Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 66
BUT GOD! (Faith Plus Nothing!) – Part 3
Acts 13:30, Rom. 3:21, Rom. 4:5, Rom. 5:8
It’s good to see everybody back again. You’ve all had your coffee, and there’s enough food over there for a holiday dinner. But, anyway, for those of you out in television, again we want to thank you for all your cards and letters, for your financial help and all your encouragement. We just can’t put it into words. Again, don’t be too concerned about my voice. I had an all day seminar, and we just over did it. So, I have plain old laryngitis, but we were up against it, so far as programming. We had to get this done, if at all possible. So, we trust you’ll bear with me. By next taping we should be back to normal.
Okay, we’re on the "But Now’s" and "But God’s" and "But When’s" and so forth. We’re going to jump up to Romans chapter 4 and verse 5, where it says, "But to him." But, like on every other occasion, we’re going to go back and see what brought us up to this "But Now." That makes an interesting study even on your own. As you’re reading along through Scripture and you see one of these "but’s," just stop and say, now wait a minute, what’s gone ahead of this? What’s comes in behind it? And you’ll have 4000 Bible studies, because I think there are 4000 and some "but’s" in Scripture.
Okay, Romans chapter 4, of course Paul is dealing with faith coming out of chapter 3, and one of the primary examples of Faith Plus Nothing was Abraham. I always stop and think that Abraham had nothing going for him except his faith. The Law hadn’t been given yet. He hadn’t been given the rite of circumcision. He has come fresh out of idolatry. And all that Abraham did was believe God.
"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?" In other words, he qualifies that Abraham is his father genetically, because Paul is a Jew. Now verse 2.
"For if Abraham were justified by works, he has whereof to glory; (or brag) but not before God. (No human being can ever say to God, "Look what I have done." It just won’t work and even Abraham could never do that.) 3. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed…" Repented and was baptized? Isn’t it amazing? It doesn’t say that. Abraham kept the Law. Doesn’t say that. Abraham brought sacrifices. Doesn’t say that. All it says is Abraham what?
"…believed God,…" Now, the other word for believing is faith. Abraham placed his faith in God.
Now, you remember many, many, many moons ago I put it on the board, the vast difference between believing God and believing in God. Do you remember those? It doesn’t seem like much difference, but it’s all the difference in the world and eternity, because most of the world believes in God, if not the true God, a false god. But they believe in some god. But you see, when you believe God, you exercise faith. That’s what we have here. It doesn’t say that Abraham believed in God. He knew all about the gods of paganism. But that’s not what we’re talking about. "He believed God!" He, by faith, responded to what God said. Now, maybe this is a good time to jump up to Romans chapter 10, and let’s drop down to verse 13. This is a verse that most everybody knows or has heard of.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not (What?) believed?" So, there we start right out on the basis of faith. "How can they call without having faith?"
"…and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" In other words, that’s why every believer is to be an ambassador for Christ. That’s our job. It is to let people know what God’s Word says. All right, verse 15.
"And how shall they preach, (or proclaim, is a better word) except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that proclaim the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. (or God’s Word.) For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (Now, here’s the verse I wanted you to see.) 17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Now, the way I always put it is this. God never expects any person in the human race to believe something that He has not spoken. Now chew on that for a while. You can’t believe something that God has not spoken, and He didn’t speak all of this in ages past.
Now go back with me to Deuteronomy 29:29. Most of you know what it is without even looking it up, but I always have to remember that we’ve got new listeners coming in every day. Now, this isn’t my idea. This is what the Book says. A lot of people have a hard time swallowing it, but nevertheless, this is what the Word says.