Radio Broadcast Wednesday 05/27/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P18 (05-27-20)

Synopsis

This faith is in what God has promised, and that is that life is in His Son. Will you believe that? Will you place your trust in what God has said? Now, when you are in Christ, what do you have? Eternal life. What else do you have? Redemption and forgiveness of sins. What else do you have? The very righteousness of God credited to you. Forgiveness of sins does not give you righteousness. That clears the deck of the sins of the entire world so life can be given, and it came at a great price, the shedding of the blood of the eternal Son of God. But death does not give you life. Life gives you life. Righteousness is who God is, perfect without sin, holy and pure and blameless. So when you are in Him, you have every spiritual blessing in Christ, which includes His righteousness imputed to you, and eternal life, for He is God eternal. It is an exchanged life. He took away your sin, and then offered you eternal life. He took away your sins over 2000 years ago, and then offered you His life, and at the moment you accepted His offer of life, eternal life and every spiritual blessing that is in Christ, is yours.

Now this faith is at work in those who believed the message of Christ. This same message of life was promised to those of long ago, even Abraham, who was the patriarch of the Jews, known as the man of faith. Abraham in his old age, over 90 years old, along with his wife Sarah, old in years, were promised that they will have a son and through his son Isaac all the nations of the world will be blessed. Now, to get someone pregnant at age 90 is an impossibility in the natural realm, but Abraham believed God.

When he was later tested to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac, the son of promise, he did not hesitate in unbelief when God had said to sacrifice his son. Knowing that God is able to fulfill all that He had promised, he reasoned that God could raise the dead so as to fulfill the promise earlier that all the nations of the world will be blessed through him. So his faith was credited to him as righteousness. This was written down for our sake too, that if we believe like Abraham, we too will have the righteousness of God credited to us, not on the basis of anything we do, but on the basis of believing what God had said in fulfilling the promises He had spoken. In our day, Jesus Christ has completed the work, by means of His death, burial and resurrection.

This faith in the promises of God, in the power of God to do what He has promised, what is impossible for man, is what led Abraham to be willing to immediately sacrifice his only son. God only meant it as a test of Abraham’s faith. So behold there was a ram caught in the thicket, and God stopped him and the ram was slain instead. Well, God sent His only Son into this world to do something for us we could never do for ourselves. His own Son willingly laid down His life so that the just punishment of sin would be laid on Him and not us. He did this so that, having no sin of His own, He would be raised to new life so He could offer us new life in Him.

Are you in Christ Jesus? If not, come to Him and receive eternal life. Have you considered the faith of Abraham? Do you trust God in your day to day, in those circumstances of life that are just impossible, and there is no physical way for out of it, the mess you are in. Do you trust what God has said, that He will cause all things to happen for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His good purposes. So faith is trusting in what God has promised, and not in what God has not promised, a rose garden, or a life without sorrow or pain. He has told us ahead of time that in this world we will have trouble, but to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. Faith is not faith in God doing something that you want Him to do, such as making you wealthy, but in what He has promised He will do or has already accomplished for you. Do you take God at His word and act on what is true of you. He said all your sins are forgiven, taken way. So do you ask Him to forgive you when you sin? No, for that is something He has already done. Do you ask Him to make your more holy? No. For you have been given everything you need already for life and godliness. You can ask for wisdom, and He promised to give wisdom to anyone who asks in faith, and not hesitating in unbelief. You praise Him that He is your provider and sustainer in all that may come your way, whatever trial and tribulation that may be. You rejoice in your weaknesses, because when you are weak, He is strong. When you are powerless, He lifts you up in the midst of whatever you are going through, and you will see the hand of God at work within your midst, as you trust Him. Trust Him with your life, and praise Him for God delights in the praises of His people. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. He is worthy of all our praise.

Transcript

So when you are talking about this gospel of righteousness from God, and keep your eyes on that, for that is where righteousness comes from. It is not righteousness from you, but it is a righteousness from God. It has to be revealed not earned. Righteousness has to be revealed by the Spirit. Now, there are people who think this, that if I come to Christ and get all my sins forgiven then I am righteous. Is that true? No. That is not true. That means you got your sins forgiven.

1 John 2:2
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The whole world“s sins have been forgiven by Christ at the cross. Is the whole world righteous? Hardly so. But we get this wrong idea, saying “I am okay except for my sins. If I could just get rid of my sins, I would be so holy I would not be able to stand myself.” Nothing is further from the truth. Sins are there because we are a mess. We are in a fallen state.

Romans 3:10
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That is the condition of the world. So when Jesus took away the sins of the world that did not make people righteous. It made them forgiven. If I owed you a 100,000 dollars and I could not pay it and I went bankrupt and you wrote that check off your accounts payable, would that make me righteous? Hardly. All it would do is alleviate a debt I owed and it was paid for you and I did know it. That is all that means. Is that a big deal? You better believe it is! Sin is what caused death. What sin caused is the problem of man, death, spiritual death, and death is the absence of life.

So people get the idea that if I could just get my sins forgiven, I would be okay. Again that would be like saying, “if you eliminate my debt, take it off my accounts receivable, I would be okay”. No, I still have a problem. Christ is the person who alleviated and took away that thing that caused spiritual death, called sin. He took away the sins of the whole world, not only ours, but the sins of the whole world.

2 Corinthians 5:19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

That is why no man will ever go to hell because of his sins. All men’s sins have been placed on the back of God never to see them again.The only sin attributable to man is the sin of unbelief in the provision that God made for you and me in the person of Jesus Christ. Sins were taken away in order to give you life. When a person refuses life, he remains dead. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out nor a rocket scientist to figure out that if I am dead then to not be in or stay in that state, you need life. You have to have something wrong with your head if you believe you are dead and if life is offered to you and to refuse that life that is being offered.

I went 36 years knowing I was spiritually dead. I would bounce prayers off the ceiling. I knew a lot about me and nothing about Him. But then that was revealed to me and I responded by faith, and so I was born anew. I have new life living in me. I have the life of Christ living in me. So that life that came to live in me, it is His life that brought His righteousness. So the only righteousness that you and I have is the righteous of Christ. We do not have any of our own. It is His righteousness living in me. It is Christ in me that is my hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27
27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

So, righteousness is found only in Him. That is where righteousness is received. Forgiveness is received through His cross. Righteousness is received through His life.

1 Corinthians 1:30
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

So Christ is our righteousness. If that is true, then what right do we have to walk around acting self righteous. As if I have a righteousness that I earned and my righteousness is because of what I do or saying, or even thinking, “I go to church on Sunday, and therefore, I am righteous”. No, that does not make you righteous at all. Not at all. You may go to church because you have been made righteous by Christ but you are not going to be made righteous by going to church. All of these things are taught and they keep you away from the central truth of what it is to walk by faith. The scriptures says in the gospels that a righteousness from God is revealed. Not from you but from Him.

Romans 1:17
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

You become righteous by faith and you live by faith in the same righteous one who made you righteous and that is Christ Jesus, the object of our faith. In scripture, we are told that the righteous will live by faith. The righteous are those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ, and therefore, are the recipient of His righteousness and not ours.

Romans 4:23-25
23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Colossians 2:6-7
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

The bible chronicles the lives of many of these believers and how they lived their lives. So we will take a closer look at some examples of what true faith is. As we look into Romans 4:19-24, once again, the apostle Paul is going to be talking about Abraham. To put this in chronological order, Abraham came before Moses and the law. How were people saved prior to the law? They are saved the same way as Abraham was saved, and that is by faith.

Romans 4:18-19
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[Genesis 15:5] 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead –

Here again, God had told him that he and Sarah were not only going to bear a son, but that he will be the father of many nations. That is hard to comprehend in your 90s. Faith, believing a fact of something, is a vital thing for us to do. It is like the prodigal son, which you can read the account in Luke 15:11-32. He came to his senses. He faced the fact of something. He faced the fact that his father’s servants were living better than he was living with the hogs. He faced the truth of something. He faced the fact his body was as good as dead.

Romans 4:19
since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.

He did not come up with some hair-brained idea that I am going to perform. He recognizes the fact that this is an impossibility. When Jesus says to you and me, apart from me you can do nothing. What do you suppose he wants us to conclude from that? I think it is facing the fact that apart from Him I can do nothing. As far as I am concerned my ability to do anything in my own strength to please God is dead. There is nothing I can do to do that. We need to come to that conclusion.

Hebrews 1:6
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Galatians 5:6
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

The only thing that pleases God is faith. Apart from faith it is impossible to please God. We are trying to please God by actions instead of by our faith, which is the only thing that pleases God. Now, when Jesus walked by faith, He said everything I do is because the Father told me to do it. His actions were a result of faith in His Father. It is not that actions are not going to occur but they occur from faith or they can occur from flesh. Now then if you are not walking in dependency, or by faith in the Lord to be the initiator of actions, then you have flesh works. They are all over the place. That is what I have said so many times. You can fake it in the flesh. You can fake the gifts of the Spirit.

Romans 8:7-9
7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

There is not a gift of the Spirit that cannot be faked. Because of our lack of discernment, you cannot tell the difference. You can teach or encourage in the flesh. If I encourage because I might get something back, then I am operating in the flesh. I can have manifestations in the flesh. I can do all those things without knowing the Lord. I can hide or imitate those things.

It is just like a magician that can make an elephant disappear. I can tell you that the elephant has not disappeared but the illusion can be there. There can be an illusion that something is true but you know it is not true if you know anything. So looking at this whole issue of those things, you realize the gifts can be faked. But the fruit of the Spirit, how can you fake that one? How can you fake love? Now, we can try, but it is obvious. Love has to come from God. How do we fake joy? We substitute happiness for it. That is the best Satan can do is to make you happy. Happiness is predicated on what is happening. That is why there is a word “unhappy” but no word “unjoy”. When talking about love, joy, and peace, you can have substitutes. You can have earthly peace. It is all temporary. It depends on what mountain you are on or stream you are by but it is temporary. You can walk into it and can walk out of it. But true peace that surpasses understanding cannot be faked. That has to come from God. When talking about those things, I can only come by faith in the one who can produce those things. Only Christ Jesus can produce those things.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Philippians 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So this statement that Abraham faced the fact that his body was as good as dead is a very important statement for us today. Until we come to a firm conclusion that apart from Him I can do nothing, then why should I depend upon Him to do anything. If I think that I can do about 10 percent, then all I need is a 90 percent Jesus. If I got so good and so holy that I can do 20 percent of what he says then I only need an 80 percent Jesus. That is how we live, many times, our Christian life. I need him about 50 percent. Then we use words like, “Let God help us”. I do not need God’s help. I need His life. When I need help, it means I am going to ride my bike but I need you to help me be steady every now and then. You need to get to the point of saying I cannot ride the bike without Jesus.

This is important for us to get a hold of. We must face the facts about ourselves. We must face the truth about ourselves. In and of myself is no good thing. In my flesh is no good thing. Paul says he places no confidence in the flesh.

Philippians 3:3
3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh

What has he done? He faced the fact that in his flesh it was as good as dead. It was not worth anything. It might as well be dead. He said rejoice in your weakness. What was he doing there? He was facing the fact that he is weak. How many of us want to face the fact that we are weak. It is only when we face the fact we are weak is when we are willing to face the fact that he is strong.

This little verbiage in scripture we have the tendency to trace over has unbelievable meaning to it when talking about walking by faith. There was no ounce of hope. I hope I can get my wife pregnant. How old are you? 90. Lots of luck. It is coming to the end of ourselves and our self sufficiency so we can come into the marvelous relationship in Him alone who is sufficient.

Now in the midst of this, it is not just sitting there saying I cannot. There is good news. In the midst of this, he did not waver in unbelief in regard to the promise of God.

Romans 4:20-22
20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

What is going on here? He says it is impossible for me but it is not impossible for God. Paul said this also.

Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

In and of myself, I have no confidence in my flesh even though I could. Christ is who is going to strengthen me. Abraham did the same thing. Here I am, a hundred years old. I face the fact my body is as good as dead yet I am persuaded that God says this is going to happen, then it is going to happen. That is what faith is. If God told you something then He says I mean that.

Let us look at some situations in life. We run through situations sometimes in life where we say, “Man, this thing is impossible. This thing has been messed up so badly there is just no recovery. It is impossible. There is no way out. And, you look at that, and somebody says, “Come on. Get out of that. Think positive”. No, you are thinking positive. You are thinking very positive, that, brother, there is no physical way out of this situation. If you stayed there you would die of depression. On the other hand, if God says to you, which He has, I will cause all things to work together for your good, for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

The only thing there you have to ask yourself is this. Have you been called according to His purpose? Are you in the Lord? Do you love the Lord who has loved you perfectly? If you do, then God says, I have a promise. I will cause this to work together for your good. Not for the good of someone else, but for your good. When you look at a promise such as that, you are able to get through about anything you encounter in your life, death of loved ones or drug addiction. It does not matter what it is. “Lord, I am weak. As far as I am concerned my body is dead. I cannot shake this thing.” Now you are ready to turn to the one who can and will, and cause that to work together for your good. That is the blessed hope we have in Christ.

This is a marvelous example of faith, of Abraham”s faith, who was fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised. Abraham looked at his own body as good as dead, and said, “I have no power, but God can do what He promised”. That is what faith is believing God will do what God has promised to do. Faith is not having faith to do what God has not promised to do. God has not promised to you, as an example, to make you wealthy. There is no place in the bible about God promising you to be wealthy. In Timothy it tells you that anyone who teaches you that godliness is a means to financial gain is a person of a perverted mind.

1 Timothy 6:2-5
2 These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

The opposite of that is true. There is no place in the bible that says you will not have any more problems. If you are going to exercise faith, then you are going to believe what God says, that in this world you are going to have tribulation.

John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There is no place in the bible that says you should be of this world. It says in the bible that you are in this world but do not be of this world.

John 15:18-19 (ESV)
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Many times, teachers of the flesh are saying things that are promises of God that are not promises of God. If they are quoting scripture it is being quoted out of context in that regard. So we have to realize that faith is being fully persuaded that God has the power to do what He has promised to do, not what you think He ought to do, but what God has promised to do.

1 John 5:11-12
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

God has given you eternal life. You can get down to a point, my friends, even as a Christian, as a true born again believer, that you can go off. As a matter of fact, there are people who are going to be deceived. People argue that passage of scripture.

Mark 13:22
22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

People who have said, “Even the elect can be deceived but won’t be deceived”, are already deceived believing that. If you believe you cannot be deceived, then you are already deceived. There was a person in a conference who believed that passage that you cannot be deceived. At any rate, we have to understand that God has the power to do what He has promised. What God has promised is the best for us. What we are asking of Him may not be the best. Do not think faith is making up what I would like God to do and as if that is faith, saying I have enough faith to cause God to do that. You better hope that God does not do some of the things you ask. My faith is going to be in what God has promised. God has promised me eternal life. That means I have eternal life and there is no going away from that. I am not going to deny that truth. God has promised me that on account of my relationship with His eternal Son and I am going to rest in that. I do not have etenal life because I do good things, or bad things. I am in Christ because I am in Christ Jesus.

People pointing boney fingers at people, saying “Oh, you cannot be a Christian doing that”. Well I say, “You cannot be a Christian doing what you are doing, which is being critical”. We never want to get into the place of pointing fingers. We are not God, so we do not know who is in Christ and who is not. I know I am in Christ. You know if you are in Christ. That is about as good as it gets. We cannot be sitting around judging people.

Because Abraham was fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised, this is the result of that faith.

Romans 4:22
22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

In other words, before Christ Jesus came, righteopusness was credited to those who believed what God said. God said what He said very clearly to people.

Romans 4:23-24
23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

What is our faith to be in? Who is our faith to be in? It is to be in the one who raised Jesus from the dead. What did that one who raised Jesus from the dead say?

1 John 5:11-13
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Now, righteousness is credited to all who believe that truth, whom the Spirit has revealed that truth to. God said it. “This is my testimony. You believe man’s testimony. Here is my testimony and it is about my Son. If you have Him, you have life. If you do not have Him, you do not have life. ”

Where does righteousness come from? It comes from believing what God said in regard to His Son and accepting by faith that salvation provided by His Son. When that occurs, we have righteousness. Until that occurs, even though we may have accepted the cross, until we have come to that resurrected life, and recognizing having my sins forgiven did not make me righteous. Righteousness comes from the righteous one. It is credited to me as righteousness the very moment that I am indwelt by the righteous one. That is why Paul said without the resurrection we are to be pitied of all people and are still dead in our sins.

1 Corinthians 15:16-19
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Hebrews 11:17
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him,

A testing is saying, “I have told you something, now are you going to believe it.“

Hebrews 11:17-18
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[Genesis 21:12]

If God said to Abraham that is through our Isaac your offspring will be reckoned yet at the same time to go sacrifice our son, then Abraham reasoned God would raise the dead. God said two things and He is not contradicting Himself. Go offer your son and through your son the offspring is going to be reckoned. Your reasoning is that He is going to raise the dead. Because he believed God in both of those statements, I am going to do what he said, and I will offer my son as a sacrifice.

Hebrews 11:19
19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

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