Summary: The Bible, however, teaches that faith is the key to everything for the Christian. By faith we come to Christ. By faith we live our Christian lives successfully. Without faith it is impossible to please God. In other words, faith is central for Christian
January 15, 2012
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ''The righteous will live by faith."
(Romans 1:17 NIV)
It never ceases to amaze me just how gullible people are. Listen to some of the titles that have appeared in the tabloids found in grocery store checkout lines: Cow Mattresses Help Cows Produce More Milk - Mom On Diet Of Only Chicken, Lays Huge Egg - World War II Bomber Found On The Moon - Women Gives Birth To Two-Year-Old Baby: Child Walks And Talks In Three Days - Adam And Eve's Bones Found In Asia: Eve Was A Space Alien.
The sad thing is that many people believe this sort of nonsense. Gullible is certainly a word that can be used to describe many people. But gullible has also been used to describe Christians as well. Many people, enamored by the so called logic of rational thinking, believe that Christians are gullible for their faith in the supernatural. That we believe in miracles and in an unseen God is evidence of our own gullibility, they think.
The Bible, however, teaches that faith is the key to everything for the Christian. By faith we come to Christ. By faith we live our Christian lives successfully. Without faith it is impossible to please God. In other words, faith is central for Christian living. What to the world may seem like gullibility is in fact the key to unlock the door which will eventually lead us to certainty.
Vance Havner, the famous Baptist evangelist, when he was alive, used to tell the story of an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her many troubles both real and imaginary. Finally she was told in a kindly way by her family, "Grandma, we've done all we can do for you. You'll just have to trust God for the rest." A look of utter despair spread over her face as she replied, "Oh, dear, has it come to that?" After telling that story, Vance Havner would say, "It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that!"
Well, let's begin with that today and see just what the Scripture has to say concerning faith as it relates to our salvation and the living of our lives.
Charles Stanley says, “Obey God, leave all the consequences to Him.”
For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed . . . (Romans 1:17a)
The apostle Paul has already made the point that God is powerfully working in the Gospel to effect the salvation of sinners. He points out the truth that everyone who believes in the message of the Gospel is saved. It is the object of this Gospel message that is the object of our faith - Jesus Christ.
When Paul writes that in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, he is really speaking of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the message of the Gospel. It is all about His sinless life, substitutionary atonement, and resurrection. He is the object of the Gospel, and the object of our faith.
So in the Gospel we see a righteousness from God centered in His Son, who died on the Cross as the sacrifice for our sins. Christ's righteousness is revealed to us in a number of ways. Two are vital to see. We must see that Christ is righteousness and that He imparts His righteousness to us.
This is what the Gospel reveals, and it is vitally important for us to see this truth. This is the function of preaching the message of the Gospel. This is why Paul emphasizes "Christ and Him crucified" in his preaching of the Gospel. It is important to understand this truth because this truth is the basis for our salvation. The Gospel is an explanation of why we can be saved.
We can only be saved because of what God has done. The Bible teaches that we are all sinners by nature and that we are totally unable to save ourselves. The Gospel is all about the intervention of God on our behalf. It is about His sovereign work in bringing us to salvation. Salvation is something God has made possible for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. And unless we understand the message of the Gospel, we will be confused about how we must be saved.
. . . a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 1:17b)
The way that the righteousness of God is given to us is through faith. It is only Good News when we come to understand that God offers His righteousness to us through Jesus Christ. If all we understand is that Christ is righteous and we are not, that is not Good News. That is Tragic News. But the Tragic News that we are without righteousness and unable to save ourselves gives way to the Good News when we realize that Christ extends His righteousness to us.