Abraham's Faith, Part III
Paul has presented the case that as sinners, we are saved by a gracious gift from God that is received by faith alone. In this text, Paul is going to defend the truth that salvation is a supernatural work that only God can provide to the sinner through the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
Abraham's Faith, Part II
Does God intend for salvation and forgiveness of sins to be received by individuals that are willing to work for it - or by those that will receive salvation as a free and undeserved gift from God? In this text, Paul shows us that no one can satisfy the perfect standards of God. The promise of God is null and void if we depend upon our efforts, for they fall radically short of perfection. Those who are saved receive new life from God by grace alone through faith alone.
Abraham's Faith, Part I
Paul has shown all humanity that we are sinners. He has proclaimed the glorious Gospel, that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in the work of Christ alone. Now Paul is going to put skin on his theology. Paul will use Abraham, the Jews picture of how to be right with God, and show them the Abraham was not reconciled to God by works but instead was justified by faith.
Righteous By Faith
Paul has finished his preparatory work. He has shown every human being that we are sinners, deserving of the wrath of God. Now, Paul is ready to reveal the Good News of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. In this text Paul reveals the amazing realities we possess when we look to Jesus by faith. Jesus is presented as the propitiation for sins, our Redeemer and the only source of justification. The result, we boast in Christ who alone can save a sinner.
Guilty: Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt
In this text, we encounter the climax of human sinfulness. Paul has been building his case against all humanity, that we are all sinners, desperately in need of salvation. This final blow leaves every human guilty before God, preparing us to hear the Good News that God has accomplished and provided salvation in Christ alone. When we correctly see our guilt before God, we are ready to look to Jesus as our Savior.
One of the most common and dangerous mistakes made by human beings is false assumptions. First, we make false assumptions about the character and nature of God. Secondly, we make false assumptions about God's Word and will. The result is that these false assumptions lead to a life lived in contradiction to the intended will of God for our lives. In this text, Paul warns of the danger of false assumptions and calls us to rightly know God and His Word.
Wise Stewards of Our Time
As we embark upon a New Year, it is timely for us to be reminded that this life is short. We must be good stewards of the time that God has entrusted to us. Good stewards do several things: they get rid of the "junk", they spend regular time in the Word, they are committed to prayer, they are constantly reminded of the essentials of the Gospel and who they are in Christ, and finally they are committed to taking the Gospel to others in need of salvation in Christ alone.
God With Us
Too often we fail to live our daily lives with the reality that God is not far from us, uninterested or disengaged in our lives. On the contrary, the Bible teaches us that we should live moment by moment understanding the truth that God is with us. How would our lives change if we lived with this reality that God is with me every moment of everyday? That's what we consider in this sermon as we celebrate Christmas.
Jesus makes the bold claim that He alone is the way to reconciliation with God, forgiveness and eternal life in heaven. However, mankind throughout history has attempted to find safety, security and salvation in things that offer nothing more than artificial safety. Paul confronts our efforts to trust in things such as legacy, knowledge and ritual and instead calls us to faith in Christ alone.
All Judged By the Law
As Paul continues the preparatory work of the Gospel, he directs the readers attention to the truth that the coming Judgment of God will be according to God's Law. Paul reveals the reality of universal human sinfulness, in that every person has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The coming Judgment applies to both Jew and Gentile, no one is exempt. Paul's goal is to help ever person be honest in our predicament before God and look to Jesus as our only hope of salvation.
Paul continues in the task of preparing people to hear and embrace the Good News of the Gospel by revealing the truth that a day of judgment is coming. There will be no excuses to offer on behalf of ourselves at this judgment. Paul pleads with sinners to not abuse the patience of God, for those outside of Christ will be judge by the works and deeds their lives have produced. This judgment comes from an impartial, righteous and holy Judge. The Good News is that we can be ready for this day only by resting and trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Paul begins the necessary work of preparing people to hear the Good News of the Gospel. The first necessary step in that process is revealing to sinners that we are without excuse before a holy and righteous God. As the wrath of God is revealed, sinful humanity attempts to suppress the truth, resulting in an ever-increasing progression of sin. This truth must cause us to stop, evaluate our lives and look to Jesus alone for salvation.
The Gospel's Expectations