Faithlife Sermons

The Anatomy of Faith: Location

Intro: I want the best.
If I go to a restaurant I want the best dish. When I dress to go out I want to look my best. When I do something I want to do my best. None of us live to be our worst.
This attitude carries over into my walk with the Lord. I want to have the best in my relationship with God. I want God’s best blessings. I want the my best life. The problem is that despite what Oprah says about achieving your best life, my efforts are...well, my efforts. I don’t have the wisdom and power that God has. So the challenge is getting God to give me His best.
Here there is good news: Romans 8:28
Romans 8:28 NASB95
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
This is not a promise that everything in my life will be the best from my point of view, that is obvious, because there are many things in my life that are not the best. But it is a promise that everything will work toward the best as God uses it in my life. But what do I need to do? How do I get this “good” for my life? Is it something that I, through my efforts, need to get? Is it even something that I, through my own efforts, can get?
Romans 4:13-15 while not written to give us these answers specifically, does give us a clear answer.
Romans 4:13–15 NASB95
13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
The principle of location in faith:
(pictures of a great divide that can’t be jumped over no matter how hard you try & people with blind folds; a balloon that floats over the divide)
The principle applied to Abraham
The promise: “heir of the world”
Gen. 15:4-5 The promise of a nation from his own body
Genesis 15:4–5 NASB95
4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
Gen. 12:2-3 The promise of a blessing to the nations of the world
Genesis 12:2–3 NASB95
2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Gen. 17:5-7 The promise of fatherhood over many nations
Genesis 17:5–7 NASB95
5 “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 “I have made you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
Gen. 17:8 The promise of possession of the land
Genesis 17:8 NASB95
8 “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
The Law: “Law brings about wrath”
Romans 7:7-11
Romans 7:7–11 NASB95
7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
Romans 4:15 use of metonymy = A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated, as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power.
Romans 4:15 NASB95
15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
The Principle applied to Me
My efforts to make God’s blessing happen in my life are futile. God has already promised this.
My efforts only lead to failure and discouragement.
My efforts are better spent in growing my ability to depend and trust God in all areas of my life. [On a hiking trip at the trails end there were showers you could pay for, but they were on a timer - so if you took too long you would run out of water. - taking a bath and spending all of your time trying to get wet instead of soaping up and rinsing]
Big objection: “If we don’t have to be good, then we won’t be good.”
[A fish who doesn’t have to swim in water, won’t swim in water. Of course, a fish who doesn’t have to swim in water is not really a fish, because fish by nature live and swim in the water.]
2 Corinthians 5:17 The Christian increasingly stops doing what they once did because they are no longer who they once were.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB95
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
You and I are no longer bound to performing for God’s approval, but we are now living in God’s approval. Gal. 2:19-21
Galatians 2:19–21 NASB95
19 “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
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