Monday, August 26, 2019

By Grace ... Through Faith

Romans 1 - Gentiles are without excuse (had some light) - rejected the light that they had.
Romans 2 & 3 - Jews are without excuse (had a great deal of light) - manipulated, danced around, didn't live up to the light they were given.
Summary = Rom. 3:23  ALL

BAD NEWS!!!  Sin separates, brings Wrath + Condemnation!! 
AND it is (1) Universal + Irreparable!!  Example:  the gap in the bridge illustration.  Talking about the relationship we were created to have with God.  Irreparable due to sin.

BUT ... There is Good News!!  Rom. 3:20-24
On one hand, sin and separation = Universal and Irreparable
However, forgiveness and Reconciliation is Available!!  (relationship restored)

So.... How to access this Bridge?  God's Presence?

Some Common (American) answers:

(1)  Atheist view = is no God, no bridge, no need

(2)  Agnostic view = can't know so why bother?

(3)  Apathetic view = don't know, don't care

(4)  Good Works view - examples:  (a)  tip the scales argument  (b)  better than Joe Blow argument  (c)  God know my heart argument  (good old boy)

(5)  Salvation by affiliation view = I'm a Jew!  American, Catholic, my daughter goes to church.

(6)  Universalist view = I'm OK, you're OK, God = grandfather!!  Includes "reconciliation by death" - no matter how you lived your life, when you die you go to heaven!

(7)  Biblical View - by Grace (freely given) ... through Faith.

Paul gives that view with 2 Old Testament character illustrations:
#1.  Abraham - Rom. 4:1-5 - "believed"   "credited"  (counted, calculated)
Note:  faith and believing are the same word in the Greek.

#2.  David - Rom. 4:6-8

In the Old Testament, Salvation = by faith!!! Trusting God AS HE HAD Revealed Himself!!

In the New Testament, Salvation = by faith trusting God AS HE HAD Revealed Himself!!

Only difference - N.T. revelation makes it clear that Jesus is LORD and CHRIST!!! - Acts 2:36

Nearly 200 times in the New Testament, FAITH is declared to be the Sole condition for salvation.
Examples from John:
John 1:10-13
John 3:16-18
John 3:36
John 6:40
John 11:25-26
John 20:30-31

Define this "faith  (Reformers definition)  (MRP adaptation)
Biblical faith requires....
(1)  (proper) Content - means more that just believe = believe the right stuff!   Acts 2:36

(2)  (personal) Assent  (agreement)  Acts 2:37

(3)  (active) TRUST  more than head = hands!!! Example:  the demons believed Acts 2:41-42 and they weren't saved.
Acronym = C A T  - if don't have this, not FAITH!!

Therefore:  Salvation = by Grace through Faith.
Are no works required?  Answer - yes, no, yes....

On one hand, you must receive the Gift.  Compare to a check:  must receive, endorse, deposit it!
However, No!!!  Nothing beyond that is required!!

BUT, if there are no subsequent works - is NOT Biblical faith.  Not works to BE saved, but works AFTER saved.
C.A.T. - Active Trust!!!

Note:  Matt. 7:20
           Matt. 3:7-8
           James 2:14-26

Yes, it is Salvation - BY Grace ... Through Faith!!  (apart from works)

BUT!!!  "faith without works is dead"
or  Col. 2:6

Closing Scripture:  Heb. 11:1-2,6

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