Hold onto your Faith until something happens

Series: General | Title: Hold onto your Faith until something happens |  Sermon by: Pastor Balan Swaminathan | Location: House of Intercessory Prayer Ministries, Halifax, NS Canada | Date: Sunday, Oct 8, 2017

Lets turn our Bibles to Romans 4:13-25

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed 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 made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.16 Therefore 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, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.  20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.  22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us.  It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

We are reading from Romans, obviously Romans has a little tough tone.  Its little deep theology, at times we find it difficult to understand when Paul writes  to Rome.  The scripture portion that we read, it talks  mainly about Abraham.  I would like to title my sermon as: “Hold onto your faith until something happens”.

This morning God is asking us to hold onto our faith until something happens.  All of us are waiting for something good to happen in our lives.  That’s why God is sending his word to us because God is asking us to hold onto to our  faith until something happens in our life.  This morning all that what is going on in our life, just think and bring it to the surface with the hope that God is about to do something in our lives.

Let’s read again from Roman Chapter 4 verse 13.  We are just going to do a verse-by-verse analysis quickly before really get into the word of God.

Verse 13 says  For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Word of God says the promise that God gave to Abraham, it was not the promise to Abraham, it was not the promise to all his descendants, it did not come through the law but it came through faith.  This morning I want to talk about  righteousness of law and righteousness of faith.  We all know, what is law in the word of God.

Righteousness of law

If you take the first five books of the Bible, it were written by the Moses.  They are called Torah.  613 laws are there in the five books of the Bible.  If I have to found righteous according to the law, I can never break the law.  I can never sin.  Then who is found righteous according to the law?  Nobody is found righteous according to the law.  Paul is saying that, the promise that God gave to Abraham was not promise of law, it was a promise of faith.

Righteousness of faith

God is willing to accept a sinner like me, when I put my faith on the work that Jesus accomplished at the cross.  When I obey to God, when I look at Jesus and I tell him, Lord I believe you, I put my faith in you.  When we do that, God is willing to accept.  Forget those laws.  Christ is willing to accept, when we put our faith in Jesus, that is righteousness of faith.  You can do that, I can can do that, people who are living out in sin, they can do that.  They can just walk into the presence of  God and say, Lord I trust you, I believe you, you are the son of the God, you came down to this world for me, I accept you.  They become righteous.  Yesterday, they were living in sin but today they are righteous.  If that part is not given in the word of God,  we cannot touch this book because this is a holy book and we are sinners.  The law always condemn us but the righteousness of faith accepts us.

  • The law was given to make one righteous, but people end up breaking the law, nobody could be made righteous.
  • But the good news of the Gospel makes somebody righteous, because of our faith in Christ.
  • We are made righteous because of our faith in God.  When we trust God, when we put our faith on Christ, the work that Jesus did at the cross, we become righteous.  Otherwise who can go to heaven?  If you are not made righteous, nobody can go to heaven because sin does not enter in heaven.  We are made righteous because of our faith in God.

Caution:Righteousness of faith

  • God is willing to accept my faith rather than my works as the basis of justification that doesn’t mean that obedience is not necessary.  As a person of faith, I will obey God, I will try my level best to obey all the 613 laws but I will fail for sure but God will pick me up.  Jesus will accept me still,  that is the  righteousness of faith.
  • Righteousness of faith does not mean that repentance and baptism are not necessary for complete salvation of our souls.
  • Righteousness of faith begins with believing in Jesus, confessing our sins, repenting and be baptized.

Verse 14 if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

What if God wanted to find if Abraham as righteous according to the law then only I will give him a son.  If that was a promise, Bible says, our faith is empty and the promise is of no effect.

Verse 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Where there is no law, there is no transgression.  There is sin, then there is law.  Why law came into existence for the first place, because people of the God were sinning and God wanted Moses to give laws.  If there is no sin, there is no law.  Bible says law brings wrath of God, but faith brings grace.

Verse 16 Therefore 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, who is the father of us all.

Paul says the promise is not  just true for only those who follow the law strictly, the promise is also true for those who become righteous by faith.

Here is someone who is made righteous by God by his faith.

Verse 22, And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

When  God promised, the promise came true because of the faith Abraham had in the God.  Abraham was holding onto that faith until he saw the blessing of the God.

What made Abraham, the father of many nations?  The faith in which he was holding onto.  That’s the reason he was called “Father of Faith”.  He was a great man of God.  He was great man of faith.

Characteristics/ Reasons why God found Abraham as a righteous man according to faith that he had.

1.  Abraham knew his God

Abraham believed in God.  What kind of God he was?

Verse 17 – in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.

  • Abraham believed that God gives life to the dead and God calls things which do not exist as though they did.  Because God speaks, things came into existence, Abraham believed in such a God.
  • Abraham knew that God is the one who is capable of bringing something into existence even though they don’t exist.
  • Abraham Knew God according to his situation.  He was in need of a child and he knew his God gives life to the dead.  He knew very well Sarah’s womb was dead.  He knew very well that God is about to give life to Sarah’s womb.  Isaac did not exist at that moment.  Abraham knew very well that God is going to bring something into existence even though they don’t exist.
  • Think about Hagar, she was in the wilderness because Sarai treated Hagar harshly and Hagar fled taking the child, sitting near to spring and an angel of God appeared to Hagar.  Hagar realized her God as El Roi – means God who sees me, even in my lowliness, even when I am just all alone.  That kind of understanding about God.
  • Abraham  was about to sacrifice Isaac and God provided and he said you are Jehovah Jireh – you are a provider Lord.
  • Moses lift up the banner of the God and said – Jehovah Nissi.
  • Children of Israel in the wilderness, when sickness was coming, they said you are Jehovah Rapha and God said I am the Lord who heals you.
  • Gideon said you are – Jehovah Shama, you are the Lord, who brings peace in my situation.  In this morning what ever your situation may be, can you just visualize our God, that is relevant to situation Abraham did.  Abraham knew God is life giver.  He bring things into existence even though they don’t exist.

What do we know about this God?

Do you know about your God concerning about your situation today?  Do you know your God?  Do you know what God can do?  Because there is nothing that God cannot do.  Everything is possible by God but God wants you to think and know him, the way he can help you.

2.  Abraham did not look at the circumstances

Verse 19 says – his own body, that is already dead and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

Abraham did not look at the circumstances.  He looked at Sarah and looked at his own body,  there is no way under the heaven they can produce a child.  But Abraham did not do that.

Remember the story as the disciples were crossing the sea, there was a great tempest and they were also afraid and Jesus asked them Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?

Faith does not obey based on what you see.  I wish faith has eyes through which you can see but unfortunately faith does not have eyes, you cannot see through it.  You can just only believe because faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence that’s not seen yet.  That’s what is faith.  Abraham was asked to believe that God is about to fulfill the promise in his life, there was no doubt for Abraham.

This morning God is telling you, do not look at the circumstances.  Things are going to change in your life.  You are not going to be same that you are in today.  You are worried about your family situation. You think that your family is so low, you think how Lord I can bring my family up, that is your burden.  With that burden you came to this nation.  But God is telling you this morning, don’t look at the family situation today.  God is about to do something.

3.  Abraham did not waver through unbelief

Verse 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

Faith is not 50 / 50.  There is nothing like faith may work or faith may not work.  Faith has to work.  The more you hold onto your faith, it works the more.  Faith is not Lotto 6/49.  It may fail.  It will take you to bankruptcy in fact.  It doesn’t work but faith works.  Its not an option, it is a must.  It has to work.

Abraham had no doubt that God is going to fulfill his promise.

James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

God is telling you to hold on it, do not waver.  If God promised you something ever, he will do it for you.

4.  Abraham was strengthened in faith

Verse 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

In fact, another version says, his faith grew stronger.  As he was waiting more, his faith was growing stronger.  In our life happens the contrary, more you wait our faith goes down but Abraham was not like that.  The more he was waiting, his faith was growing.

Can you imagine,

  • God first revealed to Abraham and spoke to him saying that he would become a father of many nations when Abraham was 75.
  • 15 years later God renewed His promise, Abraham was 90.
  • Ten years later, at age of 100, Abraham and Sarah finally had their son.

25 long years Abraham had to wait.  But during these 25 long years, his faith was growing.

  • At times, when delay come in our life, we get really agitated, we get really irritated and we complain everything that we could see around, but Abraham grew stronger in faith.
  • God is telling us do not lose your faith, do not just look at the surroundings.  Look for the opportunities to strengthen your faith.
  • Just being alone, handling things alone is going to kill you.  Its going to bring your faith down.  The moment you feel your faith level is so low, just run for a prayer meeting.  Some body can pray for you.  Just go for a Bible study that may encourage you, just go for group prayer, go and listen some sermon that will encourage you.  But always keep your faith level high.

5.  Abraham was giving glory to God

Verse 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

Abraham was waiting for the promise, there was no sign , no trace of the miracle happening in his life.  But he was walking as if nothing happened to him.  He was a joyous man in the world.  I could imagine Abraham and Sarai holding hands together and walking to church on Sunday morning.  People just laughed at them and mocked at them.  Bible says Abraham and Sarai was glorifying God.

Lack of faith, fear and anxiety tells that we don’t trust our God.  That’s not glorifying God.  God wants us to trust in him, God wants us to believe in him, know that the one who promised, is faithful and he will do it.  Whatever your need may be this morning, God is telling you, glorify me.  The way we can glorify him, is by trusting in him.

Hebrews 11:6 says, without faith it is impossible to please God.

We can be Christian, we can be born-again Christian, we can be anointed with the Holy Spirit, but God wants us to have faith within us.  Without that faith we cannot really please God.  But when we look at the circumstances, we always get discouraged, we always feel that we are loosing your hope.  This morning God is telling you, the one who promised is faithful.  God wants us to glorify him.

Don’t stop praising God, things may get delayed, don’t stop coming to church, don’t stop praying, don’t stop giving to God.  But we need to glorify God.  The more we come forward to glorify God, the more miracles just on our way.  Learn from Abraham, he did not stop praising God.

We need to give the glory  to God which is due unto Him.  Never stop glorifying God.

6.  Abraham was fully convinced that God is able to perform

Verse 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.  22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Man who was made perfect, righteous by faith:

  • Abraham knew his God.
  • Abraham did not look at the circumstances.
  • Abraham did not waver in his faith.
  • Abraham was strengthened in faith.
  • Abraham was giving glory to God.
  • Now finally, Abraham was fully convinced that God is able to perform a miracle.

Are you fully convinced this morning that God is able to perform a miracle?

  • Abraham did not ask a child just for fun.  Everyone is playing with child.  I want a child.
  • He did not ask as everybody is blessed with child, I need a child.
  • He asked for a child because it was promised to Him.  It was will of God in his life.

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

What is the confidence that we have in Christ? This is the confidence, that if you ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  Are you asking something according to the will of God?  We need to ask God something according to the His will.  God’s will is His purpose in your life.  God’s will is your future.  When you ask anything according to the will of God, he gives us, he hears us.

When believe in God, when you put your faith in Him, you are found righteous to stand before God.

Genesis 15: 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Bible says Abraham believed.  Lord you are going to bring generations after generations through my seed.  God promised Abraham and Abraham believed.

Abraham was holding onto his faith until he could see that.  Bible says Abraham was 100 years and Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac was born.  They were just holding onto the promise, holding onto the faith until they see a miracle.

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