The Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, as it is recorded in Acts 2 the words which had been spoken by the prophet Joel in Joel 2:28-32, and it is recorded that those who heard “...were cut to the quick. “They said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, “men and brethren what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) In Paul’s great epistle to the Church at Rome, he sets forth the historical fact of the sin and the fall of Adam. Many people, even some in the church, do not believe this account from God’s Word. Nevertheless, it is true. When Adam disobeyed God, not only did he die, but all of his descendants also died. Therefore, when Adam died, all died! Sin entered the world and “death through sin and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned!” (Romans 5:12) Indeed, this great Apostle, states in Ephesians 2 in the first verse that “all are dead in trespasses and sins”. It is true that we have all sinned and “walked according to the course of this world, according to the Prince of the Power of the air (Satan) the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as others.” (Ephesians 2:2-3)
Note that God’s Word expressly says that all were “by nature” children of wrath. Not only did Adam and all his posterity die when he disobeyed God, but every person who has come into the world is a child of wrath. Just by nature! Adam died and all his posterity and all have also committed sin for there is none righteous - not one. All have walked according to the course of this world. All are sons of disobedience.
Therefore, according to the Word of God, which is truth itself, everyone who comes into the world is dead! Everyone in the world is dead- by nature! Of course scripture also tells us that “there is none righteous; none seeks after God; and there is no fear of God before their eyes”. (Romans 3:10-18) Therefore, all are dead - both Jew and Gentile. Everyone! Moreover, no one can save themselves. Proverbs 15:8 says that the “sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord….” therefore as Paul stated in Romans 3:20, “...by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin”. Consequently, no one can save themselves.
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.” (Romans 3:21-22) Paul goes on to say, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to declare [or demonstrate] His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed to declare [demonstrate] at the present time His righteousness that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith (believe) in Jesus.” (Romans 3:24-26)
I. THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
In the first chapter of his letter to the Church at Rome, Paul told the Church at Rome (and us) that it is the Gospel of Christ that is the Power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. Paul wants all to know according to God’s Holy inspired, infallible, inerrant Word, that everyone - Jew and Gentile alike- that there is no difference between Jew and gentile because everyone needs justification to escape the wrath of God. He then tells them that God has revealed the only way for them to be righteous (to escape the wrath of God), or be justified, is by faith in Christ Jesus. Not by God merely overlooking their sin, but because the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed them who believe in Him by giving His own life as the ransom for their sin.
The Lord Jesus shed His own blood (not the blood of bulls and goats) that we can be justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Thus, Paul is giving the same answer that Peter gave at Pentecost to the question “.....what shall we do?” The answer is “repent and …..be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39) In short, repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This promise is to you too! God’s Word is to you! Receive it and believe it! As we take a look at the example of Abraham, it is my earnest expectation and hope that you will be helped and receive and believe this great promise of justification by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. If you already know this Holy Truth give this to someone who may not know. Pass it on.
At the very outset of the fourth chapter of Romans, we are told that “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness”. Who was Abraham? He was born Abram and was a direct descendant of Shem, son of Noah. Abram was about 39 years old when Noah died, and Shem outlived Abram \ Abraham. Don't you know that they had many stories from Noah leading up to the global flood, and stories from Noah and Shem about being on the Ark and about the Tower of Babel. When God told Abram to get out of Ur of the Chaldees, He also told Abram The Glorious Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ. (John 8:56; Galatians 3:7-9) What did Abraham believe? He believed God’s Word simply because it was God’s Word. God told him that he would give him an heir (a son). (Genesis 15) He also told him that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars. At that time his name was Abram meaning “high father” and God told him that “in him all the families of the earth shall be blessed”. God changed his name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5) “for I have made you a father of many nations”. His wife’s name was also changed from Sarai to Sarah and God said “and I will bless her and also give you a son by her…, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her: (Genesis 17:5 and Genesis 17:15-16). At this time Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was 90. (Genesis 17:17)
However, the revelation to Abraham was more than that he would have a son. God actually revealed the Messiah Jesus to him. The Lord Jesus, in John 8:56 said, “your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad.” In Galatians, Chapter 3, we find that: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham saying , in thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8)So, Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. He believed God because it was the Word of God! Even though Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was 90 - both well past any possibility of having a son - Abraham believed God that God was able to do that which He said. Do you? Even though it seemed impossible, Abraham believed the promise of God.
The promise that “Abraham would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith”. (Romans 4:13) “...It is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham…” (Romans 4:16) In other words, Abraham was the father of all believers, to Jews and Gentiles alike.
Because the promise is by faith it is according to grace that it may be sure and certain. It is the sheer gift of God to everyone who believes the Gospel of Christ. So the answer to the question at Pentecost is: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Repent! Surrender your will to God, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone. It depends on God alone. He brings about the new birth. For Christ bore our sins in His own body on the cross. Christ is the ransom! He is the propitiation through faith in His blood. Therefore, God is just and the justifier of you and me. That's good news. We see here that “now it was not written for his (Abram) sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. Who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:23-25)
This is God’s Word to you and to me. Abraham heard and believed the Gospel and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. When you hear and receive and believe the Gospel it shall also be accounted unto you for righteousness. It is to all who will receive it and believe it. Do not stagger! Believe God’s Word to you! Tell others of this great Truth. God’s Word is only True. It is Truth itself. Receive it. Believe it. Tell others! There is no untruth with God for God cannot lie! Pass it on.
Now the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen!
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