Faithlife Sermons

Why Faith Still Matters

Reformation 500  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Many suggest that the age of faith is past, but we need the Gospel more than ever: it is power to save all who believe; it reveals the righteousness of God; so we needn't be ashamed

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Romans 1:16–17 NIV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Desired response: Accept it: in Jesus you are declared right; Live it: step into God’s mission to rescue his entire creation
BI: God’s glorious mission to save is revealed in the Gospel, which we receive in faith

Introduction

SSM vote
Pressure on churches: we are tempted to go quiet - does faith still matter?
The world wants us to be ashamed, but we should actually be excited

Not Ashamed

Point 2

Pressure on Paul was to be ashamed: Christian = Atheists
The foolishness of the cross:
Stumbling-block to Jews
Foolishness to Gentiles
We should not be surprised at our culture’s response: we will always be different and we will always be a minority; current SSM issue is just one more thing that we will be weird about

Salvation Power

The Gospel is the power of God: more than a set of facts.
The Gospel is Jesus: salvation comes through his death and resurrection
to all who believe
Salvation by grace, received by faith
Faith is more than agreement (). Faith that saves is trust.
…to all who believe! Given by God () - so none are excluded. What thrilling news!
do not make assumptions about who will believe and who won’t
Then: divisions were cultural, now they are more social. Beyond the pale?: indigenous, moslems, atheists
Colson, Paul, CS Lewis
This is God’s almighty power!

Righteousness Revealed

The Gospel reveals something: the nature of God’s righteousness
‘Reveal’ cf. eu+calypt - cap comes off to show a glorious bloom
Gospel shows God’s righteousness
People declared right in Christ - received by faith
People transformed (), live by faith (faith from first to last) as they announce God’s plan to transform all of creation
Step up: Declare your faith in the one through whom you are declared right
Step out in faith and live the life Christ has won for you
Step in: serve the King who gave his life for you
Step out: in faith and live the life Christ has won for you
The righteous will live by faith!

Conclusion

Faith alone is more than an idea: it’s how we receive the life Christ has powerfully won for us; it is how we live lives of daring and courageous grace.
Nothing to be ashamed about, and everything to celebrate
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