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March 10, 2021 12:00 am
Back to the Old Testament and men like Abraham, how was Abraham say how was he justified. So what does the Bible the last part of verse three Paul quotes directly from the Old Testament Scriptures and rights. Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. That is his faith alone was the means of justification. Justification is that legal act whereby God extracts from you your sinful record and imputes you the record of Christ's right in God's word is this salvation is not something we can earn or obtain through our own efforts. Justification is by faith alone in saying that we need to know that the same is true for the Old Testament saints like Abraham today on wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi were beginning a series called father Abraham, but don't turn to the book of Genesis.
Instead, turn your attention to the book of Romans.
In today's passage from Romans four Paul uses Abraham as an illustration of justification by faith here. Stephen Paul has completed his introduction of this letter is stated as major premise, which is the just shall live by what by faith. Now in chapter 4 he will move out of the theological classroom and Hill is a more go outside and take a breath of illuminating air. He will move from simply the proposition of truth to the illustration of truth and Romans chapter 4 is nothing but a long illustration start with verse one what then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the – has found you can read it this way. What then shall we say that Abraham has discovered what is the truth and the life of Abraham. In other words, Paul is going to now use Abraham as an illustration of the truth of justification by faith and is asking his reader. Is this what Abraham discovered as well. Know why would you use Abraham as an illustration of justification by faith. There are several reasons why believe them to give you five of them number one Abraham lived 2000 years before Paul wrote this letter.
You might think what I did. A good reason, is a bad reason will actually it's a good reason Paul will use Abraham to counter the claim that he began to counter back in the early part of chapter 1 that the gospel of faith in the redemptive plan of God was no this was somehow some new creative fabrication of a man I used to be a Pharisee was now a follower of Christ some new thing Paul will say not that I knew because all the way back to the time of father Abraham fact in Galatians 3 and we will turn there for the sake of time at Abraham were told was given special revelation from God by Jesus Christ himself. The stunning revelation. He writes in the Scripture for seeing that God would justified by faith, preached the gospel before hand to Abraham so hundreds of years before the law was given hundreds of years before the prophet Micah told us where Jesus would be born in Bethlehem that is Micah 52 before Isaiah wrote about what the Messiah would look like in how we would serve in Isaiah 53 before David told us how the Messiah would die by crucifixion in Psalm 22, hundreds of years before any of this was written down.
Abraham received the special revelation from God concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. That means that is the gospel as a change for 4000 years, while the Old Testament same would look forward to the coming of the Messiah in the New Testament same look backward to the fact that the Messiah has come, the gospel remains the same. So Abraham becomes wonderful illustration for everyone. Second reason Paul uses Abraham, is because Abraham is the forefather of God's chosen people, Abraham is in effect 1 June simply a transliteration of the word Judah from his loins will come. The Hebrew race. So what was true regarding the forefather's relationship with God should then be fulfilled in the lives of the descendents of the forefather in relation to God.
Paul said himself in Galatians 37. Therefore, you can be sure that it is those who are of faith who are the sons of Abraham to not only for the Jew or Gentile. Those who are of the true faith, are in effect related to the father of Romans 411. There were you're looking Paul will say that Abraham is the father of all believe so. In other words, we better figure out what Abraham believed third. Along the same line reason Abraham was used as he's a perfect example because of the fact that he was known as the friend of God, the friend of God.
Three times Abraham is referred to as God's friend.
King Jehoshaphat prayed in second Chronicles chapter 20 verse seven. Did you not God drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people and give it to the descendents of Abraham by friend God is quoted by the prophet Isaiah, saying the new Israel, my servant Jacob whom I have chosen descendent of Abraham, my friend.
Isaiah 41 eight the third time was in James 223 where we read that Abraham was called the friend of God. Imagine having that title God's friend. We get all bent out of shape about who we know and what name we can drop and who knows us and how important they are.
Imagine going down in world history as the man whom God had for a friend. God says Abraham. Oh yeah he's my friend, is the title just for Abraham known in the book of John chapter 15 were told that Jesus came to lay down his life for his friends.
He told his disciples no longer called servants, but my friend, God can say of you and me.
Stephen is my friend Susan Bill Cindy John whoever those who place their faith in the redemptive person and plan of God. God can say all yeah he's my friend and you can say is the ultimate name drop, you can say God is a close personal friend. So the question would be how did Abraham become God's friend. If we can figure that out. Maybe we can figure out how we can be his friend to. That's why Abraham is a wonderful illustration of: rooms for the fourth reason I believe Paul chose Abraham because Abraham was also revered as the model of faith will talk about Amanda faith on what Abraham you want talk to a Jew about faith, living talk about Abraham and the law. Listen up. John MacArthur rodent in a powerful summary of his commentary on Romans. These words he rode by using Abraham as the supreme scriptural example of justification by faith alone. Paul was storming the very citadel of traditional Judaism for the Abraham could be shown as not having been justified by keeping the law, then no one could.
Conversely, if Abraham was justified solely on the basis of his faith in God than everyone else must be justified in the same fifth. Abraham was chosen as the example of justification because he was considered by the nation, already is a man possessing righteous and this is one of the key issues. By the way the pose you want to clear up by the time of Paul, the rabbis, and so develop the myth of the legend of Abraham that they were believing all sorts of fanciful thing they believed and taught that Abraham was justified or made right with God simply because Abraham was already righteous. Several Jewish apocryphal books taught that Abraham was justified because he kept God's law and one book called Ecclesiasticus the 44th chapter Abraham said would become right with God because of his obedience.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the foundation of all true error that we all false religion all those who claim to know the truth and have the truth, but missed it by a mildly seem to be close, but when you dissect their theology. It is a religion of works, but they taught here the book of Jubilee written in 100 BC recorded quote for Abraham was perfect in all of his deeds with the Lord and well pleasing in righteousness all the days of his life. In other words, he never sinned, so perfect was Abraham considered to be by the Jewish people that in another book, the prayer of Manassas. It was recorded that Abraham never needed to repent so you can see how over the years, the legend of Abraham, a grown, so Paul is to show that this man around in such a legend swirled this man had to be justified by faith wasn't good enough turnabout works enjoyed about him. It would certainly be true for all of so is a perfect example. One would rabbinical writings was popular during the time of Paul claimed that Abraham was so inherently good to begin serving God when he was only three years of age that he was going to be one of a handful of men who would bring back God's Shekinah glory to the tabernacle. So by the time of Paul.
The majority of the people believe that Abraham was chosen by God to be the father of the nation because he was worthy of being chosen.
So Paul is going to to choose.
Perhaps the leading candidate of human history to be considered worthy of salvation because anybody can work his way to heaven. It's Abraham. If anybody deserves to be the friend of God.
It is this righteous man. So Paul writes in verse two of Romans chapter 4 now if Abraham was justified by works well you something to boast about implied and so do you any ads but not before God. Now every Jew his ears up for what does the Scripture say Abraham believed God, it was credited to him as righteousness, that the one who works, his wages not credited as a favor, but as what is due, but to the one it does not work but believes in him justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteous now want to underline every critical string of words.
It's a phrase that will put to death. All heresies and all religious imaginations into it's a phrase that we read of my college critical certainly but it's a phrase here. The Paul nearly shouts, as it were.
In verse three. What does the Scriptures say, what do they say what is the Bible. So how do you become a friend of God. The Bible say I don't care what your opinion is, and you shouldn't care what my opinion is what does the Bible say you have Earhart cleansed of guilt. How can you have your conscience cleanse. What is the Bible say I have and what is the Bible say Paul is pulling them back to the text of Scripture. All of the fanciful imaginations are worthless in light of one little piece of inspired text.
I was in the grocery store last night picking up some aspirin for sick children was doing my favorite thing in the liner look at all the tabloids amazing. Dear baby born.
There's a picture of a little baby with antlers estimate a painful delivery some amazing people actually buy that stuff near the counter were series of smaller books and one caught my eye.
The cover said how to find God exactly what I needed picked it up, opened it, my eyes fell on these words, there is no one formula for finding God is everywhere and everyone. There's no one formula for finding God in a wonderful everybody gets in the matter what you believe what you do what you say which hotel your is everywhere, is already in the biggest problem that I have with that is not that that's what the world is teaching. I expect the world to believe that they want to get in God's comfortable with them, one that they can through their own convoluted theology create to meet their own set of needs.
That's the kind of God. The world is always pursuing but what really bothers me is that that kind of biblical illiteracy has crept its way into the church US the average church or what they may believe that some religious topic and will give you their opinion but then you ask them what is the Bible teach in a safe. That's not for me about a biblical expert is for you. The Bible teaches opinion, the average Bible study today is a scenario where people sit around a group universe are doing and spend an hour talking about what it means to them.
Doesn't matter what it means to you until you first discovered what it means right fact what it means. You may leave you so far away from what it means to be let all sorts of delusions, deceptions I have had homosexuals, lesbians, adulterers, fornicators, all tell me at some point in my brief years of ministry. The guy was on her side, God was in her lifestyle that God was blessing them to God was confirming in her heart that her choices were not sinful, so self deceived.
I remember one woman who admitted to me after repenting of her immorality with a married man that they had been so self deceived that today would sneak away and meets they would actually get on her knees and pray together and thank God for their relationship and Internet the light.
What does the Bible say further you get away from the word of God, the more open you are that roaring lion Romans about seeking somebody to discredit somebody to destroy somebody to devour to chew up and spit out we have on this campus today. Probably for 500 students who are about to begin a new year only ask you question is can run your life. You justify cheating, lying, promiscuity, general rebellious heart. Are you going to say, live it with the Bible says dear manager Sir who governs your financial dealings who's involved in the contractor trying to get somebody to sign who oversees your telephone conversations who is honored by your work. What does the Bible say God happens to have told everyone of us to become workmen in the word get out your pick Dr. shovel become a workmen in the words so that you will not be ashamed not discredited will be able to interpret the divide to understand the Scripture word of truth. Second Timothy 215. Apart from what the word of God says we can believe anything a member some time ago, a woman coming into my office didn't attend here, but she had a normal books on divorce. She left her husband, she was involved immorally with a man was married. She just wanted to come in and get my blessing. I suppose she brought her books and set them on the edge of my desk convinced that I should be able to tell her that what she was doing was right. I looked at the books they were all encouraging. Of course, are choices written by clergyman pseudo-scholars told me a lot about your opinion, but nothing about the word, and so I just peruse one quickly set it back down to begin to talk to her about her own relationship with Jesus Christ you claim to be a Christian, God was blessing this would begin to share the gospel with her on never forget the spirit of God penetrating her heart. After an hour or so. Tears of repentance streamed down her cheeks.
She said she wanted to give her heart and life to Christ to become truly born again, she did.
She left Fenimore relationship recommended the church nearby where she was baptized and discipled for. She slipped off my radar screen. I heard she was in the process of reconciling with her husband Paul is saying to the Saudi families fanciful ideas and good, you want to do anything makes you feel good, but their dangerous beliefs and reality will lead you away from the God of Abraham, not toward him. So what does the Bible say the last part of verse three Paul quotes directly from the Old Testament Scriptures and rights. Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
That is his faith alone was the means of justification. Justification is that legal act whereby God.
At one moment in time extracts from you your sinful record and imputes to you deposits in the you the record of Christ's righteous in the midst of extracting from you your sinful record and watching it clean and imputing to your right is in between that point in time it happens in a second of time you cannot do anything you can get baptizing and giving money away can join the church again. The legal act of God wastelands his gavel down upon his divine desk and he says you are no longer viewed by me as a sinner but is one covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ now was Abraham a righteous because he deserved it. What is the Bible say let's take the remainder of our time and just go to Genesis and find what the Bible said about Abraham's life. Was he a man of such sinlessness that he never needed to repent was a man of such great faith that he was worthy to be called the father of the faithful is that why he got the title.
I want you to look at chapter 12 verse 10 there now there was a famine in the land. This is after Abram follows Laura Wade out and Abram then went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.
That's a problem, rather than trusting God remaining there were God and called him.
He decides to go to Egypt that's mistake and it came about when he came near to Egypt that he said to Sarah, his wife, see now I know that you are a beautiful woman and it will come about when the Egyptians see you that they will say this is his wife and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you and that I may live on account of you know this wasn't necessarily a lie it was but it was half way through Genesis 20 were told that she was his half-sister. They have the same biological father since hundreds of years before the law was given was also in an economy where God didn't have the penalties for those mirroring the family members, and certainly not the biological problems related to the fact this is the way that be because where did Cain get his wife sister all of human history came from Adam and Eve.
By the way is one of the great miracles.
To me of the early days the sister would ever be willing to marry her brother that's that's an amazing what an embarrassment to the one who considered Abraham to be an incredible man of faith. It is not trusting God immediately after being called. He now goes to Egypt and now is lying is telling us is why I have so I'll put you in jeopardy but one would be the woman of the mother can't help but sympathize a little bit though we know that the common practice in this day was a Pharaoh wanted a married woman. He respected the institution of marriage enough to kill her husband together. That was what would happen so verse 14 tells us that when Abram came into Egypt. The Egyptians, all of the woman was very beautiful there's official saw her and praised her to Pharaoh. Abraham knew that would happen and the woman was taken in the Pharaoh's house. Now Abraham didn't necessarily anticipate that he just want to live.
Now she's been taken. We know from the custom of the day is especially that delineated in the book of Esther the she would be in the harem for 12 months, at least before she would be touched by the Pharaoh and an official member of the harem.
In the meantime, here's Abraham wonder what it does now his wife gone to the member of the harem she's being prepared for 12 months.
In the process he keeps getting these gifts from Pharaoh cattle closing in joules and I can imagine my mind him getting another shipment of cattle and there's a note attached from Pharaoh saying oh I am so glad you came to town that sister of yours while in Fremont.
She's my he didn't expect this. Here's the great father of faith, the great man of faith.
Is it where is he just an ordinary human being to God chose by his grace to justify he had failed miserably in his faith he was dishonest now is in deep trouble.
Hope comes in verse 17, but the Lord is a great phrase there. But the Lord had intervene look at a room to go to Pharaoh say by the way, just collide alike my wife back would like to leave I like the cattle you give me to feel my know the Lord intervened and struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarah Abram's wife and Pharaoh called Abram and said what is this you have done to me. Why did you not tell me that she was your wife why did you say she is my sister so that I took from my wife now then here is your wife take her and go there's a pagan correcting believer tragic so he goes back and goes back to Bethel he calls upon the name of the Lord. The next chapter tells us that as he repents. He confesses this telecommand is justified by means of his perfect life. What is the Bible's is justified in the same way we are by the act of God through means of faith in his word. There are several consequences.
By the way from Abramson. I can help. Go to this passage as I do at least tell you this much probably know the story. First of all, he missed the experience of faith, he missed the reward faithful living from this period of time is life feed and stated he altered Bethel even though it is in the middle of the famine. The Angels were ready with a recipe for math the rocks there, ready to gush forth water mist. So we ladies and gentlemen we choose our own way. When we do the exact opposite of the Scripture we read when we lean on our own understanding miss some of the great triumphs. Another consequence was a marked increase in possession say house a consequence well. Unlike the mantra of today, especially the church could be a curse. It would cause in Abraham's life, a terrible rift where he and Lot were unable now to take care of their possessions and their cattle to leave one another.
Never think it's inevitable that when you grow Rich. It is the blessing of God in the middle of Canaan in the midst of a famine living hand to mouth. Abraham was was experiencing as it were, the rich blessing of God in the middle of Egypt, out of the will of God. He was growing rich. One more problem. I just want to mention leave it when Abram and Sarai left Egypt they went along. They took a number of people with them. Among them was a little made girl helped Serra in Egypt and her name was Hagar.
All later in another moment of unbelief and distrust in the promise of God to provide a son. Abraham would take matters into his own hands.
He would have relations with Hagar and she would bear a son and that son would grow up and be the father of the Arab peoples who 5000 years later still troubling is in the newspapers every day. Why was Abraham justified because he was perfect because he was sinless because he was in no need of repenting was he continually faithful rabbi or no rabbi, scholar or no scholar what Paul says, does the Bible say over chapter 15 of Genesis verse six. Here's where Paul quotes the text of Scripture.
Then Abraham believed in the Lord and he reckoned it to him as a righteous father Abraham is a wonderful illustration of the grace of God and simply calling out by the choice of God redeeming by the grace of God means business of that transaction being the faith that one called of God. So Abraham placed his faith in the word of God and God's redemptive plan and maybe will take a little more time. Next time to talk about the gospel which came to Abraham and how Abraham believed in Jesus Christ is justified the same way you and I are justified by faith in the redemptive plan in person of Jesus Christ. Father Abraham is a wonderful illustration true. I have been reading widely for these studies and what you put your things away. I'm gonna redo just the words of the poem written in the 1800s that I think sums it up so well. The poem says this not what these hands have done can save this guilty soul, not what this toiling flesh has born can make my spirit whole, not what I feel or do can give me peace with God. Not all my prayers in size and can bear my awful load by work alone. Christ can ease this way. This thy blood of the Lamb of God can give me peace thy grace alone to me heart's thy power alone, O son of God in this sore bondage.
Break, I bless the anointed one, of God I rest on love divine, faltering lip heart. I call this save my poem and this lesson from Romans four. This is wisdom for the hard with Stephen Devi. Today's lesson has the same title as the series father Abraham, one of the things that we enjoy most here at wisdom international is hearing from you, our listeners. If you have a few minutes today send Stephen a card or letter you can address it to wisdom for the hearts. PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. I know it's hard to write that fast so I'll give you the address again. It's wisdom for the hearts. PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. You can also communicate with us electronically. We have a form on our website that you can send us a message in our website is easy to remember. It's wisdom online.org or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org join us next time. For more wisdom