#11 Faith’s Exclusive Work

Book of Galatians
Book of Galatians
#11 Faith’s Exclusive Work

References: Galatians 3:6-9

It’s our Sunday morning service at the end of the month of July. We are working our way through the book of Galatians. We’re in chapter three, verses six through nine. We read these in our service here a few minutes ago. I want to talk to you about faith and I title it Faith’s Exclusive Work. That is a work that only faith can do.
Now, let me lead up to that thought in this way if I can. Every one of us were made in God’s image. Every human being that has ever lived, never living now, is made in God’s image. God made us male. That is, if you are a man, you are a male in that sense made in God’s image. God’s image is in you in that way. If you are female, God made you that way and made you in his image so that you have that connection to God and every human being has this. Every human being is made in God’s image with all of the capability that comes with the image of God, which is an amazing thing. Human beings are amazing creatures. We can do amazing things. And so Adam and Eve were created that way. But you know the story. By chapter three of Genesis, the lights go out.
Sin enters into God’s creation and that wonderful person, that human being, Adam and also Eve, sinned and were separated from God. I picture it as the lights went out. Have you ever been in a place where the lights go out?
I mean totally out. Have you ever been in one of those caves, you know, Marvel Cave down in Silver Dollar City? They get you way down in there and then they turn the lights out, you know, and you see darkness. You see how really dark it is.
Or maybe you’ve just been in your neighborhood or city or somewhere and all the electricity, all the power goes out and there you are. You are still you. You still have the capabilities that you were born with, but you’re blinded.
You can’t see to do anything. You have no illumination from God. And that’s what happened when sin came into the world.
Adam and Eve and then all of us were basically cut off from the power source. And though we are human beings and wonderful creatures of God, we don’t know where we’re going and we can’t see what we’re doing. And so that’s what man is like when the lights went out. Now, when you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel comes to you, the light comes on, but individually, not to the whole race as it did there, of course, when Adam sinned, but rather you individually, the light comes back on. And it’s just like that now with all of the ability and amazing things that God has built into you, now you know where to go.
Now you know you have a path that is clear and God has come back to you and that connection has been made again. But for a man that doesn’t know Jesus Christ as Savior, he wants to serve God. He wants to worship. He’s made to worship. Human beings are made to worship, but he can’t worship God because he’s disconnected.
So you know what man does? He worships himself. He’s an amazing creature. She is an amazing creature and can do wonderful things and build wonderful things. And so man begins to worship his own God given ability, whether he makes a cathedral and stands in the middle of it and says, look at all of the, how beautiful this is and how beautiful my worship is. Or maybe he makes a idol temple and he collects all the idols that he can, puts them all in that temple and says, there, I’ve got everything I need right here. Even atheistic humanism is a worship of how smart I am that I don’t have to believe in God. Look, look at me.
I have everything that I need. Some people believe that their citizenship is salvation. I’m an American, so I’m a Christian, you know? I live in this country. Therefore this is what I am. Or maybe it’s education or science or sports or cinema or name it. Look what I do.
I’m good. And some people even dwell in their apostasy in local churches just like this one. And that is they could be a member of a good church and lost and not even born again and trusting where they are to be their, their salvation. Now a person in a situation like this needs God, but to come to God, you have to repent of that self worship. You have to repent of that self ability to save yourself. And I tell you repentance to a sinner becomes then the most difficult, distasteful, oppressive thing that has ever been asked of him or her. You mean I have to say that I can’t save myself? You mean just tell me that I’m not worthy of eternal life before God?
That’s what you’re telling me. That’s one of the most terrible things for a sinner to admit. And that’s why it’s hard to give the gospel to somebody. And yet the Holy Spirit can come and the Holy Spirit can convict and the Holy Spirit can regenerate that person.
Now the farther a person goes into unbelief, the more he worships himself, the more he trusts in himself. As we come to our passage this morning in Galatians chapter 3, we need to understand that that’s exactly where Israel was. This is Israel’s problem, and that is they’re worshiping the wrong thing. They believe that citizenship in their country and in their religion equals salvation.
If you’re a Jew, if you practice the law, then you are saved. And so the life that God designed for the Old Testament person of faith to live to them became faith itself. If I just live this, and if I just do these things, then I must be a believer. I must have eternal life. It would be kind of like a person today trying to live the Christian life who’s never become a Christian.
Trying to live the Christian life that has never been born again. Can they do it? Well, for a little while, momentarily. But are they truly born again?
No, they’re not. And so we’re going to see that Paul is going to argue here, as he does often in this book, for what true faith is. Now I want you to notice chapter 3, verse 6, and the first two words. We read these a minute ago also. And those first two words are just as you might have even as.
What does that mean? He has been arguing in chapter 3, go back up to verse 2, that salvation is by faith and not by the works of the law. This only what I learned from you, he said. Did you receive the spirit of the works, or by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Of course, the answer he wants is the second. I received the spirit of God by faith, not by works. Are you so foolish having begun in the spirit?
Are you now made perfect by the flesh? Well, he’s arguing then that salvation is by faith, not by being Jewish, not by being American, not by being anything that you can do, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So he begins our section with just as, Abraham. I’m going to use Abraham, he says, as an example. Now, what Judaizer can argue with that? What Jewish person can say, well, I don’t care about Abraham. I don’t care what Abraham did.
I don’t care what Abraham believed. And Paul knows it. And this reference to Abraham, this analogy to Abraham, is the most common reason or argument Paul gives in all of his epistles for why something is wrong.
And the revelation is by faith. You’ll see it in Romans chapter four, as you get to it in your study in Romans, and I’m going to refer to that a little bit this morning. You’ll see it in James.
You’ll see it everywhere. And Paul and other writers use this. So the Judaizers, they can’t deny Abraham. When he says, just as Abraham, their ears open up. They’ve got to listen. So follow with your outline that you have in your bulletin or on the screen.
A few things I want to say about this. Number one, in the first two verses of our text, six and seven, Abraham is saved by faith alone. Paul’s going to make that clear, and he does it so many times in his writing. So I want you to notice these words. Just as Abraham, what? Believed. Not just as Abraham kept the law, but just as Abraham believed.
Would you do this with me? Hold your place here and go back to Acts chapter two. Now the word believed means what? It means faith. I’ve said this often to believe is the verb form of the noun faith. To have faith is to believe. Well, we talk about being born again.
That’s another expression for this. But back in Acts chapter two, as Peter finishes his sermon at Pentecost, he says in verse 38, Peter said to them, Repent. There’s another expression for coming to faith. Repent, as I said a few minutes ago, very difficult. But we have to come and repent of our sins. We have to say, I’m a sinner. I need to be saved.
Look at verse 40 right at the end of the verse. Be saved from this perverse generation. There’s another expression, the word to be saved. Then look at verse 41. Then those who gladly received his word. There’s another expression of believing, of having faith, of getting saved.
Receiving the word. And then go to verse 44. Now all who believed, there’s that word again. And then go back all the way down to verse 47, praising God, having favor with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily, those who were being saved. And now we have that word. Now let’s go back to our text. What I’m illustrating is, when Paul says, just as Abraham believed, we could use any of those words and put them in there. We could say, just as Abraham was saved, just as Abraham received the word.
All of these refer to the same thing. Now, he believed God. There’s an object to our faith. It’s not just, well, you know, I believe that there’s a heaven. I believe this, you know, no, it’s God can save me and I believe in God. We say it today, Jesus Christ can save me.
I believe in Jesus Christ. You can’t just believe in your ability. You can’t just believe that there’s a heaven and a hell.
You can’t even just believe that there’s a God that exists. You put your faith there. Now notice what this verse goes on to say. He believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Now, interesting, he quotes, do you have a reference in your Bible as to where that quotation comes from?
Believed God, counted for righteousness? Well, it comes from Genesis 15. I’ll read these verses to you or you might want to turn there, but you probably have a cross reference in your Bible. Genesis 15, that’s a long way back there, isn’t it? Genesis 15, you have Abraham and Sarah.
And verse four of Genesis 15 says this, behold, the word of the Lord came to him saying, this one, now I’ll fill you with a hand woman. This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir. That would be Isaac. Isaac wasn’t even born yet. But God is saying, do you believe me, Abraham? Do you believe me when I tell you that I’m going to make a nation not out of Ishmael, but out of Isaac? Then he brought him outside and said, now look toward heaven.
Count the stars if you are able to number them. And he said to him, so shall your descendants be. I’m going to bless you, Abraham. And verse six simply says this, and he that is Abraham believed in the Lord and he counted it to him for righteousness.
And that’s the quotation we have here in Galatians. Do you believe me? Do you believe what I say? Now we’re looking at Old Testament faith here, I realize. In Old Testament faith, they didn’t see Christ on the cross as clearly as we do. They had prophecies of it.
They had descriptions of it. But basically a man had to believe whatever God told him and as much as God told him, and then it was counted to him for righteousness. You and I have the great advantage in the day of grace to look back. And we look back at a historical fact.
We see it plainly and we cannot deny it. So we believe in it. That’s New Testament faith. But it’s still faith in God and it’s faith without works, by the way.
Now, interestingly, understand this. This is Genesis 15, early really in Moses, in Abraham’s life. But you know when Abraham was circumcised? You know when God told him to be circumcised and begin that Jewish right? It’s in chapter 17.
Now, you understand why Paul is using this. Abraham has faith to be saved in chapter 15. He’s not circumcised until chapter 17. So did he need circumcision to be saved? No, he’s saved without it in chapter 15. Paul will do that in Romans 4 when you guys get there.
It’s a great story. He explains it much more in Romans 4. And so he’s just using that illustration. Do you know when God commanded him to take Isaac up onto the mountain and sacrifice him? Genesis chapter 22.
So he’s not even close to that. And yet it’s in Genesis 22 where God will say, now I know that you believe me, Abraham, because you’ve done this. So a great order of events going on here. And he starts out quoting Genesis 15 to these Judaizers and it clicks immediately.
You can guarantee. He was not circumcised yet. As a matter of fact, Mount Sinai won’t happen for another 600 years. There is no Jewish nation yet. There is no way to become a Jew. There’s no way to keep the law. It won’t even be given for another 600 years. But Abraham believed God and became righteous.
How did that happen? Without works, by faith alone. Secondly here, righteousness was accounted to him.
We have that in both of our versions. Accounted. Logisomai is the word for reckoned. Sometimes we see that word translated that way. It is reckoned to him for his righteousness. Now remember we talked about the word justify up above in the verses before. And I use the word forensic. In other words, it’s a legal term.
To be justified is for a judge to say to someone who’s accused, you’re not guilty. And so to be accounted means you have on your account nothing that merits salvation and God accounts it to you. Puts righteousness on your account where you didn’t have it. it.
You couldn’t get it, you couldn’t earn it, there’s nothing you could do, but righteousness is accounted, put on your account for you. Linsky, a Lutheran scholar that I like to read, quotes some old dictionaries that helped define this word logisomai, a lot of older, scholarly, dusty old men. He says this, quote, he’s quoting them here, to reckon something for something. Something transferred to the subject, that is the person, in question and reckoned as his, which he for himself does not have.
It is figured in for the person’s substitution, end of quote. You don’t have righteousness and yet it’s given to you. You don’t have righteousness, but somebody else’s righteousness is accredited to your account. Then Linsky summarizes by saying, there is no virtue or merit in either the believer or in his act of believing, nothing of the kind to the end of his life. He’s righteous, he doesn’t have to start working for it, he never will have to work for it. He is accounted righteous.
So here’s an interesting thing about this word logisomai accounted here. It’s used, I think, 41 times in the New Testament and half of those only are referring to actual salvation. In the book of Romans, Paul will use this word 19 times, that righteousness is accounted to us through Jesus Christ. In chapter 4, it is used 11 of those 19 times in chapter 4 to say righteousness was accounted to Abraham without works, without law, without being a Jew, it’s just accounted to him. As a matter of fact, chapter 4 verse 9 will say, does this blessing or 9 and 10, let me quote both of these, does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted while he was circumcised or uncircumcised?
Not while circumcised but while uncircumcised. How is it accounted through faith? He believed and it was counted to him. James will simply quote this by saying the scripture was fulfilled which says Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness and he was called the friend of God.
And so this is a wonderful statement. Accounted for righteousness. You had none and all of a sudden you have it.
You’re blinded, you’re separated from God, dead in your trespasses and sin and all of a sudden you are righteous with God. I was thinking the other day, I don’t know what reminded me of this, about stupid dreams. We all have them, right? Dreams are a weird thing, aren’t they? You know, it’s like every little thing that ever happened in your life and every person you’ve ever known and every place you’ve ever been is like, you know, when you see a bingo game and those pebbles are going rattling around in that ball and then one of them pops up, that’s kind of what a dream is like.
It’s just all of those things are rattling around together and your crazy mind puts together some nutty story that, you know, but did you ever have a dream that you committed some terrible crime? I have. And then you realize, I did that. I’m guilty. Oh no. You know, and you get scared, you’re in your dream and you’re at this place and then, you know what happens?
You wake up and all of a sudden you open your eyes and you say, oh, I’m glad I, glad that didn’t happen. You know, C.S. Lewis was one of the greatest atheists in Oxford University in England. He was an atheist. He describes his own coming to faith as waking up from a dream. It’s all gone.
It’s, it isn’t real. You were guilty before God and at the moment of faith, it’s all gone. You’re no longer guilty. You’re no longer condemned. You’re righteous before God at that moment. What a great thing that is to believe and have righteousness accounted to you. Now, the third thought under number one is verse seven. Therefore, know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. Those of faith, faith makes you a son and only those who have come to him by faith. Now, the New King James puts in the word only. It’s an italics, but it properly belongs there, doesn’t it?
Isn’t this what, isn’t this what he’s been arguing about? Only by faith. That’s the only way you get righteous.
That’s the only way it can happen. Spiritually, you become a son of Abraham, not physically or actually in that physical sense, but in a very spiritual sense. Sons of Abraham. Now, Judaizers believed the only way you could become a son of Abraham is by becoming Jewish. That is, circumcision, keep the law, the feast days and all of that. In other words, you have to be a Jew.
You have to become a Jew. And they had proselytizing ways for you to get in. And that was one of them. Here’s your grammatical detail for today. You see that word son. It’s interesting that the New Testament has a number of words for child or son. And three most common ones are, weos, teknon and paidea. Now, weos is the word used here. And it means to have a father.
That’s all. You are the child of a father. If he used the word teknon, that means you’re a descendant. You are the teknon of your father and mother. You are a physical descendant of your father and mother. He could have used the word paidea, which means that you are a dependent one.
You’re dependent on them. But he uses the word weos. Jesus Christ, when he’s called the Son of God, it’s always the word weos. He’s not a descendant of God. He didn’t somehow become a God from a lower being, like Mormonism teaches and other cults. Rather, he just has God the Father and God the Son, and it’s always been that way. So notice that Paul does this specifically for a purpose. If he had said teknon, all the Judaizers would have said, that’s right, amen.
You have to be a descendant. But he used the word weos. And their eyes probably got big. And they realized that just means I was not a son, and now I am a son. I have God as my Father. And I’ve become not only a child of God, but also even here he says of Abraham. That’s how you become a son, and we’ll see later with Abraham. So look at the end of chapter 3, and look at these two verses 28 and 29. There is neither Jew nor Greek. You don’t have to, you can be a Greek, you don’t have to be a descendant. There’s neither slave nor free.
There’s neither male or female. All are candidates for salvation, for you are all one where and how in Christ. Verse 29, and if you are Christ, and only if you are Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
So Abraham is saved by faith alone. Paul nails it here with one simple statement, and he will repeat this many times in his writings. Go with me to verse number 2, verse number 8. Abraham was told this long ago. I think this is an interesting verse here. The scripture, the scripture that is, the Bible, foreseeing that God would justify the nations or the heathen, the Gentiles, by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, now we’re going to have another quote, you know where this quote comes from?
In you all the nations shall be blessed. You know where that comes from? Genesis 12. Further back than even Abraham’s salvation. Three chapters before Abraham gets saved, the Bible is preaching the gospel to Abraham, and telling him what it is.
Interesting, isn’t it? So you can turn there or let me read these words to you. Genesis 12. Now God just calls Abraham out of her of the Caldees, and he comes over the top and he’s ready to come down into Israel.
Now the Lord said to Abraham, get out of your country from your family, from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you. And then here’s our quotation. In you all the families or the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Everyone can be.
All will be. Now it’s interesting that in that, we call Genesis 12. One through three, the Abrahamic covenant.
You know that expression. The Abrahamic, this is where God makes a covenant to Abraham. And I numbered three things as we read it, because in this Abrahamic covenant, there is a promise of land, there’s a promise of seed, and there’s a promise of blessing. And interestingly, as the Old Testament develops, the promise of land will be explained in the Palestinian covenant.
That’s why that land of Israel belongs to Israel. The seed will be Isaac and all the way down to Jesus Christ. The seed has to come and we call that the Davidic Covenant so that in David’s day he will reiterate that and say from Abraham to David to Christ. And then the blessing is what Jeremiah will describe as the new covenant.
Now in the new covenant is where you and I live. We get the benefits of it and then it will be totally fulfilled in the kingdom of God when Jesus Christ returns. So interestingly the land, the seed, and the blessing are all here but he’s talking specifically about the blessing which our verse 8 and 9 are going to really express here. How is it you can be blessed?
How is it that you can come into this blessing that Abraham had? And that’s what he’s talking about to us. Now here’s a little interesting question or note here.
The scripture foresaw that God would say. It’s kind of an interesting thing. Think with me. Genesis 12 is at the early life of Abraham. Let’s round it off and put it at 2000 BC. It could be a little later, 2000 BC. When was the scripture written? Who wrote these words in Genesis? Who was it? Moses.
You’re right. And when did Moses write it? Well, it had to be during his life and the Exodus and all was in 1400 BC.
So let’s just say 1400. 600 years later the Bible is written. So how did the scripture say something in 2000 BC? The scripture foreseeing that God would do this said, preached to Abraham. Here’s the gospel. Through your seed, Messiah will come and that’s how you’ll be justified.
How did that happen? You know, there’s an interesting thing that happens in the New Testament especially where a New Testament writer will quote the Psalms or quote an Old Testament verse and then it will say, and the Holy Spirit says, you remember that? For example, two of them in Hebrews, Hebrews 98, the quotation from the Old Testament and it says, the Holy Spirit indicating this that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest. Who said it? The Holy Spirit said it. Well, I thought David said that in the book of Psalms. No, the Holy Spirit said it in chapter 10. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us for after he had said before, this is the, here’s the quotation.
This is the covenant that I made with Abraham. Who said it? The Holy Spirit said it. Or listen to Peter in 1 Peter 111, searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when he testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow. How do you understand Isaiah 53 and the sufferings of Christ? Well, because the Spirit of Christ was in Isaiah helping him say that.
Okay. All I’m saying is that it’s interesting here that God said this through to Abraham in 2000 BC and what God says is God’s word. And what the word of God says is what God has said.
Do you understand how important that is? You understand that when we say, when we describe this book as God’s word, what that means? And if we say scripture, which is the word for writings and say it’s inspired, if we read these words, folks, God is speaking to us. And you want a way that if you want to hear God today, read this.
The scripture is saying the scripture here foreseeing that God preached the gospel. That’s what this book does. All right, enough of that. I just thought that was an interesting little tidbit that comes out of this text. So it was recorded beforehand. Secondly, the Gentiles are included.
Now this is important. So again, foreseeing that God would justify what we have here, the nations or the Gentiles, all this come from the same word. By faith, stop and think, when did God say that Gentiles could be saved at Sinai? No, way back there in 2000 BC, I’m going to save Gentiles.
And how will you do that by faith? Oh, these Judaizers, they’re getting nervous now. They realize where Paul’s going with this. Preach the gospel to Abraham beforehand saying, and you shall all the nations be blessed, all the nations. And so the gospel is, whosoever will may come.
Jew, Gentile, and we read it in verse 28, Greek, Jew, male, female, slave, free, whoever wants to can come. It’s kind of an interesting thing. I’ve talked to you about the dispensational change that came about as the New Testament came into being. And we can’t, we come to the times after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. And so now what is the gospel? The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and go into all the world, preach the gospel to whom? Every creature. Because from all the way back to Abraham’s day, the gospel is for everyone.
one. All nations and whosoever will may come. That’s our message in this clear day of grace as we preach the gospel clearly, the death, brown resurrection of Christ, anyone may come.
All nations can come. Paul is pointing that out. And you have to come by faith. So again, back in verse 8, again, that saying, in you all the nations shall be blessed. In you Abraham’s seed, that is Christ. Verse 16, we’ll get to it eventually, the seed who is Christ. All nations can come.
And I want you to, I want you to see one other thing. Can you, can you turn to Ezekiel 16 quickly? Ezekiel 16, prophet Ezekiel writing, you know, 400, 500 years before Christ came. And Ezekiel is going to take time to tell us about Abraham and Sarah. So let me begin just in verse 3 of Ezekiel 16. This says, the Lord God to Jerusalem, your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan. Notice this, your father was an amorite and mother a Hittite.
You know what he’s saying? Abraham was an amorite. Sarah was a Hittite.
You know what he just said? Abraham is a Gentile. He wasn’t a Jew when he believed. And as for your nativity, on the day you were born, your naval cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you.
You were not rubbed with salt nor swathed, it’s swaddling clothes. No, I pitied you to do any of these things for you. Just Abraham and Sarah, two Gentiles, to have compassion on you. But you were thrown out into the open field when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born. Now notice verse 6. And when I passed by you, saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you, in your blood, live. Yes, I said to you, in your blood, live. By the way, any baby that’s born, God says, let it live.
Any baby that’s conceived, God would say, let it live. But God sees Abraham with nothing, just a Gentile, just an amorite from the fertile crescent. And he says, I’ll make a nation out of you, I will bless you.
And when he explains that to Abraham, Abraham believes him, and it’s counted to him for righteousness. Okay, back to our text. I want to say one more thing then. And that is in verse 9. Salvation is still by faith alone. Here Paul, it makes the application. He now is going to apply it to the to the Galatian readers of this letter, but he’s applying it to you and me.
He’s applying it to everyone now. So then, here’s a conclusion. So then, those who are of faith are blessed with faithful or believing Abraham. I want you to notice these three things about faith. First of all, faith is individual because he says, those who are of faith, are you, you may or may not be. I think I’m looking at believers in the Lord, but anyone, any human being, any of those people that I described being created in God’s image, male or female, those, any of those who believe, faith is individual.
You must decide. Abraham can’t do it for you. A nation can’t do it for you. A church can’t do it for you. Your family can’t do it for you.
You must do it. Faith is individual. You could be the only one in your whole family that ever comes to Christ, and yet you’re eternally secure in him.
You have to do it individually. And, and think of this, nothing can force you to do it. You, you can’t be made to be made a, a Christian.
That’s why we disagree with the Roman church and others who basically make people, make babies, believers by baptizing babies, forcing them to be what they call in the kingdom of God. No, you have to be an adult who makes a decision. And that decision has to be yours. Now, no one can force you to do it.
But secondly, no one can keep you from doing it. You have no excuse. You have no, but somebody won’t like it. Somebody will be mad.
I’ll disappoint somebody. Nobody can keep you from doing it. No one could put you in prison. Nobody could, could burn you at a stake and keep you from accepting Christ the Savior if you want, if you want to accept him.
It’s up to you. Secondly, faith is alone. So again, those who are of faith, we might add that word only like it was in verse seven. Only those who are of faith. This is the end of the whole argument for Paul.
He’s already made it. It’s not by keeping the law. It’s not by good work. It is only by faith.
Here’s an interesting note. And we’re going to get to this next week in verses 10 and 11. where he is going to talk about the curse of the law. Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But look at verse 11, but that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God in his evident for, and we have one of the few quotations from the book of Habakkuk in the New Testament.
The just shall live by faith. Habakkuk? Is that in the older New Testament?
Habakkuk’s in the Old Testament. Is that under law or under grace? It’s under law. The law itself says if you’re going to be justified and have that reckoned to you, it has to be by faith. The law says that. And how many times is this short statement from Habakkuk then going to be quoted? The just shall live by faith from the Old Testament itself.
Alright. So verse 14 will say you receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. And one last thought. Faith is together.
I like this last thought. So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing or faithful, same word, Abraham. You are present tense as he says to these Galatians, if you believe you are blessed, he would say to us today in 2023, he would say, if you believe you are blessed.
This is an ongoing thing that goes on and on. You are blessed with all of the rest of those who have believed. Not only believing Abraham, but Moses, but Isaiah, but everybody else, but Paul and Peter and John and every other believer, anyone who has believed, you’re blessed with them. I like that because here we are as a family of God. Here we are as a local church of Jesus Christ and we believe together. We are believers together.
With Abraham, all the way back to Abraham and up to us today, saved by faith, and then we do good works. We have a family of God. And I want to close with this statement that Jesus made one time. So in Matthew chapter 12, someone said to him, verse 47 to 50, look, they said, your mother and your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak with you. You know, his brothers didn’t believe him yet.
And even Mary had to think about it a lot. But he answered and said to the one who told him, who is my mother? Who are my brothers? And he stretched out his hand toward his disciples and said, here are my mother and my brothers. For whosoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. Blessed with faithful Abraham, we are a family. And in our case, this family trumps every other family.
Because this one is eternal underneath of the everlasting arms, in other words, this is our family. I heard somebody say, was bragging about living in a life of sin but talked about going to church saying, well, after all, the church is for sinners. Let me tell you something, the church is not for sinners. The church is a place for sinners to repent.
It’s not a place for sinners to live. The church is a place for saints. The church is a place for people who have been born again. We would welcome any sinner that came in and we would preach the gospel to them and we would say you must be born again. And then we as a family enjoy God’s grace and greatness here as the family of God. And any other place believers are gathered together. So Paul goes from beginning to end, proving that salvation is by faith alone because that’s the way Abraham was saved and everybody sends Abraham to now to save the same way.
Alright, stand with me if you will. We think about these things and sing a song, an invitation as we always do in our services. Let’s go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to bless our hearts as we do.
Father, thank you now for the passage we read this morning. Thank you for the inspiration of your word, the scripture preaching the gospel to us through the mouth of God the Father, God the Son and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for that. And so Father, I’ve preached this salvation today. Many others have preached it today. Maybe there’s someone listening to my voice who has never come to Jesus Christ to save you. May they find that light coming on today. May they find that reconnection with their Creator today through Jesus Christ. And then Father bless us as give us better and greater clarity of the gospel that we preach, that we might explain it clearly to those who need it. I pray Father that as you died for everyone and as you love the whole world, that Father the gospel would go out in love to everyone to repent and believe and have eternal life. Thank you for these truths. Now bless us. We sing this song. Speak to our hearts in the way that we need. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
So we sing our invitations always open here in church and even after we’re done singing, I’m still at the front. If you have a need concerning these things, please see me at the front after the service. All right? Gordon O’Cummins leads us in this song.

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