Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Jesus Put-Down

By Ronnie W. Wolfe – Sept. 19, 2014

I put down Jesus deep into my heart so he can comfort me.
I put down Jesus in my mind so that I can renew it.
I put down Jesus in my lap when I read his word.
I put down Jesus in my problems so he can deal with them.
I put down Jesus in church, that he might lead it his way.
I put down Jesus in the grave when I think of the Gospel

But I lift up Jesus in my song.
I lift up Jesus in my study.
I lift up Jesus in my preaching and teaching.
I lift up Jesus as I tell others about him.
I lift up Jesus when I believe him.
I lift up Jesus when I read of his resurrection.

I put him down in my heart and lift him up in my song.
I put him down in my mind and lift him up in my study.
I put him down in my lap as I read and lift him up in my peaching.
I put him down in my problems and lift him up by my witness.
I put him down in church to lead and lift him up in believing his way is best.
I put him down in the grave that I might lift him up at his resurrection.
He puts me down to lift me up!

What will you do with Jesus?

Abraham Our Father

Preaching Points From Romans #5
Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
Romans 4:16-18

I. OUR FATHER SYMBOLICALLY (4:16) “Father of us all”

Abraham was not our father naturally as though we were begotten through his linage. The Jews in the New Testament put their trust in their physical linage to Abraham, but Jesus rebuked them for that (See Matthew 3:9). They thought they had a priority position with God because they were Abraham’s children.

We are children of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ. So says Galathans 3:7 "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham". Abraham, then, is our faithful father, a man of faith, and a father to all who believe in Christ.

Abraham believed God (Christ), and it was accounted to him for righteousness – Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." See Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.

So, we are Abraham’s seed (children) and heirs of God – Galatians 3:29 "And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."

II. OUR FATHER SPECIALLY (4:18) “Father of many nations”

Abraham could be noted as the head of the Hebrew nation (the Jews), although the nation was not brought together as a nation until years later. He stood seminally as their head through his son, Isaac. God gave promise to Abraham that his seed would be blessed through Isaac, whom God chose for Abraham’s blessed linage.

But the intimation is given here that Abraham as a father of faith would not be father only to the Jewish nation but to many nations. Even in Abraham’s day God already had in his mind to bring faith to Gentiles, which he did in Old Testament times but especially in New Testament times when Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, turned mainly to the Gentiles and away from the Jews due to their rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Abraham, then, is our father as well as to Jews. Abraham is the father of the faithful as written in Galatians 3:8-9 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen [Gentiles] through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

Abraham is father specially to all who believe in Jesus as Savior, but he is our father typically and metaphorically. God is our Father in reality. Thus, we pray “Our Father which art in Heaven . . .”
 
 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Righteousness Without Works

Preaching Points From Romans #4
By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Romans 4:6 – “... God imputeth righteousness without works.”


I. The Source Of Righteousness

The first word in the clause above is “God.” We learn from this that God is the author of righteousness; he is the source. Only God has true righteousness. God knows that people on earth need righteousness, but the word of God teaches us that “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). It teaches us that “. . . they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8). In order to be righteous and to please God, we must obtain righteousness, but this righteousness must be perfect righteousness. Only God has this righteousness
Romans 1:17 “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

II. The Securing Of Righteousness

Our text verse now continues with “God imputeth . . . .” This means that the way that God gives us righteousness is by imputation. The word “imputation” means “to credit for.” One commentator says that the Greek word means “to take inventory.” When God takes inventory on a lost person, he sees no righteousness at all, because none of us has any righteousness. But God imputes righteousness to believers in Christ, thus giving full inventory of the righteousness required by God for salvation and for an eternal inheritance.

Notice especially . . .
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

III. The Style Of Righteousness

God imputes (credits to believers) righteousness “without works.” Any righteousness that we have is imputed by grace through faith, so we must understand that it is imputed without works. Our righteousness is not sufficient for our salvation, so God must “impute” righteousness to us.
Our works (our righteousness) is of no value to God, so God must impute it to us. This is done “without works.” God requires nothing in return for imputed righteousness–no works. Our works cannot be mixed with grace, says Romans 11, else grace is no more grace.

Notice: Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Glorying In Works

Preaching Points From Romans #3
Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – Romans 4:1-5

I.  ABRAHAM’S FORTITUDE, 4:1-2

We all know that Abraham was a faithful man, a man of fearless fortitude to do what God called him to do. He followed God when called from Ur to go to an unknown place. He wandered through the land that God promised to him expecting God to produce a great blessing of a land for God’s people. He was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, his only son, to God. He also did many other wonderful and marvelous things.

In our modern day, this would be sufficient for anyone to prepare himself for Heaven and the blessing of God and eternal assurance of life with God. Abraham could have gloried in his flesh for all the things he did even as Paul hypothetically gloried in his flesh.

Philippians 3:4-6 "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."

But Abraham and Paul could glory only in the flesh but not before God (verse 2). All of man’s righteousnesses are but dung to God, and we should consider them dung before God, as did Paul in Philippians 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”

II.  ABRAHAM’S FAITH, 4:3

Romans 4:3 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

He did what? He believed! All the fortitude, attitude, and gratitude were worthless to Abraham in the presence of God. This is true faith, not a head faith or a cultural faith but a true, surrendering, dependent faith upon God, his Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

This faith is given by grace according to Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”

Galatians 3:9 “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Yes, Abraham was blessed of God, and all who believe in Jesus Christ by grace are blessed with him.

Remember: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

III.  ABRAHAM’S FAILURE, 4:4-5

Abraham failed to measure up to God’s demands in his works, but God’s demands were met by God himself in grace through faith. What an awesome and wonderful God who will not only render all of our works as dung, but he will also bring his people to the Gospel to hear God’s word and believe.

Acts 20:32 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

Abraham did not, however, fail to believe. Many think that “faith only” is too cheap, too easy, too mundane, etc., but nothing could be further from the truth. Faith is powerful enough to bring true and complete righteousness to every believer in Jesus Christ, turning from sin and self and turning to God in Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 9:30 "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith."

We have all failed to meet God’s standard of righteousness, for our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6); but faith is substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1). Grace is the divine jewel that makes this pearl of truth of great price (See Matthew 13:46).

"Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life?
Please your hand in the nail-scarred hand;
Are you weary and worn from its toil and strife?
Please your hand in the nail-scarred hand;"

These lyrics direct our hearts to faith in Jesus Christ. Even so, may God’s grace be active today to bring you to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and may you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ that you might be saved.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Law, Grace, and Faith

PREACHING POINTS FROM ROMANS #2
Romans 3 -- Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

I.  Condemnation By The Law

Romans 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 7:7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Galatians 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

The Mosaic Law can only condemn; it cannot save (redeem). The law has no pretense toward salvation, but its whole duty is to condemn those who cannot keep the entirety of the law.

James 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

II.  Consequence Of Grace

Only God is truly gracious. Grace comes only from God without any ingenuity or effort from man. Man knows nothing about true grace. He must receive it from God before he can have any comprehension at all about it.

Grace is God’s extension of mercy to us by his act of atonement in Jesus Christ. Grace brings redemption, that is, the payment for our sins through the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus, on the cross suffering and dying for our sins.  We have been purchased with a price–Jesus’ precious blood. God did that by grace. He extended to us that of which we are not worthy.

Grace is extended to us only through faith.

Romans 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:


III. Complement Of Faith

We are all condemned (Romans 3:23; John 3:18).

Jesus came to save his people from their sins by grace.

The only way in God’s plan that grace may and can be influential in our lives is through faith. Notice again:

Romans 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

We are not complete by grace until that grace has gone through the channel of faith. Faith is the channel through which God comes to a sinner and justifies him before God.

Condemnation is overcome by grace through faith. Redemption and justification have come to us to complement the work of God in us and make us to be accepted in the beloved. So, then, God is both just and justifier. He is just and justifier to those who believe in Jesus.

God is just in his sovereignty.
God is justifier in his mercy.

Romans 3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Let us all be sure in our theology that grace does no damage to faith and faith does no damage to grace, for they work together to justify those who believe by grace, and they are both from God.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Gospel of God Previously Promised

PREACHING  POINTS  FROM  ROMANS #1

The Gospel of God Previously Promised
By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe - Romans 1:1-4

Rom 1:1-2  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,   2  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

I.  THE POSSESSION OF THE GOSPEL

Three times in the New Testament Paul called the Gospel “my gospel” (Rom. 2:16; 16;25; and 2 Tim. 2:8).  However, we know that it is not his in the sense that he originated it or even updated it or introduced it newly in his generation but was preached before him and was revealed in the Scriptures (Old Testament) though through a glass darkly, though very apparent to the first-century Jews and to all the readers of the Scriptures in Paul’s day. So, Paul could not own the gospel.

The gospel was Paul’s in the sense that he was entrusted with it to be its courier and its clarion sound as a worldwide missionary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and of the doctrines of the kingdom of God. A dispensation of the gospel was committed to him (1 Cor. 9:17) to hold true to it, to dispense it clearly and boldly and to entrust it to others through teaching and ordination of some to take onto themselves the same profession as Paul’s as ambassadors of Christ.

II.  THE PROMISE OF THE PROPHETS

The gospel was not some new doctrine as some of the Jews thought. Paul had not invented a new way into the kingdom of God. He had not rearranged an old doctrine with new ideas. Paul actually preached the same gospel that was preached by the Old Testament prophets only with new and exciting revelations of the actual fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

Gal. 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was well known by many of the Old Testament saints, especially the prophets, and was promised to New Testament believers and preachers.

III.  THE PORTRAIT OF CHRIST

The Seed Of  David

The holy Scriptures (Old Testament)  also witnessed of this same gospel concerning Jesus Christ, who was made of the seed of David, an Old Testament saint and king. Old Testament saints could see Jesus Christ prophetically as they understood, according to this scripture, that the Messiah would be the seed of David (See Acts 13:22-23; Isaiah 11:1; Micah 5:2).

The Son of God

Yes, the Old Testament scriptures do declare that the Messiah is the Son of God. It is done in three ways: (1) with power, the power of the creation of the world and the power to do great miracles in delivering Israel out of Egypt and bringing them into the land of promise. (2) the spirit of holiness, which is evidenced in his bringing spiritual understand to saints, prophets, and kings and opening understanding to people like Daniel and others. And (3) by the resurrection from the dead. The Old Testament alludes many times to the resurrection from the dead, including especially the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:10-11; Psalm 16:10).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Profit And Loss

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Purpose Of God

It is the purpose of God in the lives of humans that each one enjoy the fruit of his hands, his work, his aspirations, his careers, etc. That is creation’s blessing. Each product of our own works is to be enjoyed with God’s blessings. Ecclesiastes 2:24 “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”

No Spiritual Profit

But there is no spiritual profit in all the aspirations and careers of this world. God will never accept any earthly profit as satisfaction for man’s depravity, his lack of spirituality, his love of the world and not of God. No sins, of which we are all guilty, are expelled by this world’s profit, for we read in Mark 8:36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Spiritual Profit

Every person who has spiritual profit has turned from the profit of the world and depends upon the profit that only God has and can give by his grace. 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Our spiritual profit is not from man to God but from God to man. God in his mercy has sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our profit (grace). Job 35:7 “If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?”

Jesus is righteous, and he imputes that righteousness to every believer in who he is and what he has done for all who come to him by grace through faith, and that is the only profit that we need for salvation. Galatians 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”