Summary: The fantastic blessings of faith in God: 1. Faith gives us the goodness of God (vs. 1-16). 2. Faith gives us amazing answers to our prayers (vs. 16-22). 3. Faith gives us a home in Heaven (vs. 17, 23-25).
The Fantastic Blessings of Faith in God
The Book of Romans
(Initial reading: Romans 4:1-8)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 1, 2016
(Revised October 23, 2020)
*Please open your Bibles to Romans 4. In the last chapter, God's Word clearly established the truth that, other than Jesus Christ, everyone on earth is guilty of sin. Everyone on earth deserves the righteous wrath of Almighty God.
19. Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
*On some level, all of us are guilty of sin. But thank God! Before the end of chapter 3, God's Word takes us from our guilt to His amazing grace, and it all centers on the cross of Christ. God's total forgiveness, righteousness and everlasting life are freely available to everyone who will believe in, have faith in our crucified and risen Lord and Savior.
*Here in Romans 4, Paul continued to discuss the fantastic blessings of having faith in Jesus Christ. And tonight's Scripture shows us some of the greatest things that faith can do. Let's begin by reading vs. 1-8.
*One of the hymns I grew up singing was:
"Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to Thee till death." (1)
*That's the kind of biblical faith God wants us to have, but what is biblical faith? Hebrews 11:1 defines faith for us and says "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
*"Faith is the substance of things hoped for. . ." The original word for "substance" has the idea of something strong under us, something strong enough for us to stand on it. Faith is a firm foundation. And faith in Jesus Christ is the only firm foundation for our lives.
*"Faith is the substance of things hoped for." What are you hoping for tonight? I hope you haven't given up on your hopes and dreams, because life would be terrible without hope.
*There's probably only one thing worse, and that is a life based on false hope. But when we have faith in Jesus Christ, we have a rock-solid foundation for all of our hopes. We have something solid to build our lives on, something solid to build our future on for all eternity.
*You see, real, biblical faith is not just positive thinking or having a positive attitude. Faith is not "The Little Engine that Could" trying to get up that hill: "I think I can. I think I can! I think I can!"
*Biblical "faith IS the substance of things hoped for." This means that right now, our faith in Jesus Christ is like a rock-solid foundation under our godly hopes and dreams. Our faith in God is the only substance that can give us the spiritual assurance and support we need in life.
*But faith is also evidence. It's the "evidence of things not seen." In other words: biblical faith gives us proof of the spiritual things we can't see with our eyes.
*It shouldn't surprise us that there is an unseen spiritual world around us, because there are also many physical things we can't see. We can't see the future. We can't see the past. And our eyes can only see a small portion of the total spectrum that includes light.
*There are many unseen things around us. But Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is "the evidence of things not seen." Biblical faith gives us a revelation of the unseen world.
*James Merritt explained that: "Faith sees what the physical eyes cannot see. Faith sees the invisible, touches the intangible, hears the inaudible, and attempts the impossible. Our vision may be 20/20, but the eyes of faith can see farther, deeper, clearer, and better than our physical eyes will ever see." (2)
*"Faith is the evidence of things not seen." Faith opens us up to a whole new dimension in life. Faith opens us up to the most important things in life, because the most important things cannot be seen with our eyes.
*This is true in the physical world. We can't see air, but we can't live without it. I've never seen my heart, my kidneys or my liver, and I don't want to see them! But I sure am glad they are in here, doing their important work behind the scenes.