Triathlon or Marathon?
Justified by Faith
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified[a] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness[b] were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Our justification is by faith in a dying savior who came to take my place
Our sanctification is by faith in a resurrected savior who now lives in me
Our glorification is by faith in a returning savior who will make me into His perfect image
Just Stop It?
Nehemiah 2:17 – 20: You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”
1) We think that disgrace comes from the outside - our status, actions, and performance. It doesn't
2) We try to fix our problems by keeping the law
3) It's only when we have a new heart that we will not suffer disgrace.
Empowered by the Hand of God
Fasting and Prayer for Protection21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
Priests to Guard Offerings24 Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kinsmen with them. 25 And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God that the king and his counselors and his lords and all Israel there present had offered. 26 I weighed out into their hand 650 talents[a] of silver, and silver vessels worth 200 talents,[b] and 100 talents of gold, 27 20 bowls of gold worth 1,000 darics,[c] and two vessels of fine bright bronze as precious as gold. 28 And I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord, andthe vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers. 29 Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and the Levites and the heads of fathers' houses in Israel at Jerusalem, within the chambers of the house of the Lord.” 30 So the priests and the Levites took over the weight of the silver and the gold and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God.
31 Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way. 32 We came to Jerusalem, and there we remained three days.
Here are three things that we can do when we face urgent and desperate situations in our lives.
1) Don't get drowned in worry, but humble yourself in prayer
Instead of focusing upon the problem, readjust your focus upon God by petition, fasting, and prayer. Realize that God is bigger than your problem.
2) Rely upon God, not man
Don't lunge for the first solution available, but wait for God's solution to your problem.
3) Respond in action, trusting in God's help
Faith is an action that is stirred by an overwhelming trust in God's help.