Summary: This sermon show how Abraham, David, and all believers are made right in the sight of God based on their faith apart from any efforts of their own
The question of the ages is "How can sinful man be made right in the sight of a Holy God?" Can we work for it ?
Ro. Ch 1-3 show that all are sinful.
Paul asks the question "How were the Patriarchs justified?"
I) ABRAHAM WAS JUSTIFIED WITHOUT WORKS Vss. 1-3
A) ABRAHAM’S WORKS Vs. 2
If anybody could boast it was him.
His grounds for boasting – He :
–Left his father’s house at God’s call (Gen 12).
–Separated from Lot in a noble manner (Gen 13:9).
–Gave 1/10th of the spoils of war to Melchisedec (Heb 7).
–Offered Isaac on the alter (Gen 22).
–Received the Abrahamic covenant.
i) THE PROBLEM WITH BOASTING...
- It takes the focus off God – puts it on man.
Have you ever met someone with an “I” problem ?
- It leads to comparison...
Pride resulting in Judgment – if you out perform someone.
Jealousy – if someone out performs you.
- It shows I am not trusting completely in Him…
Any time I boast even slightly I am not relying completely on the finished work.
Why do I boast?
Insecurity - I don’t understand what He has done for me.
I am relying in my works, not His.
Wrong identity – I don’t understand who I am in Him.
Identity comes from whose I am, not what I have done.
What does He think of you ? You are…
- Wonderfully made,
- His workmanship created in Christ Jesus,
- He thinks so much of you that He gave His Son for you.
My self worth, self esteem, security, & value can only come through who I am in Him.
Do you believe you are saved by works? NO, but if I boast I am trusting, to some extent, my own efforts.
He didn’t boast because he knew…
ii) THE PROBLEM WITH WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS...
i.e. deeds to improve our standing before God that only Christ’s death can accomplish.
- God is not impressed with our self righteous works
They don’t begin to compare to His work on the cross.
They are an insult to God
- Our self righteous works don’t last
They are never enough.
It becomes an addiction. (Performance junkies).
Always striving to get someplace works can never take you.
–They subtly replace Christ’s righteousness
Works mixed with faith can replace Christ’s righteousness.
B) ABRAHAM’S RECORD IN SCRIPTURE Vs. 3
Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Dr. James Montgomery Boice – This is the most important verse in the Bible for the doctrine of salvation. This is the first verse that brings faith, justification, and righteousness together.
Notice : He was declared righteous...
–14 years before being circumcised. (Gen 17:24).
–Before offering Isaac (Gen 22).
–Before the Law of Moses (Exodus).
–He believed the Lord, i.e. Trust, not just that He exists.
–Jas 2:23 adds "...and he was called the friend of God".
C) ABRAHAM’S FAITH Vs. 3
- His faith was imperfect : He lied about Sarai (Gen 12:13),
: He took Hagar (Gen 16).
Yet his imperfect faith justified him perfectly.
It didn’t take strong faith to save him.
If only strong faith saves then faith is a work.
- His faith produced good works
Faith alone justifies but justifying faith is never alone.
II) DAVID WAS JUSTIFIED WITHOUT WORKS Vss. 6-8
DAVID DESCRIBES THE JUSTIFIED MAN :
A) ...HE IS BLESSED Vs. 6
David was under the Law of Moses.
Abraham was before the Law of Moses.
Paul agrees with both.
The man who does absolutely nothing to earn heaven without works is blessed.
Ask a person of any other religion :
Are you the blessed man of Ro. 4:6 ?
If you are then you don’t trust in your own merits.
B) ...HE IS FORGIVEN Vs. 7
Qu. from Psa 32:2 KJV Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
Written after sin with Bathsheba, his hands still red with the blood of Uriah.
He broke 3 of the 10 commandments :
Adultery, murder, and coveting his neighbor’s wife.
There was no sacrifice for the first two.
David understood forgiveness.
C) ...HIS SIN IS NOT HELD AGAINST HIM Vs. 8
An accounting term – to charge to one’s account.
How would you like to have a Visa credit card that was in somebody else’s name and you could charge all you want ?
What if you were on death row and you could use the charge card to pay your debt ?
You had a sentence of death upon you. (Ro. 6:23)
You have a charge card in Jesus’ name.
If our sin is imputed to Him, therefore :
1) We can not pay the penalty for any of it.