Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Genesis 15:1-6
Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”
But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children. Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”
Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.
Theme. Last week Paul challenged the Church of Rome about ignoring God. This week Paul tackles the human condition of self-righteousness.
The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation. ~ Charles Spurgeon
New Testament reading: Romans 3:21-31
But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the Law and the Prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance He had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that He himself is righteous and that He justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that or works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of the Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and He will justify the circumcision on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
These Gentiles don’t have the law, and we can tell. Look at them, but even worse, you Jews do have the Law, and we can’t tell that you have it. It apparently makes no difference in our lives. What we really need in life is a right relationship with God.
~ D. Moore
Jesus is righteousness. He is the right relationship with God. All Prophets were waiting for Jesus, pointing to Jesus, and now here He is, righteousness for all who believe. ~ D. Moore
So, the object of faith is Jesus, our efforts to save ourselves will never be effective. It is about whether we know Jesus or not, whether we have allowed Him into our lives to rule. This right relationship with God (righteousness) is freely given. ~ D. Moore
It is Christ’s faith that saves us. ~D. Moore
If our relationship with God hangs on the knife’s edge of our beliefs, we’re all in real trouble. Doubts then can rattle us, we don’t feel God like we did last year, and then we panic. We have turned faith into work. Faith is the pathway through which we receive salvation, it in itself is not salvation. Jesus is salvation.
The man who has faith is the man who is no longer looking at himself, and no longer looking to himself… He looks entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, and He rests on that alone. ~Martin Lloyd Jones
The Cross is so vital to understanding God. God is both sacrificial love and holy anger against evil. Jesus voluntarily took our place on the Cross and He paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Jesus restores our freedom and gives us His right relationship with God. Justice and love meet on the cross. Paul says, “It was to prove at the present time that He himself is righteous and that He justified the one who has faith in Jesus.” ~ D. Moore
If we desire that there be no boasting except in the cross, then we must live near the cross – indeed we must live on the cross. ~John Piper
It was not the people or the Roman soldier who put Jesus on the cross – it was your sins and my sins that made it necessary for Him to volunteer His death. ~Billy Graham
In summary, all the work that we depend on, all the righteousness we have is all about what God has done for us. We are to live our lives gratefully.
This week: think about what occurred on the Cross. Pray for a grateful heart.