Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
27 February 2022
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
The date of the OBU AGM at Bethel is now Saturday 12th November 2022. The General Secretary has made an appeal, especially to the host church, that as many as possible would attend for at least part of the day 10.30am – 3pm so we can get to know those on the Council of Management and vice-versa. Please will you put it in your diaries and try to attend, thanks.
We hear a knock at the door and open it to see who it is. The Lord is knocking on the door of our hearts: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Rev. 3:20). Let’s open the doors wide so the Lord, the King of Glory. may enter more fully and deeply.
Please read: Romans 4
However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.Rom. 4:5
By way of recapping, we have here, one of the most remarkable statements: “God … justifies the ungodly …”, meaning God declares ungodly people righteous. This seems to contradict the very nature of God and what He has already spoken in His word, whilst also being extremely unjust and unfair, e.g.
Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent – the Lord detests them both.Prov. 17:15
So what are we to make of this?
- Compared to Jesus, we are all ungodly and so we are very relieved that God has declared us righteous.
- It is only the ungodly people who “trust God”, whose faith is credited as righteousness.
- God reveals His great love for us, His enemies, by giving His only Son to die in our place and yet …
- … God reveals His justice and righteousness by not condoning our sins but punishing His Son instead.
- God knows whether a sinner’s faith is genuine or not and true and genuine faith results in a lifetime of commitment to the work of Christ in building His church and extending His kingdom here on earth.
Such may involve suffering and hardship (Acts 14:22), even much suffering and hardship (2 Cor. 11:24-31). And note what Jesus told Ananias when he was reluctant to go and pray for Saul of Tarsus:
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”Acts 9:15-16
I’m sure that when we get to heaven, and upon meeting the apostle Paul, we won’t go up to him and say something like, “Paul it was terrible what you did in trying to destroy Jesus’ church and being an accomplice in Stephen’s martyrdom and that of other believers.” Rather, I think we will say something to the effect, “Praise God for the way He justified you, and transformed your life into the image of His Son, and used you for His glory in building His church, and gave you grace upon grace to go through all the sufferings and persecution you went through whilst doing His work.”
Quote of the week
“The morning I was converted I … fell in love with everything. I never loved the bright sun shining over the earth so much before. And when I heard the birds singing their sweet songs, I fell in love with the birds. Everything was different …”
D. L . Moody
Verse of the week
Whoever believes … rivers of living water will flow from within … By this He meant the Spirit.John 7:38-39
Father, thank You that You justify those who are unworthy including ourselves. We praise You that You have remained righteous and just in doing this. Help us to live lives that are worthy of all You have done by Your Spirit, and through Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.