A sermon on Romans 4:1-8 and John 18:7-9 (Ch.18-19)
Midweek Lent 8 Good Friday, 14 April 2017
No. 8 of 8 in series “Faith Alone Works…”
The sermon series concludes with a clear distinction between the right and necessary preaching of good works as God commands them and the self-centered pursuit of “works righteousness,” by which one hopes to earn salvation or deserve God’s own favor and blessings. There is a good way to talk about the good works God commands of us.
But there are dangerous ways too, where people are falsely convinced they do God a favor or earn salvation for themselves or others by their “good” works–a way that leads to Christ’s betrayal, to bloodshed and death. There is a dangerous way that abandons God’s Law altogether, embracing a lawless and cynical corruption of religion and politics, preferring individual self-centered, self-serving endeavors to establish disordered righteousness of our own design. All this we see in play on Good Friday.
The Gospel we preach and teach is quite another message, one which locates our righteousness completely outside ourselves and forever to be found in Christ alone. This faith comes from outside ourselves. This faith receives a righteousness from outside ourselves, Christ’s own righteousness now declared yours. It is not found within ourselves, our own efforts or means, but in Him and by the means He established outside of us.