Summary: A saving faith in Jesus is still the only way to heaven.
How Did People Go to Heaven Before Jesus?
Gal. 3:6-8July 10, 2005 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU." Gal 3:6-8 (NASB)
ETS: Abraham’s faith, not works, allowed him to be justified.
ESS: A saving faith in Jesus is still the only way to heaven.
OBJ: I want my listener to know that saving faith in the gospel will always be the only way to heaven.
PQ: How can we know that saving faith in the gospel is the only way to heaven?
TS: Let’s look at two pieces of evidence that can help us know that saving faith in the gospel will always be the only way to heaven.
I Faith in the gospel saved Abraham
A The Judaizers held Abraham in the highest esteem as the father of their nation (quintessential Jew)
(IL) How Americans respect George Washington, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Jr.
1 Judaizers believed/taught that Abraham was righteous because he had been circumcised.
a And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Gen 12:2-3 (NASB)
"This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. Gen 17:10 (NASB)
b These folks argued that the rest of the world would only be blessed/share in the promised blessing ONLY if they first took the sign that marks God’s people, circumcision.
2 Paul says "no way" by using Gen. 15:6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. Gen 15:6 (NASB)
a At least 14 years before Abraham was circumcised, he was justified in the eyes of God. Why? "Abraham believed..."(v.6)
aa By faith, Abraham followed God to an unknown country
bb By faith, Abraham believed God would give him a son
cc By faith, Abraham even looked forward to Christ
b The moment Abraham believed, he was in right standing with God.
B Today some hold to a family member’s faith (grandparents, mother, father, etc.) like an inheritance.
1 We can’t be saved by someone else’s faith.
a Judaizers were banking on Abraham’s walk with God to bleed through on them
b God doesn’t have any grandchildren
2 It’s only by faith in Christ that we stand rightly before God.
a (IL) I know a guy who married a woman who had enough money to burn a wet mule. When they got married all her money, property was his, too. All he had to do was accept her as his wife and then everything that was hers was his, too.
b The notes look like they say 1 Cor. 5:21?
aa When Abraham placed his faith in God, all God’s righteousness was added to Abraham’s spiritual account
bb My friend became as wealthy as his wife, Abraham came into God’s eyes as righteous as God.
cc When we put our faith in Christ, we become righteous too!
II Faith in the gospel saves people today.
A God brought the "good news" to Abraham centuries ago (v.8)
1 The Apostle Paul brought the same "good news" to the Gentiles in Galatia.
a The heart of the "good news" was that sinners are justified by faith, not by keeping the law.
b Paul’s logic is clear (v. 7): the true children of Abraham are not those who have been circumcised/observed the law, but those who have placed their faith in the living God of Israel.
2 God’s message of the Gospel was how everyone went to heaven from Adam to Abraham to the Gentiles in Galatia.
B The same faith/Gospel that was justified in Genesis/Galatia is the same gospel that is justified in Chester.
1 What kind of faith saves us today?
a Imagine the faith Abraham had in God when he (Abraham) was told that he was going to be a 1st time dad at 80, Sarah a 1st time mom at 60-something. FAITH
b That faith tells us what kind of faith in Christ we need to have to be saved.
2 C.H. Spurgeon told a story about two men in a boat caught in severe rapids. As the boat tipped over and they were heading toward the perilous rocks & fall, men from the shore tried to save them by throwing out a rope.