Read Romans chapter 3
WHAT IS FAITH?
16-17 Paul speaking: “It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts Him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else!
God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along:
‘The person in right standing before God by trusting Him really lives.’ “
Faith is a word with many meanings. It can mean faithfulness (Matthew 24:45).
It can mean absolute trust, as shown by some of the people who came to Jesus for healing (Luke 7:2-10).
It can mean confident hope (Hebrews 11:1).
Or, as James points out, it can even mean a barren belief that does not result in good deeds (James 2:14-26).
What does Paul mean when, in Romans, he speaks of saving faith?
We must be very careful to understand faith as Paul intends because he ties faith so closely to salvation.
It is not something we must have in order to earn salvation—if that were true, then having faith would be just one more deed, and Paul clearly states that human deeds can never save us (Galatians 2:16).
Instead, faith is a gift God gives us because he is saving us.
8 “For by GRACE (unmerited favor) you have been saved through faith, AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. “
It is God’s grace, not our faith, that saves us.
In His mercy, however, when He saves us, He gives us faith and a relationship with His Son that helps us become like Him.
Through the faith He gives us, He carries us from death into life (John 5:24).
J.B. Phillips Translation
“And without faith it is impossible to please him. The man who approaches God must have faith in two things, first that God exists and secondly that it is worth a man’s while to try to find God.”
The Basis and Terms of the Gospel (3:21–31):
3:21 We now come to the heart of the Letter to the Romans, when Paul answers the question:
According to the gospel, how can ungodly sinners be justified by a holy God?
He begins by saying that the righteousness of God has been revealed apart from the law.
This means that a plan or program has been revealed by which God can righteously save unrighteous sinners, and that it is not by requiring men to keep the law.
Because God is holy, He cannot condone sin or overlook it or wink at it.
He must punish it. And the punishment for sin is death (eternal separation from God).
Yet God loves the sinner and wants to save him; there is the dilemma.
God’s righteousness demands the sinner’s death, but His love desires the sinner’s eternal happiness.
The gospel reveals how God can save sinners without compromising His righteousness.
This righteous plan is witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.
It was foretold in the types and shadows of the sacrificial system that required the shedding of blood for atonement.
And it was foretold by direct prophecies (see, e.g., Isa. 51:5, 6, 8; 56:1; Dan. 9:24).
3:22 Verse 21 told us that this righteous salvation is not obtained on the basis of law-keeping.
Now the apostle tells us how it is obtained—through faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith here means utter reliance on the living Lord Jesus Christ as one’s only Savior from sin and one’s only hope for heaven.
It is based on the revelation of the Person and work of Christ as found in the Bible.
Faith is not a leap in the dark. It demands the surest evidence, and finds it in the infallible word of God.
Faith is not illogical or unreasonable.
What is more reasonable than that the creature should trust his Creator?
Faith is not a meritorious work by which a man earns or deserves salvation.
A man cannot boast because he has believed the Lord; he would be a fool not to believe Him.
Faith is not an attempt to earn salvation, but is the simple acceptance of the salvation which God offers as a free gift.
Paul goes on to tell us that this salvation is to all and on all who believe.
It is to all in the sense that it is available to all, offered to all, and sufficient for all.
But it is only on those who believe; that is, it is effective only in the lives of those who accept the Lord Jesus by a definite act of faith.
The pardon is for all, but it becomes valid in an individual’s life only when he accepts it.
When Paul says that salvation is available to all, he includes Gentiles as well as Jews, because now there is no difference.
The Jew has no special privilege and the Gentile is at no disadvantage.
3:23 The availability of the gospel is as universal as the need.
And the need is universal because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Everybody sinned in Adam; when he sinned, he acted as the representative for all his descendants.
But men are not only sinners by nature; they are also sinners by practice. They fall short, in themselves, of the glory of God.
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Sunday, Nov 6
The Winning Walk
by Dr Ed Young
WHO NEEDS SAVING?
Imagine you are a sales representative with a big presentation to make.
You’ve prepared. You look your best.
You have all your ammunition ready. Landing this account could mean the difference between success and failure for your fledgling company.
Before you arrive in your potential client’s office, you make one last check in the restroom, only to discover an ink stain the size of a Frisbee on your crisp, white shirt.
Water won’t remove it. You don’t have another shirt. You try to hide it with your tie, but to no avail.
You are hopelessly, horribly stained, and there is nothing you can do to remove the mark.
Every single man and woman alive is sin-stained.
We are not able to remove the blot of sin on our lives, no matter what method we try.
But many people resist the idea that they need to be saved from sin.
“Saving” is for other people-people whose marks are more obvious than their own.
But the Bible says all of us have sinned, and fallen short of the mark of perfection required by a holy God.
There are four realities that sinners like you and me need to know.
First, the stain of sin is permanent. It will not improve on its own, nor be removed by human effort.
Second, inspection day is coming. You have an appointment with the Lord God Almighty who judges sin, and there is no escaping that appointment.
Third, there is only One who can remove the stain of sin. Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God is equipped to cleanse it.
Finally-and best of all-Jesus is in the cleaning business! Jesus’ clean-up procedure is called salvation, and it takes place when a man by faith receives Jesus Christ into his life.
“Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe. Sin had left its crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.”
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Come join the Adventure!