Faith is the Grace of God Working in Us<br />Romans 4:18-24 January 02, 09 Two Thousand and Eleven<br />18 Who against hope 1680 believed 4100 in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed 4690 be.<br />Again from the human perspective, it seemed impossible. Having shown that justification is through faith not works, and that it is by grace not keeping the law, Paul now concludes by showing that it results from divine power, not human effort. (Romans 4:18-25)<br />GOD’S CALL TO ABRAHAM<br /><ul><li>Abraham is 60 when God said to leave Ur. He is 75 when left Haran. He was 99 when the promise of a son was confirmed.
God said go to a land that I will show you and I will give you a son so you can be the father of many. Yet Abraham was the father of nobody, he had no seed, no land and only a promise that he would. He was on the way to nowhere; he only knew God told him to do it. For some reason he believed God would fulfill the promise. God planted in his heart to believe.
Abraham finally gets to the land and he is met with famine, Pharaoh, fight, fear and foolishness.
So he had to fight through all that stuff. Rocky I, II, III, IV, V. That was not easy. Abraham was not knocked out of his belief in the promise God made him. It just doesn’t make sense to the human mind.</li></ul>FOOLISHNESS SOMETIMES HAPPENS WHEN WE STILL BELIEVE GOD<br /><ul><li>Sometimes we want to personally fulfill God’s promise He made. As did Abraham. Sometimes we can produce what we believe is the promise by our own human means as did Abraham. Only to find out that was not the promise made by God. What Abraham tried to do at 86 happened only when he was 99 years old. </li></ul>THE PROMISE OF A SON WAS NOT TO BE BY NATURAL MEANS BUT BY GOD’S SUPERNATURAL POWER. <br />THE NAME CHANGED:<br /><ul><li>Abram means “father of many.” Changed to Abraham which means “father of multitudes’ but the only fact was he was the father of only one.</li></ul>THE PROMISE FULFILLED<br /><ul><li>At 86 he and Hagar had a son of the flesh named Ishmael. At 99 Abraham and Sarah had a son by the power of God named Isaac.
Galatians 4:21-23. Human effort versus divine power.</li></ul>GOD’S PROMISE WAS TO BE PRODUCED BY<br /><ul><li>Faith not works
“Who against hope 1680 believed in hope” vs 18 “And being not weak 770 in faith, vs 19 </li></ul>Romans 4:19-21 in the Greek form a single sentence which is intended to be illustrated from the life of Abraham how he believed and hoped where there was no grounds for hope from a human perspective.<br />HE HOPED AGAINST HOPE. Vs. 18<br /><ul><li>Ezekiel 37:11; Mark 5:35-36; Luke 1:18
Hope is the desire for something to happen. Faith is the confidence it will happen.</li></ul>HE WAS STRONG IN FAITH. Vs 19<br /><ul><li>In spite of the physiological realities of their bodies Abraham believed.
Another example: Noah. God said built a boat. Noah went to the lumber yard, “I would like to order some lumber.”
Both had no ability to fulfill the promise, but believed it would be fulfilled.
Abraham was not blind to the facts, nor did he ignore difficulties. The life of faith is not a life with no problems or obstacles but it is a life that is lived by faith in Christ who is able.</li></ul>HE KNEW THE HUMAN IMPOSSIBLITY OF HIS AND SARAH’S BODY TO PRODUCE.<br /><ul><li>“He considered not his own body now dead, 3500 when he was about an hundred years old and Sarah’s womb was dead.” Vs 19.</li></ul>HE STILL DID NOT LOSE FAITH<br /><ul><li>“He staggered 1252 not at the promise of God through unbelief” 570
He did not waver with respect to the promise of God. He did not doubt either.
He might have had some momentary hesitations, but that he avoided a deep-seated, permanent attitude of distrust in the promises of God. After all he did laugh about Sarah.
He never came to believe what God said was not true. He didn’t have two opinions between belief and unbelief. Psalms 57:7.
When from the human viewpoint things are going well, it is easy to trust the Lord. But when things seem impossible, it is often easier not to trust Him.
All faith works through the struggles. But true faith lands on the confidence side.
John Calvin said: “We are not so enlightened that there remains no ignorance, nor the heart so established that there is no misgiving. With these evils of our nature faith maintains a continued conflict in which conflict often sorely shaken and put to great stress but it always conquers.”Don’t misunderstand. A stressed faith is not necessarily a doubting faith, any more than temptation to sin is not actually sin. Tests of our faith are designed to strength our faith not to strip us of faith. Godet
“But 235 was strong 1743 in faith, 4102 giving glory 1391 to God.” Vs 20
But quite to the contrary he grew strong, means “to put power in” so to be made strong. He received enabled power from within. God took his weakness and made him strong. It was God not his faith that made him strong. “He was strengthened in his faith.
Faith always glorifies God. I John 5:10. Genesis 17:1-4. The instant effect of faith is to believe God. Psalms 91:1-4.
Examples: The Hebrew boys in Babylon. When their faith was questioned: “Our God is able to deliver us.” Paul when in shipwreck: “For I believe God.”</li></ul>“And being fully persuaded 4135 that He had promised 1861 to He was able 1415 also to perform.”<br />One of the best definitions of faith in the Bible.<br />To be completely certain. Convinced in God’s word. Satisfied fully that God would accomplish it.<br />“Pictures Abraham filled to the brim with no room for doubt.”<br />The grasp by the mind of the promises of God and of His ability to make them good.<br />The preaching of the Gospel, 2 Timothy 4:5,17, Colossians 4:2, Romans 14:5<br />Fully assured, to be fully convinced, might be fully accomplished<br />This is the kind of faith that was credited to Abraham as righteousness. Faith grasps the promise. Faith lays hold of what God has offered.<br />Faith not merely in what had been promised, but was faith in the God who had promised (He is able).<br />WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SUCH FAITH IS EXHIBITED? <br />“And therefore it was imputed 3049 to him for righteousness 1343. Vs.22<br />“Credited” that is Abraham believed God and his act of faith was computed as to its value, and there was placed to his account, righteousness, and Christ’s righteousness.<br />His faith was provided a channel through which God worked His redeeming grace.<br />Faith is a convicted heart reaching out to receive God’s free and unmerited gift of salvation.<br />Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed 3049 to him: but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe 4100 on Him that raised 1453 up Jesus 2424 our Lord 2962 from 1537 the dead: 3498 vs. 23-24<br />This story which Paul is telling is not just for Abraham, but for us also. The recorded facts are permanently designed for the benefit of all believers.<br /> Psalms 78:5-6, Romans 15:4, Acts 2:39<br />If we believe: Jesus: “Yahweh saved”<br />If we believe: Lord: Power and authority by the one so called. Jesus is LORD.<br />I Corinthians 15:1-8<br />Resources for the content of this sermons: John MacArthur Jr, + Charles H. Spurgeon, Strongs, Vines, The Biblical Library 22 Volumes, LKGNT, TDNT, Leon Morris, William Newell, Greek Word Study, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Several translations, John Calvin. Notes from the sermon preached at FBC Altoona, Kansas March 20, 1983, Outline January 02, 2011.<br />William Newell analysis of the progressive revelation of God's character to Abraham:<br />There was a seven-fold revelation of God to Abraham: <br />It was as “the God of glory: that He appeared first in Ur of the Chaldees (Acts 7:2)<br />He revealed Himself to him as Jehovah (Genesis 12:8; 14:22; 15:2,8) <br />As El Elyon, God Most High, Genesis 14:19-22; Daniel 3:26; 4:2<br />As Lord, Adonia, Jehovah in Geneis 15:2,8<br />As El Shaddai, the Almighty God in Genesis 17:1<br />As “the Everlastsing God” in Genesis 21:33<br />As Jehovah-jireh in Genesis 22:14. The God will provide. A Lamb for sacrifice. Genesis 22:8<br />Are you living by faith or unbelief? Dr. Wayne Barber<br />• Faith will make one see love in the heart of Christ even when he is being reproved by Him. Unbelief will imagine wrath in God’s heart, even when His Word says He loves him. He still thinks God is mad at him. <br />• Faith will help the soul to wait, even when God does not seem to be doing anything. But unbelief will give up when God tarries just a little bit. <br />• Faith will give comfort in the midst of fears and tears. But unbelief causes fears and tears in the midst of comfort. <br />• Faith will suck sweetness out of God’s rod of chastisement. But unbelief can find no comfort in the greatest of God’s mercies. <br />• Faith makes great burdens light. But unbelief makes light burdens intolerably heavy. <br />• Faith helps us when we are down, but unbelief throws us down when we are up. <br />• Faith brings us near to God when we seem to be far from Him, but unbelief puts us far from God when in reality we are near to Him. <br />• Faith purifies the heart, but unbelief keeps the heart polluted and impure. <br />• Faith makes our work acceptable to God through Christ, but all the works of unbelief are sin in God’s eyes for without faith it is impossible to please God. <br />• Faith gives us peace and comfort in our souls, but unbelief works turmoil and trouble like the restless waves of the sea. <br />• Faith makes us see the preciousness in Christ, but unbelief sees nothing beautiful in Him. <br />• By faith we have our life in Christ’s fullness, but unbelief causes us to realize none of this. <br />• Faith gives us the victory over sin, the law, sin, death, the devil and all evils, but unbelief leaves us conquered by them all. <br />GERITOL, DIAPERS AND THE WORD OF GOD: Romans 4:18-25 Alan Carr<br />1AAbraham’s Faith was well placed<br />The Direction of His Faith – 20<br />The Duration of His Faith – 18<br />The Determination of His Faith 18-20<br />He Refused to Listen to Reason vs. 18<br />He Refused to Look at Reality vs. 19<br />He Refused to Lose the Reward vs. 20<br />2AAbraham’s Faith was Well Pleased<br />Pleased with God’s Promises vs 21<br />Pleased with God’s Plan vs 22<br />3AAbraham’s Faith was well Preserved 23-25<br />Preserved as a Promise vs 23-24<br />Preserved as a Person vs 25<br />