family worship helps
Read - Romans 1:16-17
Message - Alan Burke
Today I want to tell you a story, a synopsis about a man who lived some time ago. Growing up he didn’t have it easy and his parents did all that they could so that he could have a better life than them, wanting him to go to university. They made sacrifices to make it possible that he could get an education and a career. He worked hard, excelled at his studies, got his degree, was on his way to becoming a lawyer. Then everything changed on night during a thunderstorm and he ended up becoming a monk. You may know his name, Martin Luther. Why do I tell you about Martin, because as a monk in his own word… ““…I wearied myself greatly for almost fifteen years with the daily sacrifice, tortured myself with fastings, vigils, prayers, and other very rigorous works. I earnestly thought to acquire righteousness by my works.”
The more hd tried, the more he attempted to please God by what he did, the more he became aware of his own sinfulness before a God who is Holy, abundant in goodness and truth and that before this God all his efforts were worthless.
Saying; “Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God.”
Luther wrestling with his own sinfulness, he worked tirelessly to earn God’s favour but while he was studying Romans, he came to not so much a discovery but a rediscovery of biblical truth that is still ignored by many that became the great cry of the Reformation, that matters because none of us have a leg to stand on before a God who is Holy, abundant in goodness and truth and that before Him, all our efforts are worthless. While reading Paul’s letter to the Romans, hearing how the faith of the believers there was being reported all of the world he went on to read; ”For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
He now understood for the first time that God freely gives the perfect righteousness he requires, through personal trust in Christ, He now knew the grace of God, he now knew that the righteousness of God is shown in the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to us. Imputed isn’t a word that we use very often, but what it means is that though faith, when God looks at the sinner he sees not the sin but Christ and his righteousness, it means that though faith when God looks at Alan Burke he sees not my sin but Christ and his righteousness, it means though faith when God looks at you he sees not your sin but Christ and his righteousness. For Luther, a man who had been tormented by his sin he understood like never before God’s great plan of salvation, that though faith alone that sinners are justified, declared righteous by God without words. It led Luther to write he, “...thereupon felt altogether born again and entered paradise through open gates.”
How about if I asked you, ‘are you are righteous before God?’ ‘Are you righteous before a God who is abundant in goodness and truth, holy and just?’ The answer is that if you have faith then though personal trust in Christ Jesus then the righteousness of God has been imputed to you, though faith when God looks at you he sees not your sin but Christ and his righteousness. For Luther who had been tormented by his sin he understood along with the other reformers that it was though faith alone that sinners are justified, declared righteous by God through faith alone, Sola fide: “faith alone”!
What is prayer?
Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, (Ps. 62:8) for things agreeable to his will, (1 John 5:14) in the name of Christ, (John 16:23) with confession of our sins, (Ps. 32:5–6, Dan. 9:4) and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies. (Phil. 4:6)
Service 18 October