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From Valley to Victory (Part 5)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2019 2:00 am

From Valley to Victory (Part 5)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Here is what the Oxford dictionary said about pride is an overwhelming opinion of one's own quality all merits and my beloved friends. Pride is something we all have to deal with all the time. You see, it was pride that caused Adam and Eve to be thrown out of the garden. It was pride that keeps many people from coming to Christ. Pride prevents many people from accepting God's free gift of salvation. Pride keeps professing Christians from submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Pride blinds people as to the desperate need pride was a very thing that caused Lucifer the angel of light to become the father of lies. Pride hardened Pharaoh's heart and got him drenched in the registry. It was pride that dethroned King soul from the throne of Israel. But before I could going on this and explain what the apostle Paul is saying here about pride. I need to explain something about our use of the term pride. Sometimes we use it somewhat erroneously.

For example, a winter mean to say to one of our children and encourage them for what they those around proud of you, which I'm proud of you right what we often mean is that we are so glad that there work hard and accomplish something significant right. Without this explanation we make the mistake of developing in them. Ananias the wrong understanding.

A more accurate way of speaking to our children or grandchildren, as I was filling this just the other day to one of my grandchildren. Thank God for empowering you saying God for gifting you saying God for blessing you with a good mind and perseverance, except otherwise the pure human pride and this is where the distinctions going to come the pure human pride can become a snare for all of us pure human pride causes all sorts of strife.

I know you know experientially what I mean by this human pride ruins many a great relationship.

It keeps us from knowing God intimately causes us also's of isolation and loneliness. In fact, pride in itself can also cause us to steal the glory belongs to God alone and take the credit to ourselves. Pride causes self-centeredness. It produces a demanding spirit. It gives us an air of superiority sarcasm. A critical attitude of others.

Self-importance and on teachable spirit.

One of the ways to recognize pride. If you are constantly in a state of self-pity, saying occasional discouragements on not talk about that, I'm talking about constantly will me for me and constantly in the state of self-pity. Pride is a disease that everyone around is aware of except the person who has and that is why pride should be like a beer. It needs to be shaved every day and the last message from Romans two or three we saw the apostle Paul telling the self-righteous.

The religionists of his day. That's relying on the physical descendents from Abraham, relying on the mere knowledge of the law and relying on anyone or anything for salvation other than the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ on the cross will only lead to a false sense of security. Now here today in chapter 3, beginning in verse 19. Although I do for 25 he continues this this abusing them of their false sense of security.

It continues in that theme, but Paul said there is actually and here comes. There is actually good kind of pride.

The there is good pride. There is actually the right way to brag and it's okay to do that. There is a healthy way to be braggadocio's. Now it is not about your accomplishment is not about your achievement is not about what you have done or have not gone it is not about going through certain rights in certain rituals know and certainly it is not about who your ancestors are back in 1984 we almost moved to Virginia well when that was looked like a possibility, a friend of mine said to me said now if you gonna live in Virginia.

There are some things you need to know is that there are two groups of people in the world who worship their ancestors, the Buddhists and the Virginians and here the apostle Paul gives us for ways to rightly brag for ways to rightly be proud of four ways about our salvation, for which we can express absolute pride in verses 21 to 31 of chapter 3 is that you can brag about God who gave you salvation is a free gift. In verses 1 to 8 of chapter 4 is that you can brag about God's face, not yours. And thirdly, in verses 9 to 17 of chapter 4 is it you can brag about God's greatest letter works. And finally, verses 18 to 25 of chapter 4, he said you can brag about God's power.

You can brag about that God has done for you.

Look at with me please versus 21 all the way to 31 of chapter 3 question why is it why is it okay to brag about what God did, why is it we don't rub pride working. You took pride in that. This is how the best way I can explain this from the Scripture not from my own understanding. If you are standing on a high-rise building is cellular up on the study of 40th floor of a high-rise building a new looking down the street is a question now can you tell the difference between a 4 foot seven person and a 7 foot person. Can you know you can tell the difference because all the calamity is walking you can see, you can distinguish when God looks at his humanity when he looks down at his human creation. He sees all people all look alike to him. Nice people mean people look alike. Rich people, poor people. They look alike when God looks down. He doesn't see someone in the Valley and someone on the mountaintop because it doesn't make any difference with the person is in the value of the mountaintop.

If the goal is to reach the stars right amid the government top of the moment. He's going to jump as high as a guide in the Valley. If you want to reach the stars.

Neither of them can neither were the person in the value of an amount in Texas stars, but the goal is touching the start that salvation. If you want to be saved is like a person one of Dr. stars and the only way for anyone to be saved is to be able to touch the stars.

Hang in there with me.

I'm going somewhere with this okay we judge people on the basis of their social status. Are we judge him on the basis of what they've done know or how how much accomplish how famous they are or what their achievements may be, but as far as God's concern. The difference between these people is negligible is negligible. As soon infarct and a sinner.

Indeed, all in the same level to God.

Therefore God is the only one who can reach down and take the person's hand relays in the value of these in the mountaintop and stretch the time to reach the store.

Amen. God is only one computer. Look at verse 23 for all. Can you say all have sinned and fallen short of God's glorious ideal for all have sinned and because it is God who gives us the gift of salvation because it is God who reaches down and lifts us up. You cannot brag about how hot you can jump.

There was a film many years ago the white man can jump care of your man black man element agreement does matter.

You can jump you can jump that far and that is what you can brag about God's wonderful graciousness and lifting us up from the depths of our sin. And Paul is saying here all people Jewish people Gentile people, all people have sinned and are all in one boat and the boat was sinking. We all deserve judgment but God comes in and he gets a south of the sinking boat is 1/2 to God himself, becoming man is the only way that he comes and dies on the cross and sheds his blood to pay the price. Redeeming price of redeeming us from sin? Who gets out of that sinking boat getting heavier who gets out of the boat who doesn't really tell you from our point of view, not from God's point of view.

I'll get to that some other time in the epistle to the Romans.

From our point of view. Everyone who places his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ completely as his only Savior and Lord is pulled out of the boat that sinking boat. Are you with in Romans 324. He tells us that God's gift of salvation is totally undeserved. It is totally undeserved. You did not do anything to deserve it. I have cannot do anything until lifetimes to earn it and that is why I cannot brag about it. How can you brag about something that is given to you is nothing to do with and how can you brag about it. How can you brag about something that was handed to you. All you did this stretched her hand and took all who are have deep pride in the fact that I put my hands up in the wonderful the way up with my handout and is a wonderful that I took that gift now when it comes to our salvation from sin and judgment.

Boasting is unthinkable. Why, because God did it all safe with me because God did it all on the cross.

The king part of my crime on the cross. The King adopted me was a spiritually homeless on the cross. The king gave us his name on the cross. The king gave us his power on the cross. The king gave us his wealth on the cross, the king not only paid my debt, but he gave me untold and unlimited line of credit. Why, because the king not only washed myself, but he dress me up in the Royal government because the king not only broke away my chains, but he seated me down next to him therefore of nothing to brag about nothing to brag about except the cross of Jesus Christ people us people asked this question for many many. The question is how do I know that on saved. I want to give you a do-it-yourself test. Here's what the questions you should be asking yourself if you're not sure about your salvation. Do I love Jesus with all my heart.

Do I hate sin and are revolted by an adult about sin in my life.

Mother somebody else's and I cannot rest until I confess it and repent of it. Do I take credit for my salvation or boast only in the cross of Christ, do I have a genuine longing to spend time with the father.

Do I love serving him by serving his people in his church, growing in my intimacy with Jesus, do I love to bury the word of God the right pride is bragging about Jesus. I was thinking about this all week is the Lord whatever years of drought left for me on this earth I want to spend them bragging about Jesus.

I want to spend the brag about Jesus more than ever before in my life. Secondly, the right way to brag is about his faith, not yours. There are some people within evangelical tradition. Some some evangelical churches when you hear them talk about faith, you're left with the impression that the American face look like works is something you did when you listen carefully to them. It sounds like works faith. Beloved is not something you whip up and have faith that I think about that faith, we see that no because faith is a gift from God. When you ask for it, he'll give it to you. In fact, the entire fourth chapter of Romans, Paul uses Abraham as an illustration of salvation by faith alone, not works. To be sure, and versus 678 Romans four he shows and David here for good measure is a person who really so blessed and whose sins are forgiven and not counted against him, but it is Abraham that Paul is focusing on like a laser beam. Why, because in the Jewish literature in the time of Paul it was filled with how righteous and how wonderful and how good and how faith filled Abraham was most of this literature define Abraham's faithfulness as a form of good works that God looked down and saw Abraham how wonderful he is and then he chosen, and Paul wants to disabuse them of this.

Most of this literature gives all of the credit to Abraham not to go and that is why Paul is focusing really hard on Abraham. What is it mean the Jews in the first century believed that Abraham was justified because he was good you understand why is focusing on this thing and hammering away at it again and again and again, he immediately faces this heretical this erroneous thinking of erroneous teaching right headlong, especially since it wasn't Abraham's perfection that was credited to him. In fact, his faith was about as far from perfect as you get in Genesis 15 six 2000. Abraham believed God, and was credited to him.

It was reckoned to him is not something that he earned but is something given them as a gift credit as righteousness.

He was justified by faith before he did any work, good or bad. And so it is with you and so it is with me all that Abraham did his trusted God of Abraham did it to God at his word and don't ever forget. Don't ever forget that Abraham bungled them some bowls and stumbled, don't ever forget that he lied in his schemes and he tried to help God out and made a mess of things. Don't forget God gets all the correct not Abraham, but God kept him, allowing his grace to cover the shortfall's hip God to follow his grace to cover the shortfall of some evangelicals today as the Jews in the first century they doing the same thing about faith Mari face did this Mari face accomplish that. My faith healed my face did my faith. My faith protectively from if it's all your face. Who needs the Lord dried leaves and if you faith didn't beloved that is a wrong application of what faith is all about. I know when I get to heaven hungrily, followed by space as normal in the world and I'm deserving it is your face and brought me here. Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you Lord Jesus for giving me the faith to believe in you. Be redeemed this and you must understand, faith is a channel through which God works his redemption. Faith creates a convicted heart and stretches out the hand to receive salvation from his hand and because faith is a gift from God.

That is nothing to brag about except the cross of Christ and all is love the wisdom that comes out of their mouth read about this Sunday school teachers will stitching on-year-olds voting braggadocio sky put his chin up and he said to the boys as boys.

Why do people call me a great Christian. While there was silence in the classroom and finally Billy said maybe because they don't know you wisdom. Wisdom. Paul said Abraham had nothing to brag about four he was saved by grace alone through trusting of God which was gifted to him from God versus six and eight is a set Paul said David to were justified before God by God's face. You can brag about what God has done you can brag about God's face versus 9 to 17 of chapter 4. You can brag about God's grace received during Old Testament times, many rabbis would take something that is meant to be symbolic that God intended for it to be a symbol, a reminder assigned success with the word Sacramento was secular means assign this, nothing sacred about a sign is a sign says go this way and so many things in the Bible in the Old Testament God intended for it to be only symbolic but very twisted her and they made it to be necessary for salvation, just like the medieval church the medieval church was trying to concentrate the power in the hand of the church and in the hand of the priests. So what did they come up with a said the priest has the power to actually take the symbolic line in the symbolic bread and he actually can turn it into a real flesh and blood of Jesus.

They took something better symbolic under turn it into something necessary for salvation.

In this he can be saved without going to mass what did they mean by this wanted. They load people with the list of do's and don'ts of this and that and the other thing that was 600+ items that they had to deal with.

And that's why Jesus became angry with him for twisting the word of God.

Things were meant and intended by God to be symbolic to be a reminder to be a sign they turned it into something that is absolutely a burden and necessary for salvation.

Look at Romans four versus 9 to 17, Paul said Abraham was truly justified in the sight of God. Years before the symbol of circumcision. Here's to a justified before circumcision on this.

What he does. This balance if you know all the real descendent of Abraham, who are saved by faith like Abraham, not just the physical descendents of Abraham circumcision was only meant as an outward symbol is a reminder of God's calling for his people. It's a reminder for the privilege of being given the opportunity to know the one true God, the God of heaven and earth. Not only that Abraham were justified before circumcision, but he was justified 600 years before the law was given by Moses 600 years. It was not justified by the law.

He was justified by grace, my beloved friends.

The power of salvation is in God's grace alone.

Nothing mends reaching out and receiving that grace. But many people would love to give the credit to themselves. They really doing the whole denomination think it's a wonder that not all like that is a stretch, but had received the gift but there's more.

Abraham's faith in itself did not make him right with God.

It was reckoned to him.

It was credited to him. It was deposited in his account was that me that Abraham did not earn their salvation.

It is God who credited to him. If you work on the job and that's the argument Paul makes and you get a check every month so every week or whatever system you have, that's you and you want for that.

That's you, wages. But when it is given to you completely free then it is just credited to you without you having to do anything about when someone gives you credit without collateral what you call that I've heard it from evangelical preachers. God did his part and I did my part really human you equating what you did with what God did beloved that is in error and that is what keeping the church from being absolutely revived when it say more about this in a minute because Abraham valued that unspeakable gift because he valued this incredible grace of God. This unearned minutes in favor of God because he valued it so much that when God said to him, offer Isaac, the son of promise. He went ahead and redo it. He was willing to do it for God did not let them go through with it, but he was willing to do this all God will looking for is willingness who is willing to offer Isaac.

I'm sure Abram said well this is incredible.

I'm gonna watch the first resurrection in history, the got his gun raised Isaac from the dad, he's going to have a resurrection.

I don't know what or who you Isaac. Maybe you do.

I do question is this, can you truly trust God who gave you the greatest gift of all. That's a gift that cannot even be compared with anything in this whole world can you trust the God who gives you the gift of salvation so that you are willing to offer whatever your Isaac may be on the altar. Notice I said, willing God is one God dammit you got give you everything. Are you willing to place whatever it is that you're holding onto your cherishing so much on the altar. I'm absolutely convinced that if believers in the 21st century would value the gift of salvation enough if we are truly overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the gift of salvation. If we are truly thankful and grateful of this unspeakable gift of salvation. They would trust God, absolutely and fully with all of the Isaac's only when we get back to valuing to cherishing to trade your that incredible unspeakable gift. And when we do that we will see a revival like we have not seen in modern times. But the problem with the so-called evangelicals today is that they say I follow Jesus anti-wonderful listen to some of our follow Jesus. Isn't he lucky to have me really is just missing with discerning ears. I follow Jesus. Isn't he fortunate that I'm following him, follower of Jesus. Give me a break. Here's a said dilemma today because we do not value that unspeakable gift of salvation. We value our Isaac's more than the gift because we have devalued.

I don't know as I said who or what your Isaac may be you do it could be possessions or possession. It could be prestige of reputation. It could be business on the fourth, whatever it might be, you know, only you know is affecting you need to remind yourself every waking moment God is the one who gave you everything you have and he can take it back if he wants to Martin prayer that we in this place begin to truly value the gift of salvation that unearned credit that undeserved grace more than we value our Isaac's as we study through the book of Romans that we begin to move and trust God to move in our midst, so that he may get all of the glory not part of this is the only way I believe with all my heart that we gonna experience the untold blessings brag about what God has done brag about God's faith brag about God's grace falsely you can brag about God's power, not yours.

Look at verses 18 to 25. I often try to imagine when God changed Abraham the processes for his name was Avram. When God changes to Abraham which is the father of many. I can't imagine in my minds eye and I go back to that time in history, Abraham goes into a business meeting on an hour. They were trading camels are trading goats. Whatever they're selling and buying in his goes this business meeting, shaking hands, introducing himself hello on the father of many, father of many is only with the meaning of the workers on the father of many and the people would say all this is amazing how many children you have will none could imagine the snickering on the laughing behind his back. Can you imagine the gossip on the murmur that went on behind Abraham's back is the father of many, has no children but never have kept from trusting God, he kept on trusting in his promises to Capt. trusting in his word and the times when his trust faltered and folded many times the time when this faith weakens the time when he tried to help God out. He gave us a 4000 problem. But nobody can solve in the Middle East already told you that it wasn't his weak face that saved Abraham no, no it's God's faith that he gift to Abraham which sustained him. She Abraham new that is not by power nor by my but by the Spirit, says the Lord. He was hitting 100 and Sarah was hitting 90 there were ready for a nursing home another nursery, but he kept on trust. He kept on trust and remember this he did not have a Bible. He did not have a Bible study group to go to. He did not have a home group to go to. He did not have a Bible preaching a Bible teacher.

He had none of that. But Abraham knew enough about God that he gave him the gift of salvation for giving the gift of faith that he will keep his word.

You keep his word as if to say, I can trust him. I can trust in his power. I have seen this power he brought me out of her and he took me into Bethel.

He saved me in Egypt to strengthen me to take on four kings with their armies. He will not let me down. He will work his purposes out here will not slumber nor sleep he will never forsake me not forget. He is the God of all the earth is a God of justice and he will vindicate me vindicate his truth and no wonder Jesus said in John chapter 8 verse 56 Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and he was glad what God that he privileged Abraham just as he did with John.

The river later.

Later on here privileged Abraham to tear into the annals of history done in the future 2000 years. From that time he allowed them to see the future and to see the Messiah coming fulfilling the promises of God as he rejoiced in seeing that day and by faith. You look forward to it. Listen to them getting ready to close the God who has freely given you the gift of salvation, the God who has freely given you the gift of faith.

He wants you to trust him fully with all of the Isaac's that he has placed in your hands.

Can you truly say a fully trust him. He can say it with me. I may be a person here today are yet to trust the Lord Jesus for his salvation.

The very fact that you are here is that God has a plan for you and he wants you to hear his message of love and how his longing to give you the gift of salvation, and so as we pray, we can say Lord Jesus, open my heart to receive the gift but for those of us who have known him have experienced him even we experience the ups and downs of life and we saw him even in the midst of the tough times were cinnamon the good times receiving the bad times. He walked with us.

He sustained us for Us to this day when you say Lord I fully trust you, Lord Jesus, I pray in the name of the mighty unmatched unchanging Lord Jesus I pray in your name versus a person here today who has never heard and never committed, never received the gift.

This will be Thursday but for your children for been sitting under the word week after week day off today and then they become hardened to our pray in the name of Jesus that you give us one more chance one more opportunity that were ceased to be hardened apart that we will begin to truly, truly value the gift of salvation.

This in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit

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