Summary: A life of faith is a life with some specifics events in it.
It’s All about Faith
* Turn with me to Romans 3. As I meditated over verses 27-31 this week I became more and more convinced that Paul’s message to His readers was and is the title of this message, “It’s all about Faith.” We know that he’s taken 3 chapters to set the stage for us to here this message of hope and help. Let’s read 27-31.
* Reading these five verses alone could evoke a thought that this section doesn’t refer to me. It begins with the question “where then is boasting?” and most of us might respond, I don’t brag so this is a passage with which I do not have to be concerned. May I remind you that the very reason we preach through entire “books” in the Bible is to understand how every part is significant for me.
* Back in verse 23, Paul has announced the condition of mankind when he says, “ALL HAVE SINNED and FALLEN SHORT of GOD.” Think about that, the implications for us are HUGE. We have sinned, fallen short of God’s best, and have a problem which we are incapable of “fixing” on our own. Our problem requires a step of faith. If we are to be justified before a Righteous God, we must express faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. It is only by responding in faith to the drawing of God’s Holy Spirit that we can gain God’s righteousness. It is all about faith.
* Consider this; when we respond in faith, what happens? What transpired? How does life change? What can I expect? What are the characteristics or attributes that I will know? It is my sense that these five verses contain 3 personal, planned, and promised evidences for a person who has come to “faith in Christ”. Remember, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God”.
1) The Exclusion of Sin – (Verse 27)
* This sin which Paul names is “boasting” or “bringing glory to one’s self.” It carries with it the idea of arrogance. Remember, the Jews felt they had “earned” their right to God and heaven because of their works. You see, as we will learn in chapter 4 when someone works to earn something, they have a right to it. Thus, the law of works gives one a reason to boast because “I’ve earned it”, “I’m good enough”, and “I’ve a right to it.” Paul says that this is the arrogant attitude developed when one believes they can work their way to heaven. Even without the boasting, arrogance is a sin because it is driven by our pride. Paul says, “Boasting is excluded” and James tells us (4:16) “As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”
* If you will look with me in verse 27 where we see two laws mentioned, they are the “Law of works” and the “law of Faith.” The law of works is a belief that I can be kind enough, love enough, treat people right enough, and in short be good enough to gain a right standing before God. This is a flawed, faulty, and false which is sadly and subtly being embraced today, sometimes even by those who claim to be Christian. Believing that I can somehow attain eternal life by working my way there is the epitome of the spirit of the Pharisees. It evokes pride and arrogance and boasting.
* Conversely, the Law of Faith gives us no reason to boast. Here’s why. Because the rightness before God, the abundant life, and the eternal life we have is not a payment for services rendered, but is rather a gift from God. Ephesians 2 reads, “By grace you have been saved through faith, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Boasting is sin. Since we cannot earn our way to God and heaven, we have no reason to boast.
* However, let’s come to grips with one more truth. In our faith, ALL sin is excluded. This is a truth which we seem to want to lay aside today. And the inability of those who claim to be believers to lay aside sin has a far reaching impact. Too often, believers want to hide behind the old adage “I’m just human”, “That’s just me”, or “The devil made me do it” when in point of truth, there exists no desire to put away sin. This attitude is contrary to the word of God, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the heart of one that is in Christ.
* By the way, the scripture says boasting or sin is “excluded.” The Greek word literally means to “shut out”. We are to shut sin out. Faith in the blood, in Jesus, and in God, leads us to exclude sin.