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Watch 2022 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Trusting God's Promises No Matter What

Rabbi Schneider - Trusting God's Promises No Matter What

Rabbi Schneider - Trusting God's Promises No Matter What
Rabbi Schneider - Trusting God's Promises No Matter What
TOPICS: Journeying Through the Book of Romans Season 3, God's Promises, Trust, Faith

I want to pick up today on this concept of faith. Because in the earlier broadcast, I've been talking about how it is that faith opens our hearts and brings us into a true relationship with Hashem our Creator. But many of us are a bit foggy as to what actually faith is. I mean, many of us have been taught that by grace we've been saved through faith and that God has saved us on the basis of faith in Jesus. But did you ever stop to consider what does exactly "faith" mean? What is faith? We know that faith has to do with believing, but how does faith save us? How does believing save us? Somehow you can compare it to this illustration. If you don't trust somebody, you cut that person off from your life. You can't receive that person. But if you trust that person, then your heart is open to receive what that person wants to give you. And through faith, through opening up our heart, we're able to receive, listen now, God's grace.

So Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians, "By grace we've been saved through faith". We really want to think about this. How is it that we're saved? Because so far in the book of Romans, the whole point has been up to this point in the journey that we're not saved by works. Our own goodness can't save us. But we can be saved by faith. Faith in God's goodness, faith in the fact that He'll do what He said He's going to do, faith that causes us to believe so much that we'll actually obey Him when He tells us to do something. So let's take this apart once again. What is faith? And how does faith save us? Faith is believing somebody in the most positive sense of the word. And because we believe, we open up our heart.

So how then does believing in God save us? Because when we believe in God and open up our heart to Him, He's able then to pour His grace, His unmerited favor into our life and to do for us what He wants to do, because we'll receive it. This is why Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man opens the door of his heart and lets Me in, I'm going to save him. I'm going to have fellowship with him and redeem him". So think about this foundational verse, this primary verse, once again, from the book of Ephesians in relationship to this. Paul said, "By grace you've been saved through faith". How do they work together? By faith we open up our heart and receive God's grace.

Now, I love this explanation of faith that ties into the scripture that I'm going to read for you in just a moment. Think of faith this way. Faith is the confident expectation that what you are hoping for will manifest. And so when God said to Abraham, "Abraham, follow me and I'm going to do this," even though Abraham couldn't see God and what God had said He was going to do hadn't yet manifested, Abraham had a confident expectation that what God said he was going to do would, in fact, become visible in reality. Let me say it another way. We can't see God. We don't visibly see Him. But faith believes God. Either what He tells us in His written word or what we feel the Holy Spirit speaking to our heart, we believe what the Lord says to us with a confident expectation that what we're believing God for will visibly manifest. Let's see now. What I just said is illustrated in the Word of God. We're picking up where we left off last time. We're in the book of Romans 4 and I'm looking here today at verse 19.

Now, remember as we approach verse 19, God had made a promise to Abraham. Remember I spoke about this in Genesis. God said to Abraham, "Through your seed, Avraham, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed". And so Avraham understood that, that through his physical lineage, through His Son, Abraham knew there'll be a lineage that would continue to unfold that would bless all the nations of the earth. But remember that Avraham and his covenant wife Sarah or Sarai could not conceive. And finally, their entire lives just about had gone by in terms of their lives where they had a natural scientific ability to bear children. 199 years old, about 199 years old, approximately, they're past the age of childbearing. Physically, both of them no longer were biologically able to have children.

And when they're at this place of no longer being able to bring forth children to the world in the natural, the Lord appears to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre and He tells Abraham in Genesis 18, "Avraham," he said, "at this time next year your wife is going to have a child. You're going to bear that son, that one that you've been believing for, that one that you knew was going to come when I said to you, 'Through your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed.'" But you know what? Sarah didn't believe it. She laughed. But Abraham was still believing. And so with that in mind, we pick up in the fourth chapter in verse 19 here. Hear the Word of God. "Without becoming weak in faith". We're speaking of Abraham here, and we're speaking of him, believing the promise that he was going to have a child, even though he was past the age of childbearing, could no longer produce what was naturally needed to produce a child. "Without becoming weak in faith, he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead as it related to childbearing, since he was about 100 years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb". I mean, both of them were as good as dead as it related to having children. And yet, yet despite the natural, despite what he saw, he didn't become weak in faith.

So it says in the next verse, "Yet with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God". So do you see how what we just read ties into the definition of faith that I just shared with you? That faith is the confident expectation that what we're hoping for, that which God said that we're hoping for will manifest. It didn't appear that there was any hope of the natural, but Avraham held on to the promise of God. And he didn't become weak in faith when the visible world contradicted what he was hoping for. But the contradiction actually strengthened his faith. It's like when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Avraham's faith actually rose to the next level. So I want to encourage you today. You may be believing for something to happen in your life that's according to God's Word, that truly is rooted in the heart of God. I want to encourage you, Church, just keep believing.

Think about Avraham. His faith was tested too. His faith was tested too. And he's the father of us all. He's the father of all those that believe. So don't let the visible world destroy your faith in God's promise. Hang on and you will be rewarded for your faith. And what you're hoping for that's rooted in the heart of God, it will manifest, "and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. Now not for his sake only was it written and it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead".

And so what is being said here is Abraham is an example of how to walk and how to live, and how to keep on hanging on to God's promise, even when circumstances would contradict what we're believing for and the devil would like to use the circumstances to cause us to let go of God's promises, to fall into unbelief and to be defeated.

So first of all, Paul is saying here that the story of Abraham that's being shared now it's not just for Abraham's sake, is for our sake, because he's the father of us all. This is how we ought to live. We can't be controlled by the circumstances. Many of you know that sometimes as soon as you believe God for something, circumstantially the exact opposite happens. The devil wants to throw you but your faith is being tested through the testing of your faith. As we hang on to the Lord and His promises, through difficulty, our faith becomes stronger and we really end up being flames of fire on the Lord, masters of breakthrough, the scripture calls us.

But secondly, what Paul is saying here is that this faith that we have is rooted in King Jesus who rose from the dead. And when our faith is rooted in the one that rose from the dead, we are going to rise with Him and overcome the world. So Paul concludes this chapter by saying, "to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification". There's a twofold dimension here that Paul is highlighting.

Remember, beloved, what we're doing is we're looking at what is solid doctrine? What's solid doctrine? What was Paul preoccupied with communicating? What did he want to tell the church? And what we're looking at, this is the primary message that God has given to the world, not the message that we're often hearing today on Christian programming and different sources from different multimedia platforms, which is a different gospel. It's a gospel of the now. It's the gospel that God just is here on earth to bless us with the things of the world. That was not what primarily Paul was concerned with. He was concerned with what he's sharing with us in this book. And what he's telling us now is that our faith in Jesus accomplishes two things for us.

Number one, He was crucified for our atonement, so that our sin would be forgiven, so that we wouldn't be judged by the wrath of God for the evil that we've done and even the evil in our soul that we need to be washed of. But secondly, Paul said that Jesus was raised. He wasn't just crucified. He was raised. That's why Paul said he determined to know nothing else but Jesus crucified, raised, and ascended to heaven. That was his primary message. That Yeshua has been crucified, buried, raised, and now sits at the right hand of God. And what that means to you and I is that our sins are forgiven, our old life has passed away. There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus. And because Yeshua was raised, we once and for all stand before God with our sins forgiven, holy, and blameless before Him in love.

And so Paul says, once again, "He was delivered over because of our transgressions and was raised because of our justification. Therefore," chapter 5, verse 1, "having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". The real question is, beloved one, do you and I have peace with God? Have we really taken it to heart that we are not under condemnation? Do we really believe that God loves us and accepts us and sees us as blameless right now because of what Jesus has done? Listen to this verse again. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ".

I don't know about you. But practically speaking, I need to be more aware of that on a daily and hourly basis. Because what Paul is saying here is that God is looking at you and me through the eyes of what Jesus has done for us. And because we're in Him, because we're in Jesus, because we're in the Son, "In Him," the scripture says, speaking to you and I, "In Him you have redemption, and the forgiveness of your sin through His blood". And you and I sometimes we don't live in this sense of being before God in such a way that God takes joy over us, that He's singing over us, that He loves us. Instead, what happens oftentimes is that we feel accused, we feel ashamed just like Adam and Eve. When they sinned in the garden, what happened? They felt ashamed. And so they tried to cover themselves with the fig leaves. They felt the shame about who they were, they tried to cover themselves. And they felt isolated from God, they began to run from Him.

So sometimes you and I, we have forgiveness of sin in Jesus, we're justified before Him, Paul said that we have peace with God. But instead of really appropriating that truth, instead what we do is we feel guilty and ashamed and wicked. And today, God wants to challenge you and I to have faith in His love for us and how He sees us as those that are blameless before Him because we're in Jesus so that we can have peace with God all the time in this life. Yes, there'll be times when the Holy Spirit will convict us of sin because he's cleansing us, but we need to know that there is no condemnation on us in the Lord.

And I speak to you right now. You may be sitting listening to this broadcast just feeling ashamed and convicted, but not godly conviction-conviction from the devil. You may feel ashamed and convicted. You might feel dirty before God. But listen what Paul said. "We have been justified by faith". And because of this, he said, "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". So if you're right now just have been in a state of feeling ashamed and broken and defeated and accused, but yet you love Jesus, I want to encourage you just to get on your knees right now and say:

Jesus, thank you for loving me. Forgive me for not believing your word. I believe that, Jesus, because of what You did for me, because of what You've done when You died on the cross, and shed Your blood for me, and then rose from the dead and now are seated the Father's right hand, I believe, Yeshua, that because of you alone, I am justified before God. And that Father God, You have peace with me now and I have peace with You. That the sin barrier has been taken away, that there's no block in your love for me, that You have compassion on me, and that You understand my weakness and my frailty.

So Father, from this day forward, I desire to stand before You as one that knows I'm forgiven, as one that knows that You're rejoicing over me, as one that knows that You're happy about me and singing over me because I'm in Jesus and Jesus has taken away the sin that separated you from I in the past. So, Father, I thank you today. I receive Your word, and I right now commit myself to the best of my ability to live before You every day, in joy dancing, knowing I am fully accepted in You, that I'm accepted in the beloved, that I have peace with You now God forever, and that Jesus, because of you, I'm going to heaven.

And if you're watching right now and you've never given your life to Jesus, you can do that right now and be forgiven for your sin.
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