise is that Abraham was 85 years old at the time that God gave him this promise. The idea that an 85 year old man and a 75 year old woman was going to have a large family when they had no children seemed crazy; but Abraham believed this promise and God credited to him as righteousness. Abraham didn’t earn this. God is the One who chose to use Abraham. God could have chosen anyone that He chose to be the Father of a Great Nation.
We are no different- You did not choose God; He chose you. God is the One who chose to send Jesus to this Earth and pay our price and it wasn’t because of anything you have done. Isn’t it an amazing thing that through the blood of Jesus, God has credited to you righteousness. That means that your credit with God is paid in full.
Romans 4:9-12 (NIV)
“Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. 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. 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 is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.”
A perfect credit rating with God…
2. Is not found in a group.
Abraham was born in Ur of the Chaldeans where the people were Moon Worshippers. God chose Abraham to be the head of a nation who would worship Jehovah God. Abraham started out in the wrong group of people; but God called him out of that group. To the Jews, circumcision was everything and they had a hard time understanding how anyone could be a Christian without it. Paul was pointing out that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness before he was circumcised.
This is proof to us that just because we belong to a certain denomination, or we have been baptized, etc…; doesn’t mean that we are saved. Jesus died for all sinners, whether Jew or Gentile.
Romans 4:13-15 (NIV)
“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. For if those who live 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.”