THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (23) FAITH IS THE KEY THAT OPENS THE PROMISES OF GOD
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached another sermon in the series called ‘The Power of the Gospel’. 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.” … 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…(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 1:16, 17; 4:1-5; 4:17-25) FAITH AND HOPE IN GOD’S PROMISES ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED Abraham discovered the power of faith and hope in God’s promises; that faith and hope never fail! He will never be put to shame, disappointed, regret having faith and hope in God Almighty! PROMISE – Is a vow to do something good in the future!
FAITH is defined as (present) belief, confidence, total trust in God. It is also faithfulness (faith is not on and off; it continues faithfully to the end of life. All the ‘heroes of faith’ kept their faith to their last breath. We need to do the same. HOPE is defined as a joyful constant expectation of good in the future. The promises given by God in His Word will become manifest visibly. Hope is invisible. Faith sees the invisible hope and carries on until it becomes visible. Hope fulfills faith. That is why hope is stronger than faith. Faith is the foundation of hope. Faith is connected to the hearing of God’s Word. It is the underground bridge leading to hope. True faith and hope in God will never put you to shame! They will never disappoint you! Faith and hope can never become bitterness. These are fruits of the Holy Spirit working in your heart. It is worth it to take ‘risk’ with God! God knows that you are trusting Him and waiting on Him. “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us… Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Rom 5:5; 10:11). Abraham trusted that the God who gave him the promise has the power to perform. And God did! Abraham believed that God has justified him. Abraham believed that he is a child of God. This is the basic faith for all believers. Out of this faith the overflow of faith manifests that God will answer other prayers. This saving faith of Abraham is the root of the faith that he will be the father of many nations. Only a child of God can believe the supernatural promises of God!
Justification is God’s declaration that a sinner becomes a child of God based on the death of Christ on the Cross! Justification is a legal, forensic, ‘judge in the court spoken word’ of God. It is 100% God’s work based on His grace. Justification is done once and for ever. It is the act of God. It cannot be annulled or re-established. It is more than forgiveness of sins. It is a change of position and standing before God. It is a covering with the imputed righteous of Christ. This robe covers your past, present and future sins. Justification makes God to see you as you have never sinned. God sees you as Christ, blameless. Justification leads immediately to sanctification. If it was only forgiveness, once the Christian sins, he needs to be justified again. And that is not possible. That is why some wrongly believe that you can lose your salvation. Justification is a change of position and status, from being in Adam under sin and law to being in Christ, under Grace. Justification is always connected with faith. You cannot be justified if you do not believe the Gospel. This is the peculiar message and power of the Gospel. Justification is the opposite of condemnation! THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM *The Faith is Abraham is the pattern of approved faith for all believers! *Faith trusts the bare Word of God! Faith does not need other supports to believe God’s promises! Faith is pure and connects with God’s Word! Unbelief is sin and an insult to God! ‘Whatever is not from faith is sin’ (Rom 14:23)*Faith acts on the Word. God changed his name from Abram (exulted father) to Abraham (the father of nations). God changed the name of Sarai (Princess) to Sarah (mother of nations). From the time God changed their names, they too addressed themselves as Abraham and Sarah! By faith, Abraham left his family and hometown not knowing where he is going (Heb 11:8). True faith has action and fruits! *Faith is born. it manifests and grows in the presence of God. Faith relates to your personal walk with God, with your holiness, with faithfulness and daily obedience to God’s Word. You need to read and study the Bible daily, fast, pray and serve God. You need to be faithful in attending church services, for ‘faith comes by hearing. and hearing comes by the Word f God’ (Romans 10:17). You need to learn the ‘holy skill’ of staying, abiding and walking in the Center of the flow of the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Spirit you kill the misdeeds of the body. Flesh lusts against the Spirit and is addicted to doubt, to anxiety, to restlessness, and worry. You need to walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16). Learn to disappoint the flesh! Then the spirit will rise! *Faith does not deny the problems. Abraham knew that he and Sarah have serious challenges to have children. Naturally it was impossible! Abraham was hundred years old. He was as good as ‘dead’. Sarah’s womb at ninety, was also ‘dead’. Abraham looked above the problems and natural limitations, towards the Almighty God who promised children and is able to fulfill the promises. Faith does not deceive itself but totally trust God. Faith masters all impossibilities! Faith is always accompanied by testimonies! Most believers live below the standard of faith God expects from them. They live with about 95% faith and 5% unbelief. As children of God they can go to heaven even with this incomplete faith. But they are not able to enjoy their walk with God, especially to experience the miracles. Oh, that you may grow in the grace, faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ! Worship the Lord!