No Excuses: The Message of Faith
October 20, 2019
According to a UPI news item, MetLife has received some unusual excuses for accidents from its automobile policyholders over the years. The following are just few:
- “An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished.”
- “The other car collided with mine without warning me of its intention.”
- “I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident.”
- “As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision.”
- “I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.”
- “The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him.”
- “The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.”
- “The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”
We are prone to making excuses; we live in an excuse-prone culture: “The doctrine of victimology — claiming victim status means you are not responsible for your actions — is beginning to warp the legal system.…Now [trials revolve] around excuses. Traditionally, defense lawyers tried to create doubts. Now they just put the actual victim on trial. The irony of this seems to escape the victimologists. A movement that began with the slogan, ‘Don’t blame the victim,’ now strives to blame murder victims for their own deaths.” [John Leo, US News & World Report, 2/14/94.]
But making excuses and being self-righteously defensive is nothing new. It existed in the days of Paul, Jesus, and OT Israel as well. “We can’t be condemned; we are righteous by our obedience and our heritage,” was a common assertion in the OT. And Paul also suspected that when he revealed the nature of God’s providence in salvation, another excuse would be concocted: “We can’t be condemned if God hasn’t chosen us…” But in Romans 10, Paul explains the responsibility of all men to believe. They must believe because salvation by grace through faith has always been available to all men (it’s nothing new), and to be saved, they must believe. There is no excuse for anyone. Salvation is by faith alone. And salvation by faith alone is available to all men. In Romans 10:5-8, Paul says it this way,
Salvation has always been by faith and it has always been available to all men.
This salvation by faith is a trust in Jesus Christ — that Christ has accomplished what man could not. How is Christ righteous for those who believe in Him? His righteousness is demonstrated in four ways:
- Christ is Righteous Because He Did What No One Else Could (v. 5)
- Christ is Righteous in His Advent (v. 6)
- Christ is Righteous in His Resurrection (v. 7)
- Christ is Righteous to All Who Believe Through Faith (v. 8)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 10:5-8.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.