It’s good news.
Too good to be true.
“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.””(Romans 4:2–8 ESV)
I couldn’t preach that…if people know that God counts ungodly people as righteous on the basis of faith…on what they believe and Who they know, not necessarily what they do…they will sin like rabid badgers in heat.
Can you imagine how people would act if they knew their sins were covered and they were forgiven?
Paul makes it tough by quoting David the adulterer and murderer as a witness, but a good pastor should find a way to water this antinomianism down.
This was a tough one too…
“That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.”(Romans 4:16–17 ESV)
People might think that this grace and faith stuff applies to them and worse that they can ignorantly believe that what God has promised He can and will do, no matter what the circumstances look like.
They might start praying fervently for God to act supernaturally and reasonable people shouldn’t do that in our enlightened times.
“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.” (Romans 4:23–25 ESV)
I needed more water if this is going to work.
This clearly says that these things apply to all of us in Christ. ..they are for us.
Not sure how to fix that…
I just checked and Romans 5 is even worse.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1–2 ESV)
There’s no honest way to water down how good the good news is.
I wonder why so many have tried…
Make your own application…