Summary: Spiritually, you have credit problems. Here’s how God solves them.
“GOD SOLVES YOUR CREDIT PROBLEMS” (Romans 4:18-25)
How many of you have credit cards? How many of you have good credit? How many of you have bad credit? What does your credit report look like? Would anyone this morning like to share their credit history with the group?
The more bills you miss, the worse your credit. The more bills you pay, the better your credit. Did you know, that in order to get to heaven, you need to have perfect credit? Perfect spiritual credit. Before you walk through the gates of heaven, God checks your spiritual credit history. I’ll tell you what he looks at – there are two columns on your spiritual credit report: there’s the sin column – every time you sin, you get a big minus in that column. And then there’s the righteousness column – every time you do something perfectly, you get a big plus in that column.
What do you think your spiritual credit report looks like? How many minuses would you have? Remember, every time you sin, you get a minus, and I think we all know that we would have a lot of minuses on our spiritual credit report. We’ve all sinned, whether it’s with our thoughts or words, or even our actions. Even the smallest moment of selfishness is a big minus on our credit report. Lots of minuses in the sin column, but what about the righteousness column? Remember, every time you do something perfectly, you get a plus over there, but it has to be done perfectly. How many pluses would you have? Probably not many. To do something perfectly is very difficult – our pluses would be few and far between.
So how do you think your spiritual credit report would look in the eyes of God? Not very good. Imagine applying for a loan at the bank. Whenever you apply for a loan, as you know, they ask you all kinds of questions. Imagine if this were to happen – the bank says to you: “Have you ever missed a payment?” Yes, you say. “Do you have any loan collectors after you?” Yes. “Have you ever had any property repossessed?” Yes. “Have you ever been part of a foreclosure?” Yes. “Have you ever declared bankruptcy?” Yes. Do you think you would get a loan if you answered those questions that way? I don’t think so.
Imagine standing before God, as he looks at your spiritual credit report. He sees all the minuses in the sin column. He sees hardly any pluses in the righteousness column. “This doesn’t look good,” God says to you. “I know,” you say. God says to you, “Have you ever kept any of my commandments perfectly?” No, you say. “Have you ever been selfish?” Yes, you say. “Have you ever hated someone?” Yes. “Have you ever been greedy?” Yes. With that kind of spiritual credit history, what do you think your chances would be of getting approved to go to heaven? Not good.
In the Bible, God doesn’t promises to take away your earthly credit problems. He doesn’t promise to pay off your credit cards or cover your mortgage payments. But he does promise to fix your spiritual credit problems, and today we find out how. Today we meet a man named Abraham. Abraham, just like you and I, had spiritual credit problems. He had lots of sin, and very little righteousness, just like us. God entered Abraham’s life, and gave to Abraham some impossible promises – he told Abraham that even though he didn’t have any children at the time, he would become the father of many nations – his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. And from all of those people would come one special offspring, the Savior of the world, the one who would take away his sins and bring him eternal life.
Abraham believed these impossible promises from God, but time marched on, and those promises became more and more impossible. He and Sarah got older and older, until finally they were beyond the age of having children. The part of the Bible we are looking at today, Romans 4, tells us that even though he and his wife were way beyond the age of having children, Abraham still believed. Look at what it says: “Against all hope, Abraham believed… 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.” Abraham and his wife were very old - elderly people – the idea of them having children was ridiculous.
There’s been lots of information in the news in the last few years about fertility drugs. Sometimes people, for one reason or another, can’t have children, and so they try fertility drugs to help make it happen. Sometimes people have a difficult time because of their age. Do you think our modern-day fertility treatments would have helped Abraham and Sarah? If Abraham and Sarah would have walked into a doctor’s office today and said, “We want to have children,” the doctor would have laughed them out of the office. “You’re in your 90’s, for goodness sake,” the doctors would say. Physically, it was impossible for them to have children.