Footsteps of Faith
By Bobby Blakey on November 6, 2022
Footsteps of Faith
By Bobby Blakey on November 6, 2022
Well, welcome to Compass HB, everyone, and especially if you just came to Fall Fest and you're joining us, we want to welcome you. In fact, if everybody can open up their bulletin, you can see a picture of Fall Fest there. And we're excited to announce some of the winners from Fall Fest. Particularly, we want to give a shout out to Kim Jebo for winning the Pie competition. Kim, are you here in this service? Sorry to put you on the spot, Kim. Is she here? No. She just left she ran out of here. Hey, I also want to let people know we gave away free trips this year. So Pat Peplowski, Amber Werner. I think Amber's here, maybe you don't even know. Tara Givens. Is anyone here I got awards to give away. Okay, well, we'll try again. Next service. Tara is here? Tara, come on up, give it up for Tara Givens, Tara’s going to a hotel for free, everybody, for free. Here, here's your award, a certificate of achievement, congratulations, you did nothing and you won everything. It's wonderful. It's wonderful. Talk to Brad Comstock on your way out at the Compass Connect, and he's got all the details of your free trip. So, we do Fall Fest… anybody have fun at Fall Fest on Monday? And I had a lot of fun. I love being a part of this church family.
And we were setting up there for a long time on Monday. And this guy that I don't think I've ever seen before walks up to me. And he's like, so how much does it cost to go to Fall Fest? I mean, you guys are really setting something up here. You guys got to have to monetize this whole thing. Like, you know what I can do for you guys? And I'll just do it for you. I'll do autographs in the parking lot and only charge people 10 bucks, and I'll give a lot of that money to the church. Guy says this to me, and I'm thinking, bro, I don't even know who you are. You know what I mean? Like, if you're famous, I don't know, bro, you know. And I had to explain to him, we do this for free. We do this for free because we're trying to represent something here in Huntington Beach, that we have good news for everybody, that there is eternal life that's already been paid for. And you can receive it for free. And that's why we're doing this. That's why we're giving away dinner for free and parking is free. And oh, we thought we'd throw on some free trips. Because what I have to share with you tonight is genuinely good news. And there is no catch. There is no secret. Well, a lot of people think, oh, I wouldn't want to go to church, they're just going to try to get me to do something. They're just going to try to get my money at church legitimately. What I'm here to tell you tonight is all your benefit. There is no catch.
So, I want to invite you to open up the Bible and turn with me to Romans chapter 4. And we're going to follow the footsteps of faith. In your bulletin, there is a handout. Do you want to take some notes with us? And we're going to study Romans 4:1-8. It's going to be three sermons through Romans, chapter four, called the footsteps of faith. He just ended Romans 3, talking about what faith is like, and now he's going to give us some pictures, particularly of father Abraham to the Jews is going to be the picture of faith. And as we learn about faith, we're going to see what God does for us, because God does it all. And there is no catch. So, I want to invite everybody to stand up for the public reading of Scripture. And I'm going to ask you to give your full and undivided attention to the Word of God. If you're watching this online with us, welcome. We're so glad you're watching. But we need you to give your full and undivided attention now to Romans 4:1-8. Please follow along as I read.
“What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.’ Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.’”
That's the reading of God's word, please go ahead and have your seat. And if you could look back with me and to Romans 3:27-28. So he asked questions, right, almost like a catechism, a way of learning where you ask questions, and then you know, the answers to the questions, and it's a way of keeping information. And that's what he's doing here. At the end of Romans, chapter 3, he asked a question, what about our boasting? Are we doing this by a law of works? And the answer is, no. But by the law of faith, where we hold that one is justified. And we already saw justified means that God declares you righteous, because you put your faith in Jesus. And so, he says there in Romans 3:28, “we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” So, his point there is, there's no boasting, and there's no works. It's not about you saying you did something, it's not about you having to do anything, it is by your faith that God declares you righteous. And so that's what he's unpacking now. He's now giving us a picture of that in Abraham. And he's giving now a fuller explanation of those two verses, the question that he asked there. He's now going to kind of break it down for us. That's really what all of Chapter 4 is, 25 verses that our showing us how to think about faith, giving us pictures and examples to follow. In fact, look what it says in Romans 4:22. Skip on down to verse 22. We're not going to get there tonight. But this is where our whole study of Romans 4 is going to build up to talking about Abraham's faith. “That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone. But for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead, Jesus, our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
So, there's something that happened between Abraham and God, where Abraham had a response to God, and then God counted it to righteousness for Abraham. But that wasn't just written for Abraham, it was written so you would understand what it means for God to count someone as righteous. So, if you go back to our verses, let's start working our way through Romans chapter 4 here. I just want to start by pointing out to you how many times, if you can count how many times it says “counted” in our text. All right. So, I'll go back to Sesame Street for those of us who know how it goes here. 123. Right. That's what we're doing right now is we're going back and we're going to count and so you can see there's the first one is we're going to quote Genesis 15 Six, in verse three. And so you can circle it right there on your handout, if you want to, you can circle that in verse 3, when he starts. And really, all of Romans four is an exposition of Genesis 15:6 that Abraham believed God and it was, circle it, “counted to him as righteousness.” And then he's going to say, “counted” again in Romans 4:4, he's going to say, “counted” again, in verse five, he's going to say “counts” in verse 6. And then he's going to pull out another passage of Scripture, where it is not that counted, they are not counted for their sin. And that's what David says in Psalm 32:2. So, you could circle “count” there in verse 8.
So, the Greek word is Logizomai, it means to reckon, to count. And it's used five times in our passage, a lot of times. This word could be translated “to impute.” And so, it gets the idea of imputation. That's what we're going to define and try to understand. That's usually the theological term that is associated with this idea of God counting someone righteous. So that is what we want to make sure is clear to everybody here that God is going to count you righteous.
And so, let's get this down for point number one. We're going to build our definition of imputation in three points. Point number one: “Imputation is what God counts to us.” imputation is what God counts to us. So, it is not of us. It's a righteousness that's not ours. That God, he credits it to our account. He counts it to us, even though we don't have it. He counts it to us. And the way he counts it to us is by our faith. Okay. So, literally, what I'm saying to you is we don't need anything from you. We don't need you to do anything. We don't need you to give money. We're not here for your money. That's if you want to give money that's up to you. No, we are here to tell you what God is ready to do for you; what he has already done for you in his Son, Jesus, and what he will do for you. If he has not saved you already, he is ready to count you righteous. That is what we want to tell you. This is really good news. All you need to do is hear this and respond to this in faith.
And so, let's go through these verses. Start with me back in Romans 4:1, because we're going to now give the picture of Abraham. “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?” The Jews would have definitely considered him to be father Abraham. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about. If you do something, then you can say, hey, look what I did, but not before God. See, there's no boasting before God. There's no works that can make us right before God. And then here's a question I wish everybody would ask when they were trying to figure something out in their life: What does the Scripture say? That's where we're going to find the answers, and then he quotes to us. Okay, so he's unpacking here, Genesis 15:6. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. So, let's all grab our Bibles and let's go back to the first book, Genesis, chapter 15. And I don't know how much you have heard the Bible, how much you know about the story of Abraham, how much you've studied Genesis before, but Abraham is not just the father of the Jews, he is the Father of all who have faith. That's how Romans 4 is going to position him. His name here is Abram. We know him better as Abraham because that's what his name gets changed to. But back in chapter 12, God made a promise to Abraham. We call it the Abrahamic covenant because this is a promise that changed the world. And the Lord said to Abraham, so I'm reading now Genesis 12:1-3: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.” And then here's a key promise, and in you through Abraham in this nation, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So, Abram, when as the Lord had told him now, if you go ahead to Genesis 15, we pick up the story a little later on. And Abram still doesn't have an heir who is going to be the beginning of this great nation. “And so, after these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, fear not Abram, I am your shield, your award shall be very great. And Abram said, in verse two, oh, Lord God, what will you give me for I continue childless, say about this great nation promise. I don't even have a child. And the air of my house is Eliezer of Damascus. And Abraham said,” so here's two lines from Abram. He says also in Genesis 15:3-6, “Behold, you have given me no offspring and a member of my household will be my heir.” When he says a member of his household, he's referring to servants, someone who works for him, they're in his household. Verse 4 and “’Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.’ And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.’ And he brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”
Here's God walking a man who has no kids outside and saying, count the stars, if you're able to count them, that's how many offspring, that's how many descendants, you're going to have. And it says here in Genesis 15:6, “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” This is literally all we are praying for. All we are hoping is going to happen is that people will hear the promise of God and they will believe it, and God will count them righteous. That is very good news. Like this guy, he had nothing he had done nothing. And God just says, look at the stars. That's how many descendants you're going to have. And he transfers his trust based on the promise of God that he hears. He responds by trusting in that promise of God. And through that faith, God gives Abram a righteousness. He credits to Abraham's account a righteousness that Abram doesn't have. If you read the story of Abraham, he is not a perfect guy. He's not righteous. He makes mistakes that are clear here for everyone to see. No, he lies, and he commit sexual immorality, and see, God is counting to him a righteousness that is not his own. If you've studied theology, you know about this idea of an Alien Righteousness. The idea is a righteousness that is foreign to you. It's not your righteousness, you have nothing to boast about; you didn't do any works. No, you just believed what God said. And God now counts it to you as righteousness. So, it says at the end of Romans 4 that that verse what we just read in Genesis was not written for Abram. Abram, he already believed that he was already dead.
By the time Moses wrote this down, this was written for you so that you could see an example of faith, so that there would be footsteps of faith that you could follow in your life. That's who Abraham is meant to be. That's what Paul is teaching in Romans chapter 4. You hear what God says, you respond to God by believing it, and then God comes, and he counts to you, a righteousness that you don't have of yourself. It's not from you, but God credits it to you. Go back to Romans chapter 4. Okay, now we know the verse that he's quoting. And so, let's just jump ahead, we'll continue going through the first part of Romans 4. But go back now to Romans 4:22. And this verse, Genesis 15:6, this is a very important verse, if you're taking notes, you could write down Galatians3:6, or James 2:23. We already read Galatians 3:6, if you were here last week. And James 2:23, we're going to get to that later on, as we study Romans, but Genesis 15:6 is a regularly quoted verse in the Greek New Testament, and Genesis 15:6 was also regularly quoted by the Jewish writers of the day, who would have been contemporaries with Paul and James. So, this was a verse that a lot of the Jews knew and paid attention to, that Abraham was an example of how it works. This is a picture and God says something to Abraham. Abram believes what God says. And then just by faith, not by doing anything, God credits righteousness to Abram's account. And it says here in Romans 4:22, “That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’” But the words “it was counted to him,” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours. So, whatever this is that God is counting to us, we want God to put it in our account. We want God to credit it to us. The reason we're here tonight talking about father Abraham is we want to hear God's promise. We want to believe what God says. And then God counts to us, this righteousness. This was written for you. And it says here in Romans 4:24, “It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord.” So, specifically, with a good news that we are supposed to hear and believe, is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the Lord of heaven and earth, and he humbled himself to be born as a man. And that's what Christmas is about. I think that's what it's about is the birth of Jesus, the God-man. And he lived a perfect life of righteousness. He established a track record of obedience, he fulfilled the law, and then he offered himself as a sacrifice to pay for your sin. And on the third day, he rose from the dead in victory, and he promised that he is the resurrection and the life and everyone who believes in Jesus, even if they die, they will live. And you're supposed to hear that, and you believe that, and God counts it to you as righteousness. That's how it works. No catch. Nothing, you’ve got to go do nothing, it's already been done in Jesus. And you hear that good news, you believe it, and God credits the righteousness of Jesus into your account.
We have amazing news to share with all of our family members, all of our coworkers, all of our neighbors, and we should all go and give it away for free. We should give it away, we should never monetize it, we should never make it something you got to do this to get it. It's all right here. You’ve got to hear it, you believe it, and God, he puts it into your account, he credits it. God counts you as righteous. Now look at Romans 4:4-5, because there's a clear contrast that he's trying to make here. All right. “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift, but as his due.” Okay, “and to the one who does not work.” So, you can see the contrast. We've got one who works, and one who's not working. And the one who works, when he gets paid, it's not a gift. He worked for it, for all those wages, but verse 5, “and the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” So, the point here is, don't work. Don't do something that you can then boast about doing. I mean, this is really good news. What Michelle just shared with us, everybody. Here she was at our church, she's doing Partners, she's doing fellowship group, she's reading through the Bible. No, it's not about you doing anything, because when you do work, then you can boast about it. Then you can say, hey, I should get paid; I worked this many hours for this wage. Therefore, let me times that up. That means my check should have this much money on it. Does anybody remember the first time you ever had a job, and you got the first check? Anybody remember that? Anyway, I worked at Blockbuster Video. That's where I worked. Good thing I got out of that business, right? Blockbuster Video. Right? And I don't even remember, what was the guy's name – Wayne. I don't even remember the guy's name Wayne. Huizenga, I think. maybe I remember he owned the Miami Dolphins. And he was signing my checks, right? And I was like, Look at this dad. Look at this mom. Look at this, brothers. Behold, look what I have earned, like $114 or something like that. Look at this. Look at this. I've earned something. Right? That is not how it works. Okay. You don't go to church and do anything. You go to church, and you find out what has been done. That's how it works. And there's no boasting, we don't have employees of the month here at church. Okay, hey, we're Christian of the month. Hey, look at so and so over there, way to kill it in the parking ministry, Bro, why don't you come up here? You got a higher level of Heaven or something like that. That's not how it is.
He's drawing a clear contrast. It is not about the one who works. Okay, so he's already made this point. He already slammed this point home in Romans chapter 3:20. Then he said it again in Romans 3:27-28. Now he's giving us a demonstration of it in the life of Abraham. I think Paul might understand that it can be really hard for people like us to not want to boast about what we've done or not, take pride and look at me and what I'm doing and to realize that I cannot do anything. And that's what it says here. And in fact, looking Romans 4:6. This is really interesting. It says, “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” So, the one who believes, his faith is counted as righteousness. So, like the criteria here is you don't work. You just believe. That's the difference here. And this phrase “who justifies the ungodly,” now that's a very interesting phrase to use. Let me throw this verse up here on the screen so everybody can see it. This is Proverbs 17:15. And a proverb that the Jews maybe would have been familiar with. “He who justifies the wicked and condemns the righteous are both a like an abomination to the Lord.” So, this idea of justifying the justifying the ungodly, the unrighteous people who are not doing what is right in the sight of God, you can't say that's right. When people are doing something that is not right, that's an abomination. God hates that. You can't let the wicked people get away with the wrong things they're doing. You can't say that wrong is right. God's not okay with it. When you stop calling evil evil, and you start calling evil good, God's not okay with it. Well, here it says that God is the one taking people who are not right, who are wicked, and he's the one declaring them righteous. That's an amazing statement. That goes against how many of the Jewish people would have been thinking at this time, it seems to go against that very proverb.
Go back to Romans 3:26. This was the amazing thing that we learned last week, how the righteousness of God works. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be “just and the justifier” of the one who has faith in Jesus. You can't just say that wrong things and declare them that righteous, you can't just count things that are not righteous, righteous. Well, you can, when you've already judged Jesus, and he's already shed his righteous blood. And you've already offered the sacrifice of Jesus by grace, as a gift. Jesus has already paid the punishment for that sin, well, then you can declare the ungodly, righteous. So that's an amazing thing that he's saying. He's trying to make it clear; it's not based on what you can do. In fact, what you bring to it is you bring the fact that you're ungodly, that you haven't lived up to God's standard, that you haven't been righteous. You have not only sinned and done things that God told you not to do, there are things that God has told you to do, and you haven't lived up to that mark; you've missed that mark.
See, and so he justifies the ungodly, and that might have even struck some of the Jews and rubbed them the wrong way. Wait a minute, you're calling Abraham ungodly, you could write down Joshua 24, to where Joshua says to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.” So going back to Genesis 12, when God says to Abram, hey, I'm going to make of you a great nation, go out of your father's house, out of your land, out of your family, go. Well, at that point, Abraham was worshipping idols. I mean, he was an ungodly person, until God started speaking to him. And he started hearing God and believing him, and he started going. And so, you can see here that you have to acknowledge yourself not as one who works and boasts, but you have to come to God as an ungodly one, who needs God to count righteousness to you because you're ready to say, I don't have any of my own righteousness. I don't have any righteousness to bring. That's why I need to respond in faith so that God can declare me righteous, and he can impute the righteousness of Jesus to me.
Let's get that down for number two: “Imputation is God counting us righteous, because of Jesus.” Imputation is God taking the righteousness that Jesus has, and crediting it to our account. And so, you can't have any righteousness. You don't have righteousness in your account, you might think you have righteousness in your account. Well, you've got to come and acknowledge that there is no righteousness in your account, and you need the righteousness of Jesus that he offered freely on the cross for you. It cost him a lot, but he offered it freely to you. And when you transfer your trust to the righteousness of Jesus, rather than your own righteousness, God credits the righteousness of Jesus to your account. What an amazing deal that God would give that to you! All because you trusted in Jesus, and you considered yourself ungodly. It was so exciting to hear Michelle's testimony of just a few weeks ago here at church, having her eyes opened to see Jesus and trusting in him. I got to talk to somebody else who was here just even a couple weeks ago, we heard a sermon just about hearing the gospel and responding in faith. And we were having a conversation after, and the person's like, I want to believe this tonight. I want to be saved tonight. I want to put my trust in Jesus here today. And then their immediate question after that was, what should I go and do about it? And I was like, that's a beautiful thing we're here talking about. There's nothing to go and do. It has been done. And as soon as you realize you can't do anything, and you trust in the righteous one who has done it, God counts that righteousness of Jesus, and he imputes it to you; he credits it to your account.
So, justification is God declaring your righteous. Imputation is now God actually counting that righteousness to you. It constitutes your now right standing before God because you don't have your own righteousness. You have the righteousness of Jesus, the perfect one, the holy and anointed one of God, that righteousness is now credited to you. One of the things the Bible makes very clear is that the Father in heaven when he saw his Son, Jesus, he said multiple times, this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well, what, everybody? “Pleased”. Do you guys realize that when you realize that you're ungodly, and you see the righteousness of Jesus, and you trust in him, God takes that righteousness and he has already counted. If you've believed already, he's already counted it to your account and God, right now. When he looks at you, he sees a righteousness not your own, but it's now been counted to you. And God is now well pleased with you. God could not be more pleased with you than he is because you have been counted to you the righteousness of Jesus. That's imputation. That's what we're learning. This is really good news. You mean, it's all I got to do is acknowledge that I'm a sinner and see that Jesus was God's perfect substitute, that he died in my place. And when I stopped thinking I can do it, and boasting and trying in my own works, and I just transfer my trust to Jesus. As soon as I believe in Jesus, God counts me righteous. He gives me the actual righteousness of Jesus. He imputes it to me, that's the message tonight. That's the whole sermon.
That is really good news. That Abram believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. In fact, the working one doesn't get it, but the one who doesn't work and believes, to him it will be counted righteous by faith. That's the message. We want all of Huntington Beach to come and hear this message, because if you hear it, and you believe it, you are righteous now and forevermore. And in fact, he's got more to say. Look at Romans 4:6. He's kind of mixing his analogies here, because he's got another passage that he wants to give us that uses this same idea of being counted. And so now he wants to take us to David, “just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works.” So not only do we have this statement about Abraham about it, and then in verses 4 and 5, he gave us the contrast between the working one and the one who's not working. Well, let's look at David again, someone all the Jews would have known, the famous king of Israel, the killer of Goliath, the writer of so many Psalms. Well, David speaks about what a blessing it is, how happy the one is, to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, and then Paul quotes here, Psalm 32. So I want to invite everybody grab your Bible with me and let's go look at this blessed psalm of David. You might not just know David's victories, you might also know his defeats, when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and he tried to cover it up by having her husband Uriah the Hittite killed in battle. David really sinned against the Lord. And he wrote some Psalms. A famous one is Psalm 51. Another famous one is Psalm 32. And look what David says. So, this is what Paul is quoting. So I want everyone to see what Paul is doing in Romans 4. He's trying to explain to us that we're going to get our righteousness by faith; justification is God declaring us righteous; imputation is God counting us righteous, God crediting or reckoning us righteous? He wants us to see that's all going to happen by faith and he's got passages that he's using to prove this from the Scripture. And Psalm 32 is one of those passages, starting in verse 1, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven.” Hey, you can have all of your sin covered. Isn't that good news?
I mean, let's take a moment to think about things that we had some ladies be very honest about sin here today. Let's think about some of the things you've said, some of the things you've done. Some of the things you've thought that later on you felt guilty about, you felt ashamed of. You knew they were wrong, you could tell that you really hurt somebody, you really did someone else harm based on putting yourself as more important than this other living soul, and they were hurt because of you. Could you imagine having that forgiven, having that sin be covered? Oh, what blessing, what happiness! And then he says this verse to bless it as the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity. So, there's two sides that we want to think through about imputation. One is that you're going to get counted righteous by your faith in the righteousness of Jesus. The second one here that he's getting to, in the Romans 4:6-8 with this quote, is, you're not going to have your sin counted against you. So, think about some of your sin. Think about if you were meant praying that prayer of all the sins that you've done, remembering the things you stole, and the times you cheated, and the times you lied, and the times you knew where the line was, and you went way past it, all of that. And it's not going to be counted, even though you stored it all up in your account, and you should have to pay for it. Your sin will not be counted against you. That's what this Psalm is about. That's what every single person in the world should want to have. I don't want to be judged according to what I have done. And there's a way that all of your sin could not be counted against you. That's what he's saying.
Now, look at Psalm32:3-4, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me.” I'm feeling that conviction of the spirit. I'm feeling that guilt. Maybe from my conscience, “my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.” You realize the good news of what he's saying? You can have all of your sin forgiven, your sin that you've done will not be counted against you. And all you’ve got to do is acknowledge it. All you’ve got to do is go before God and say, yeah, that's me. I'm one of the ungodly. I've sinned. I've trespassed. You gave us a line; I went across it. You said, don’t do this. I did it anyways, it's me. I acknowledged my sin. And through the confession, and through the repentance, there is forgiveness. He sent everybody to go pray to God now while you can still find him. Go pray to God right now, before it's too late. Like, can you believe this? You go acknowledge your sin to God, and God, he forgives you. If you confess your sins, he's faithful and just to forgive you for your sins, and to cleanse you from all of your unrighteousness, because Jesus has already paid for your sin. So, he'll count all of your sin on Jesus, and he'll count all of Jesus's righteousness on you. You should go to pray to God about this right now, he's saying. Don't wait till the flood comes. Don't wait till the day of disaster. Don't wait till it's too late. And then he says this in Psalm 32:7-11, “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” he's saying, hey, everybody, let me tell you what happened. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy.” All you have pride in heart. Timeout. Timeout. You just talked about people having all this trespass and transgression and sin and now you're calling people righteous and upright and godly. See he's talking right here in this Psalm about imputation. Here they are one minute saying they're a sinner and there they are the next minute going on I'm hundred percent righteous, for free. And all they had to do was turn themselves in. All they had to do is believe in the One who already was righteous and died in their place.
See, the key word right there is at the end of verse 10. When he's saying all the wicked, they're going to have a lot of sorrows. But look at this steadfast love surrounds the one who, key idea, who trusts in the Lord, who puts their faith in Jesus. See, that's what it is. It's you hearing this, and you responding and saying, yeah, I don't want to boast, I don't want to try to do anything. I don't think I can do it. In fact, I think I do have sin that I need to confess. And that thought turns you to God. And it transfers your trust to Jesus, and you come in a sinner, and you walk out a saint. And now you could rejoice as someone who knows that you are hundred percent righteous before God. How could a human dare to say that they're right before God because God says you are. He says, He counted it to you, he credited to your account. Everyone who believes in Jesus, it will be counted to them as righteousness. Steadfast love surrounds like a forcefield, those who have their faith in the Lord. So, rejoice, you righteous people.
One of the things that I get really concerned about Christians who live in Southern California, people like us, is their hesitation to call themself righteous. What they don't realize is that when they hesitate to call themselves righteous, they're acting like their righteousness is still up to them. You don't have any righteousness. You never have. Your account has always been bankrupt, and somebody is offering to put righteousness into your account, no monetization, nothing you’ve got to do. No catch. Free trips are being given away. And all you’ve got to do is admit that you need it. And see that Jesus has it. And God, this is just so amazing that people like me and you will stand before a holy God, and he will not count our sin against us.
Let's get that down for number three: “Imputation is God not counting our sin against us, but to Jesus.” He made him who knew no sin, to be sin, so that in Jesus we might become the righteousness of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, there's two parts to imputation. One is he gives us the righteousness of Jesus to he doesn't count our sin against us. That's what David is saying. Blessed is the one who's not going to have their sin counted to them, because your sin has already been counted to Jesus. Turn with me to Luke 18, and let me share a story from Jesus to finish our study together here tonight. This is Luke chapter 18. And, and he tells here, a parable in Luke 18:9-14. Here's Jesus breaking it down. You want to go the way of boasting you want to go the way of doing works? Or do you want to admit that you're a sinner? And transfer your trust to Jesus, the Righteous One who already did all the work? See, sometimes I hear people say, justified means, just as if I'd never sinned. Have you ever heard that one before? Justified means just as if I'd never sinned? Well, just not sinning is not enough. Because you can't just not sin, you have to completely fulfill the law. You have to establish perfect righteousness. And so, it's not just not sinning. It's doing all of the commands and obeying them perfectly. And there's only one who has ever been righteous before God. And so, you need his righteousness counted to you. It's not just justification. It's imputation. Look how Jesus says it here. The two ways that you can You can go Luke 18:9. He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt to men who went up into the temple to pray. One a Pharisee and the other a Tax Collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself prayed thus, “God I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying, God, be merciful to me, a sinner. Luke 18:14, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Father in heaven, we come before you and we have to humble ourselves because we feel within us a temptation to want to be the goody two shoes. We feel within us a temptation to boast about what we have done, and to think that our works have gotten us somewhere. And so, Father, we thank you for bringing us all here tonight so we can learn about this doctrine of imputation, that you counted it to Abraham as righteousness, that you did not count David's sin against him. So, Father, we give you all the glory, that you are giving away the righteousness at a great cost to your son Jesus through his blood, but you're giving it away to us for free. And it's by faith. And so, Father, I thank you for Michelle's testimony, of realizing that she was not good. And that she could see Jesus died on that cross for her. Thank you for this man who realized there was nothing he could go do, but all he could do was believe in what Jesus had already done. And I pray if there's anybody here tonight that's been thinking, they have righteousness in their account, I pray that they will turn themselves in and declare spiritual bankruptcy and confess their sin. Let them acknowledge their sin to you, let them turn to you tonight, Father. Grant them repentance that they might have their eyes open so they might see Jesus, the Righteous One, offering his precious blood, dying in their place, that they would transfer their trust from themselves, that they would believe in Jesus. And that you would count it to them as righteousness. Father, I pray for everybody here who has believed that we would walk out of here tonight knowing that there's nothing that we need to do. There's nothing we have to boast about. I pray that we would walk out of here tonight knowing that we have all the righteousness of Jesus in our account, and that you will not count any of our sins against us. But tonight, you are pleased with us, and you could not be more pleased, because you counted to us the righteousness of your Son Jesus. Father, increase our faith. give us confidence in what Jesus has done for us on the cross and what you have done for us when you imputed his righteousness into our account. We praise you Father for this good news. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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