Tuesday, May 23, 2006

May 21, 2006

Romans 1:8 – 17
“Impact Faith”

Paul is impressed by the Roman church. He says [v 8] that their faith is reported all over the world. This is “impact faith.” It is a faith that makes a difference. The root of this kind of faith is in the gospel.

What is this gospel that causes Christians to have “impact faith.”

I. Its source of life changing power is God.

A. The gospel is God’s chosen METHOD.

1. It is spoken.

a. The Bible says, “How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” [Romans 10:14]

b. The Bible says, “Consequently, faith comes from HEARING the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” [Romans 10:17]

***** If someone speaks then you must listen. Problem, we attach to much importance to the person and the delivery method... when we should be listening to the message. *****

2. It must be accepted.

a. The Bible says, “Yet to all who RECEIVED him, to those who BELIEVED in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” [John 1:10]

b. The Bible says, “He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household.” [Acts 16:30 – 31]

B. The gospel is God’s chosen ABILITY of change.
1. It works:

a.Without God intervening in human history, we would be hopelessly lost.

b. Without God’s power at work, life would be staggering because of the weight and consequences of sin.

2. It frees:

a. It frees the believer from the consequences of sin: eternal damnation/hell.

b. It frees the believer from the dominion of sin: we don’t have to be slaves to sin anymore.

C. The gospel is God’s chosen PURPOSE of change.

1. We need powerful and effective help to deal with the problem of sin. Because we can not free ourselves.

2. The PURPOSE is “for salvation.”

3. “We are equally miserable without a savior, equally welcome to the Savior.”

4. Notice salvation is NOT unconditional or universal. There is a condition.... It is “TO EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES.”

II. Its source of life changing righteous is God.

A. If the product of sin in misery and damnation then salvation must get us out of sin.

1. This makes no sense until we admit that we are totally, completely, helplessly, lost.

2. The product of salvation is righteousness (a state of being “right” before God and growing in knowledge and obedience).

3. We tend to think/preach: God is good, people are not, try harder.

B. This is “righteousness FROM God is revealed.”

1. In other words, this righteousness is independent of our efforts. It is GIVEN to everyone who believes.

2. “Awakening” is an old Holiness expression. The image of a person being dead in sin, unable to respond. The Bible says, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” [Ephesians 2:1]

a. The Holy Spirit “wakes” the person...

b. ...so that the person can respond.

The Bible says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, [5] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. [Ephesians 2:4 – 5]

The Bible says, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.” [Colossians 2:13]

3. Righteousness is divine property given to sustain us in a close relationship with God.

a. It meets God’s requirements.

b. It meets God’s expectations.

III. The key concept is “faith.”

A. Faith is both a noun and a verb. (Something we have and something we do.)

1. Faith is the expected reaction and outcome to grace.

a. The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- [9] not by works, so that no one can boast.” [Ephesians 2:8 – 9]

b. It begins in the heart and works outwardly and constantly.

c. In other words, It is not a momentary break through, it is a continual response to God’s grace.

2. God is at work.

a. Salvation is offered by has no reality or validity apart from faith.

b. Faith is the link between us and God. It accepts the gift of God’s grace.

B. Faith produces “fruit.”

1. Fruit is the proof of the relationship, the Bible tells us, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” [Luke 3:8]

b. Fruit is the result of the relationship, the Bible says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4

c. Fruit is the result of continuing in that relationship, the Bible says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” [Galatians 5:22 – 24]

2. Faith change the individual.

a. If you have not been changed....

b. If you have are not different than the world...

IV. The result is a “lifestyle.”

A. “The righteous will live by faith.”

1. The Bible says, “We live by faith, not by sight.” [2 Corinthians 5:7]

2. The Bible says, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” [1 John 2:6]

3. The Bible says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” [Galatians 5:25]

B. Faith is the beginning and the fuel of a life long process.

1. The “dirty” word is obedience.

a. You walk by faith when you obey when everything indicates your actions do not make sense.

b. You walk by faith when you obey when you want to do your own thing.

c. Living this way, you will not make sense to people who do not have faith.

2. Obedience ultimately comes from trust.

a. If yo do not trust someone, you will not listen to or obey them.

b. It is why children don’t obey their parents, and churches obey their pastors (see Hebrews 13:17). It’s your internal/spiritual problem not the other persons...

***** If you can not place yourself under the authority God has given you, which you can see, then you can not place yourself under His authority (you can not see God). *****

1. Have you ever experienced the life changing power of God? You know you have if you share the gospel with others.

2. Have you experienced a righteousness that is not yours? You know you have when you say “no” to what you want and “yes” to what you know God wants you to do.

3. Have you experienced faith? You know you have when you are willing to do what is not comfortable to do what God wants you to do.

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