Summary: Faith in God and the finished work of Jesus on the cross brings the Spirit of God, Who brings the Love of God, which brings the Hope of God...
Title: Why Faith?
Scripture: Romans 4:1-8
4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. 3 What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." 4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
What then shall we, after some 2,000 years later, say? The Apostle Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, verse 13,
(1 Corinthians 13:13) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What then shall we say? If the greatest of these is love, why does Paul tell us in Ephesians 2:8-9,
(Ephesians 2:8-9) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
and then in 2 Corinthians
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.
Instead of saying through faith why doesn’t Paul say through love? And, you know, there are other instances in the Bible where we see that God’s initial action was love. And, there are other instances in the Bible where we see men responding to God in love. So why not say that it is love of and for God that we are saved? And, since we’re on the subject of comparisons, then why not a multitude of other things as well? There’s of course, love, the Law, hope, works, tradition, longevity (working longer than others), seniority, and, yes, even being a team player. Oh, and don’t forget the big supporters, those that spend a lot of time or a lot of money.
Yes, there are a lot of things that we think should come first. I mean why not? Why can’t it be that way?
You know what? If I was running this world, there’d be a lot less of this and more of that. If I was in charge, there’d be more of those and a lot less of these. If I was the number one man here, there would more of this kind and less of that kind. Blah, blah, blah, blah…Most of the time people don’t even know what the word means, or entails. They don’t even know the definition of Faith.
What is faith? What does it mean to put your faith in someone? First of all, faith is having a confident belief in the truth, value or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or a thing. And, that belief does not even need to rest upon logical proof or material evidence.
The Christian’s faith in God is a confident and secure believe in Jehovah God, and a trusting acceptance of His will for our lives.
What is faith?
......................The sum of these equals faith!
But, how is it that faith stands alone? How is it that faith can even stand against other so-called ‘pillars’ of those ivory towers named morals and ethics?
Our points today are in response to this and are a little simple, but nonetheless make us think, “Why Faith?”
I. Faith vs. the Law
II. Faith vs. hope
III. Faith vs. works
IV. Faith vs. tradition
V. Faith vs. love
I. Faith vs. the Law
The law was first, wasn’t it? Why doesn’t following the law win out over faith? Why doesn’t following God’s commands and instructions for my life come first?
Many nations have people that elect presidents and representatives to govern their country. They vote, but their candidate doesn’t get elected. So, for the next few years, there are rules and laws that may be made by those certain people in the government. They were not elected by all of the people, but ALL of those people will still have to follow those rules or be judged guilty for breaking those rules or laws.
I can follow the rules and I can follow all of the laws, but I may have no faith in that rule or law. Not only may I not have faith in the people that were elected, but I may not have faith in the very law itself that was written to protect me.