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Summary: Paul stresses the foolishness of trying to get into heaven by our own efforts

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WHY WORKS WON”T WORK

Romans 4:1-15

Old story of frog that jumped in a bucket of milk. Instead of just giving up the frog began to swim and swim and swim. The frog swam so much that the milk turned to butter and the frog hopped out of the bucket. Great story about working so had that you eventually get to where you want to go.

Old adage that most people get money the old fashion way, ‘they earn it’. Something I read this week that the very wealthy get money the real old fashion way, ‘they inherit it’.

In God’s economy of righteousness we can never earn it but can only inherit it through the righteousness of Jesus Christ by faith.

• Going to take a deeper look at the issue of Justification by Faith: Theological explanation in chapter 3:21-31. Chapter 4 Paul gives us a practical example out of the OT.

1) Two individuals who were important in Jewish life: Abraham & David

• Paul shows us how amazing God’s saving grace really is. The Jews needed to understand the truth about grace also. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT GRACE!

JOHN NEWTON: Wrote many books, sermons & hymns. His most famous was ‘Amazing Grace’. Newton’s life proved the truth of that song.

He lived a very troubled life: Had a very godly mother but a wicked father who was often off to sea and then came home to live a wicked life.

Newton’s mother prayed for him and committed him to the Lord but John himself became a sailor on a slave ship and became involved in that terrible world.

Eventually he himself became a slave to a slave and found himself chained to a table and living off the scraps thrown to him.

Newton was given a book written in the 1400’s by Thomas A’kempis who at age 20 entered a monastery for 71 years. IT was called AN IMITATION OF CHRIST

Escaped to a passing ship and then while on the top deck during a ferocious storm he was swept overboard. He cried out to God and another huge wave washed him back upon deck.

His life was never the same.

‘Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see”

Newton understood GRACE

• Paul has attempted in the first 3 chapters of Romans to make us all understand that we are all in the same category and in need of Salvation. ALL WRETCHES/Donohue

1) We may be a good wretch or a bad wretch(Linda the good witch-a witch is a witch)

We all fall short of God’s standard and need to be saved through Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:23 All have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.

SINNED IN ADAM Romans 5:12 – Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.

SINNED PERSONALLY: Romans 7:19-23 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

If you pay only the minimum payment it can take someone an average of 20 years to pay off the balance of just one credit card debt.

God can pay off your debt of sin in a moment based upon Christ’s finished work on the cross.

None of us can work our way into God’s good standing.

No amount of good works could do it or my mom would be in.

Aunt’s Funeral: When their mother was sick, three of the five girls took turns sitting with her at the hospital. My mom took one turn and the youngest sister another and then in the nighttime Aunt Johnny came, the sister whose funeral it was would sit. After a few nights of doing this Johnny came to the hospital an sat in the same room she always had. The lights were always kept off so not to disturb their mother’s sleep. Johnny sat with her all night and when the nurse came in the morning Johnny discovered that their mother had been moved earlier in the day and that she sat up all night comforting a woman she did not know. The woman shared how grateful she was.

Ronnie Lott: Played for the 49ers and was injured during one of the years they were striving to win another Super Bowl. His injury would mean that he would miss a total of 8 weeks.

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