3. a. As good as dead with no redeeming qualities.
b. As Paul told the Corinthians: Do I live a changed life, do I know the H/S is in me, working, Do I claim the gift of Jesus?
4. 4. Loved, 5. Made alive with Christ, 5. Done even while still dead in transgressions, 5. Gave grace, 6. Raised us up with Christ, 6. Seated us with Him, 7. Will show incomparable riches of his grace, 7. will express kindness. 8. Saved
5. From hearing the word through the word of Christ
6. a. Ones that cause us to boast. Ones that attempt to “earn” God’s gift – takes away from it being a gift
b. Those works that God prepared in advance for us to do – done as workman in Christ
c. Teach and lead. Write and share. Serve as a godly parent and husband.
Since this lesson jumped into it, let’s take a closer look at the Romans 10:17 passage, because I think it is crucial to our understanding of faith.
Let’s break it down: Consequently/So. This is important. This verse is a conclusion to a point Paul was making. While we love it as a memory verse, it is important to look back to what he is saying, starting back in vs. 13 or 14. Basically, he is saying, there is only one God, the same God that Jews and Christians believe in and, yes, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, but… hold the boat.. how can they call on the name of the one they don’t believe in? and how can they believe in the one they have not heard? and how can they hear unless someone preaches? how can someone preach without being sent? … but, despite all of that sending, preaching, hearing, many have still rejected: Consequently…
Faith comes from hearing the word. The point isn’t listening, or calling or preaching or anything else, it is faith and to get faith you must “hear” the word. There are many places you can go with this. Clearly, there are many things that are said during the day that we do not hear. We have so many distractions, background noises, etc., maybe we miss an important alert. But I don’t think that is what Paul is saying. The Jews of his day clearly heard him. They heard him clearly enough to have strong reactions to what he said. 5 x whipped, 3 x with a rod, 1 x stoned. They got the message… but hearing the word did not convert into faith: why?
Hearing through/by the word of Christ. They heard Paul’s words as Paul’s words. We might hear an eloquent preacher or speaker. But for it to become more than words we must open our ears to the source of the word: Christ. See, the word is the middle part, and we love to start with the middle (I’ve eaten a few oreos and peanut butter cups in my day). But for the words to really mean anything to be what they really are, to become faith we must understand and accept the source. You can’t start with Faith unless you end with Christ.
So what do we do with faith? Well, despite the Fiddler on the Roof song, the goal is not to sit in the temple and discuss the learned books with the holy men Seven hours every daidle deedle daidle dum. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works which God has prepared, in advance, for us to do. Do you think God has work for you to do? Let me help you: Yes. Did God prepare you to do it? Let’s see, you are His workmanship – oh, yeah, maybe he didn’t do a very good job (not!). There is nothing wrong with being fed, and churches and BSF are great places to start growing and learning – but we are called for something more than being fed, we are called to work.