SCRIPTURES: Romans 3:21-31
BOTTOM LINE: Scripture is clear that we are restored into a righteous standing w/ God through FAITH alone. We experience His Grace through FAITH. BUT … we do have to ask, if that does not shape the lens through which we live life everyday, we have to ask, Do We Really Believe?
QUESTION: Which comes first? Do our Good Works produce FAITH, or does FAITH produce Good Works?
DOWNLOAD: What is it that we really Believe?
When it comes to Christianity … most people believe 1 of 2 things …
- We believe our FAITH in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus will restore us in God’s eyes.
- OR … we believe that any number of GOOD WORKS [and the more the better] … will make us acceptable in God’s eyes and the More We Do the more God will love us.
But the repeated message we experience as we read throughout the New Testament is …
- Good works are good … BUT … FAITH is better.
- Good works does not justify or provide Salvation
- Good works will not make us Righteous before God [there are lots of people who claim no faith at all in God who actually do some great things]
- Good works will not make God love us more … or even less …
How God sees our Good Works … there’s nothing wrong w/ doing good deeds to please God … in fact, Followers of Jesus should look like Jesus. We should do the kinds of things Jesus did, all that … but unless our souls have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus … we can do all the Good Works we want and they’ll just sort of nauseate God, because we’re pouring those Good Works into and Unclean Vessel.
And so How Do We Clean Ourselves Up? And what we saw last week was … WE DON’T! Right? It’s God’s Faithfulness that does that … if it weren’t for His Grace … none of us could get cleaned up … In our Flesh and our Humanity … we’re simply unable to provide the necessary sacrifice to restore us back into a righteous standing w/ God.
Now … many times, when we’re having this conversation w/ folks, it leads to this question … If all I need is FAITH, why do we even need to bother doing Good Works? After all, we don’t get any Brownie Points w/ God … so why not just make sure we understand on an intellectual level and go on about living our life the way we want to?
Because even if I fail at that in God’s eyes … His Grace is sufficient for that too right?
And Paul deals this specifically in Romans 6:1 … “… What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that Grace may increase?”
It’s amazing sometimes how our perspective changes … we recently went to Florida for a family vacation, and I don’t think we’ve spoken w/ our girls about their driving, and speed limit and all that in quite a while.
Picture going east on I-10 and the Speed limit is 70mph … but how many people do you think were actually obeying the Law? No too many … but if we could ask them How Many of you BELIEVE the Law is that 70mph is as fast as you’re supposed to drive on this road?
Almost everyone would BELIEVE the Law … but not many were obeying the Law …
But when we got ready to go … I looked at my son-n-law and daughter, who were taking our 4 year old grandson (Landon) and our sweet newborn Amelia Rose … and all of a sudden I had a serious concern about obeying the Law …
For the sake of The Law, we might not keep the commandment … but for the sake of Someone We Love, we might!
Over and over again … the story was the same … every single time, it just didn’t take people long to make up their minds. They ALL BLIEVED the message that Jesus was the Christ … the Son of the Living God …
… and they truly desired not only to experience Forgiveness and secure eternity w/ God 1 day … but they desperately began a pursuit of the Abundant Life In-Christ until God chose to call them home.
They BELIEVED and it impacted how they lived every single moment of their lives …
And I think the question we have to ask is this … Do we BELIEVE? And if we do … what is it that we BELIEVE?