March 21, 2018

Justified by Faith Through Grace

Romans 4:23–25

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23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Justified by Faith Through Grace

Central Truth

God has always saved us by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Devotional | Romans 4:23–25

“But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.” (Romans 4:23-24a) The word that stands out to me is “also.” Abraham was...

“But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.” (Romans 4:23-24a) The word that stands out to me is “also.” Abraham was justified by faith alone. That is amazing news because, if he was saved by faith alone, that means “it was counted” to me also once I put my faith in Jesus.

The next verse says as much. “It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord” (Romans 4:24b).

How wonderful and majestic our Heavenly Father is! He has the same standard for rescuing His people way back when as He does today. I am amazed! God's standard for justification (fancy word for God declaring us sinners righteous) has always been, and will always be, full and complete trust and reliance in Him. That is it. That is the deal. He is who He says He is, and He does what He says He is going to do. I can rest in that.

When I first walked into the doors at Watermark some eight years ago, I thought I needed to hold up my end of the deal for God to love me. I thought some of us had bigger luggage to carry because of things we had done in the past, and some of us had lighter baggage. Through spending time in God's Word and having His people come around me, I have come to know we all stand guilty before God (Romans 3:23), we all deserve death (Romans 6:23), but the good news is God has always been in the business of transforming lives—and He still is! He doesn’t just talk about it. He sent his Son to die for us to demonstrate that (Romans 5:8).

Here is an excellent video for further insight into this passage:

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Bio | Michael Groves

Good morning, JTJ'ers! My name is Michael Groves, and tomorrow marks four years since the words “I do” were joyfully and eagerly spoken to my beautiful wife, Lindsay! By God's grace we have multiplied to four (both girls)! We serve in Merge (Watermark’s premarital ministry), and even though we lead a table, we also need to be reminded of the promises we made and how to pursue each other even more today. Before we continue, I have to thank you for the opportunity to write this devotional. It was challenging, but it blessed me to spend time with my Lord.

Discussion Questions

1. Have you put your faith in Christ?

2. Do you trust that Jesus claimed your baggage and removed the weight of it? If not, what is holding you back?

3. If you have, how do you praise God for this?

7 Comments available

Michael Scaman about 12 hours ago

It was by faith and mercy then and still is. By faith Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land when the greatest law giver, Moses, did not. By faith, Esther went under the curse of the law of the King and saved her people as Jesus did.

A way foretold for many to be counted righteous Is 53:11, Ps 22:31, Hos 1:10 Not for Jews only, but from the Jews for the nations in Is 11:10. Even the most unlikely kings of the world will sing about God in Ps 138:4

Little two verse Psalm - big invitation to all the nations. Join and enjoy the covenant goodness of God! Ps 117:1-2

Jennifer Borgne about 12 hours ago

Michael, appreciative at how you’ve written today’s entry. It’s detailed and pointed at how I can rest in His provision. Abraham is more than I originally read in the past. The word example seems to minimize his contribution for me. I have to ask myself if I would have chosen to believe the bare word of God had it been me way way back. Shudder. What a blessing to know the Jesus I have the privilege of knowing. Thank you!

Hope Harris about 14 hours ago

This morning I picture a document with my name in large bold letters at the top. I see a big stamp coming down dialongly; once it is lift the stamp across the paper says “MADE RIGHT” in red letters

Lindsey Driscoll about 15 hours ago

Michael great devo reminding us by grace alone and through faith alone we can come to the Lord. Q3- I am thankful that righteousness is not just for Abe, but for you and for me! This shows us that God is faithful and never changing. The truth in Romans (and all of The Bible) and the plan for salvation wasn’t “written for Abraham alone,” (4:23) “but also for us.” (4:24) Thank you Lord that you are steadfast, and your word and the way to salvation is constant and as applicable as it was to Abraham, it is to us.

Sue Bohlin about 15 hours ago

Hi Michael, and thank you for your devo! Good stuff! I loved your Q2 about trusting that Jesus claimed our baggage and removed the weight of it. It reminds me of returning to DFW after a trip overseas when a baggage porter has me point out my suitcase, pulls it off the carousel, and loads it on a cart. He pushes it through customs and immigration for me, I never have to deal with its bulkiness or its weight. It’s a small and incomplete picture of the huge grace gift of what Jesus did in dealing with my baggage where, if we were to extend the illustration, we’d get outside International Arrivals and He would say, “OK, I’ve got your baggage. Now let’s unpack it so we can deal with it together. Time to unzip your suitcase.”

Hugh Stephenson about 15 hours ago

First Paul grinds me into sawdust with 1:1-3:23. Now he shows me Abraham, who believes in a promise wilder than anything I will ever need or want and with zero evidence of it happening. Just the “bare Word of God”.

Do I have the faith of Abraham? I do not, even though God has given me these words:

I work beyond any rational need for money, because I don’t believe “Jehovah-jireh”, (Phil 4:19)

I harm Amy with words and actions because I don’t hold my tongue, (James 1:19)

I worry about my adult children because I don’t believe God knows their days, (Psalm 139:16)

I don’t love my community group siblings as God designs, (Galatians 6:2)

I don’t obey instruction, (2 Timothy 3:16)

I don’t teach as He designs, (Titus 2:1-8)

Abraham believed with only the “bare Word of God”. I pray that God may help my unbelief, (Mark 9:23-24).

Julie Newmeyer about 17 hours ago

Thank you for the devotional this morning!! I loved that you linked the Real Truth Real Quick video to this post too! It is something that I have always wondered about!

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