THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (17)
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the Power of the Gospel. The title of this message is: “God justifies the ungodly’. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” … being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” (Rom 1:16, 17, 3:24; 4:1-8)
There are three dispensations: 1-The dispensation of the Patriarchs (Grace, for Israel; individual dealings with God); 2-The dispensation of the Law (for Israel, no faith, no grace, no salvation); 3-The dispensation of the Gospel (by grace, thru faith, salvation, to all who believe: Jew or Gentiles). God has only one way to save men: by Grace and thru faith in the God of Grace. It was the same in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It shows that the Bible is one! Grace is one! There is only one covenant of Grace but different administrations. The Gospel is not a new thing. It was preached indirectly in the Old Testament. The saints in the OT were saved exactly like us. They looked ahead and saw Christ crucified and resurrected. They believed in the Gospel and they were saved. Just the way we look back at the Cross and are saved.
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that Abraham is the father of Israel and the father of faith. King David is one of the greatest man in the history of Israel. He was a worshipper and a warrior. Both these men great have found grace in the presence of God. They found that it was only the Grace of God that made them great and saved them. It was not their works! Both discovered the doctrine of justification by faith. Just like us, they were saved by grace thru faith. Not because they did great things or were too faithful. It is because God declared them justified in His presence. This justification is totally attributed to the death of Christ on the Cross. They discovered that God ‘justifies the ungodly’ and not the godly! Salvation is a miracle and not a reward! God has only one way of salvation for men. God is the same in the Old Testament and the New Testament, for Jew and Gentiles, male or female, slave or free! This way of salvation eliminates pride and boasting. It introduces worship as a proper response to grace and salvation. Grace was revealed to the Jews first. We the Gentiles have been included later, but by the same Royal Grace. Israel is like an olive tree. The original branches were Israel. Some had faith and some did not. The once who did not have faith God cut them off. We the Gentiles who had faith are like wild olive tree branches that were grafted in the same trunk (Romans 11). Salvation should humble you! No pride! No bosting! This is the testimony of the remnant of grace, chosen by God, from among both Jew and Gentiles! This is no accident! God has planned all this before the foundation of the world!
What did Abraham find ‘according to the flesh’? Flesh is the totality of man outside the influence of the Holy Spirit. It is also called the carnal nature. Sin is found in the flesh. Flesh is external, visible, and worldly. It is guided by the senses (by sight). The Spiritual is internal, invisible, and fruitful, but only thru faith. The unbelievers are flesh. The born again are a mixture of flesh and Spirit. Flesh also means that men trust for their salvation outside God and His grace. It can be their intelligence, money, nationality, tribe, or religion. In this case is flesh is also called ‘works.’ Flesh and works, fail to save. There is no Grace or faith in them. Flesh will disappoint you at last. Flesh produces pride and boasting. Jesus said: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words (rhema) that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Human power can do nothing, cannot help. The Spirit (breath of God) gives life to the dead. It is resurrection power and Life! Abraham discovered that his life, salvation, blessings, and all benefits have come to him thru the Word of God. Faith comes thru the hearing of God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Even when he failed (the story of Hagar/Ishmael), God dealt with him by His Grace. God kept His word. Men lies but God never lies! Men change, but God never change! Grace gives strength to the weak! Grace ends in glory! Grace never loses a battle! God is faithful always! Salvation is grace in action! God’s promises can never fail! From far away God showed Abraham Christ crucified and resurrected. God told him that Christ will come from his loins. Abraham believed this Word as coming from the God of Grace. This faith was accounted to Abraham as righteousness (Gen 15:1-6, 22:15-18). Abraham did not have a general faith. He believed the spoken Word and the Promises of the God of all Grace. Though dimly, he believed the Gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected. Jesus said: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). Worship the Lord!
Prophetic scriptures: Mark 6:54-56