Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 3 Study # 3
November 29, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<178> Thesis: The issues of "faith" are twins. Introduction: Two weeks ago, when we last looked into Romans 4, we spent most of our time dealing with the "foundations" of faith as they are emphasized at the beginning of 4:17 and the ending of 4:18. The foundations of faith have always been, and have never ceased to be, divine revelation that provides a very specific "content" to be "believed". This is a very critical issue as things have developed in our day. In our day we have moved from the very solid foundation of inscripturated content ("as it stands written") -- which was at the root of the Reformation -- to once again deal with the "protestant" version of the very "mushy" content of those who claim that the Word of God has come to them in a non-biblical, "more personal" way through prayer and inner mental impressions. This is just a variation of the ancient Roman Catholic thesis of "trust me because God wouldn't let me be wrong here". The only difference is that the Roman Catholic thesis focused in the Pope and, from there, moved into a "collective form" called the "teaching magisterium of the church", whereas the modern, "protestant" version is an individualistic "trust me because God wouldn't let me be wrong here" because I am spiritual and I have prayed about the matter. In both cases there is a desire to move both beyond, and above, Scripture. The problem for faith is rather obvious: can I believe what another tells me is the word of God when that other cannot root that "word" in what has already been established as Word? In other words, those who leave off from the Scriptures in order to receive mental impressions from God are asking others to believe in men -- which is the very point Paul is making in our text. So, the fact is this: faith not only gets its "content" from God, it also has its focus upon God. This is what Paul told the Romans in the text before us.