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An Example of Faith: Romans 4:3

Romans is a deep book.  It makes you think a lot.  It teaches we are restored because we trust in Jesus Christ.  It gives real life examples, like Abraham.  Romans steps away from theory and philosophy.

If you’ve even experienced trying something new on an electronic device you know it’s easier for someone to just show you how to do it.  It’s a struggle to imagine doing several steps on a device that we haven’t done before.  Paul shows us what faith looks like and how we are restored through the life of Abraham.

Genesis has Abraham’s story.  He was a tremendous leader.  He was healed by God and restored.  I remember as a child singing the song Father Abraham in preschool.  Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham, I am one of them and so are you, so let’s just praise the Lord….  Even Abraham came by faith. 

We are healed through our faith in God.

            For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:3 (ESV)
Paul takes us to Scripture.  Paul takes them back to their roots.  Our same faith today is traced back to father Abraham.  Abraham believed God and was counted, or credited, given by someone else.  Abraham was not saved or restored because of what he did.  We see great moments of faith in Abraham but other times he stumbles.  People in Paul’s day had in their minds that Abraham was a self-made man.  He was tremendously wealthy.  This is the idea that wealth is evidence you’re a good and faithful person.  Abraham had a tremendous story.  Paul says God is no respecter of persons.  All people are equal.  Doesn’t someone like Abraham get extra credit when he stands before God?  Even Abraham is the same as everyone else.  We are all healed in the same way.  The basis for Abraham and everyone else is whether or not they believe.  What does it look like when God restores and heals our soul?

We are fully convinced that God will do what He has promised.

Abraham had a big task in front of him.  He was to be the father of nations.  Abraham is 100 years old!  His wife Sarah is 90.  God promises he will be father of nations but it looked impossible.  Abraham was a role model.  Paul looked to Abraham:

                        20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:20-21 (ESV)

Abraham did not have unbelief but trusted God.  This is what made Abraham stand out, he trusted God.  In verse 21, “fully convinced,” means, persuaded or without a doubt.  My faith isn’t quite there yet.  Let’s dig further.  Paul is convinced that Abraham did not waiver.  Is this true?  Did Abraham not waiver at all?  What’s it mean he didn’t waiver?  Does it mean he never doubted?  Abraham did doubt.  He wasn’t sure how God would do these things.  In Genesis 17:17 when God said he will give Sarah a child Abraham laughed!  Abraham had doubts.  What’s this mean for you?  It doesn’t mean we never wonder how this is possible.  If you never have moments where you wonder how this is possible you aren’t living by faith.  Faith is hearing from God the impossible.  This causes you to think, “How’s this going to happen?”  Do we really trust God?  Sometimes our faith journey is recognizing there’s things we cannot do.  We can trust God and believe God and still not see how something will happen.  Abraham had his struggles.  Deep down in our core we trust God.  We can 
question.  This is real faith.  We see it, we trust the promises of God.  Paul calls you and I to trust God is able to restore and change us.  Abraham had this faith.

5And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.       Genesis 15:5-6 (ESV)

When we trust God he restores us.  Counting the stars; we can picture this.  Have you done this?  It seems impossible so we make figures out of the stars because we cannot count all the stars.  God knows the number of stars.  God uses the impossibility of us counting.  What God has promised to be in your life is greater and vaster than you can imagine.  Our response is in verse six.  Abraham cannot fathom how God will do these things, so he trusts God.  What God calls us to do is to come to these impossible moments.  These aren’t just for Abraham but for all of us. 

We go because we believe that His promise is for everyone.

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ we become His.  We cannot see our lives completely.  His promise is true.

                        23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,
 Romans 4:23-24 (ESV)

This promise is for all of us.  Most of what we know about Abraham happened from when he was 75-100 years old.  Faith isn’t just for seven year olds.  God’s greatest moments in your life may come much later than you think.  In verse 24 we read, “counted to us.”  This means, added to us.  The cross is a major part of the Gospel, not just that our sins are paid for.  Jesus Christ was buried and raised from the dead.  We are forgiven AND restored.  God saves us for a future and a hope.  God’s promises are being lived out in us today.  God calls us to trust Him.  I need you to trust God in this.  God promises to completely restore you, make you like Him.  If you trust He will forgive you and make you whole.

*Sermon Notes are taken, transcribed and posted by Jeni Martin Johnson.


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