The Guarantee of Grace (Romans Sermon 23 of 120)
July 16, 2000 | Andy Davis
I. Is Anything Guaranteed?
Good morning. Please take your Bibles and open to Romans chapter 4. We're going to be looking this morning at verses 13-17 in which God makes such an incredible promise to us that I can scarcely imagine my ability to explain it to you. And then He goes beyond it and guarantees it to every one of us who have faith in Jesus Christ. He makes an extraordinary promise to us and then guarantees it. This should make any child of God sit up and take notice. Where else would you rather be than right here, right now, listening to this? It's extraordinary. A guarantee. And you begin to look in your life and you look around and you say, is anything guaranteed? Is anything guaranteed? Everything seems so changeful. Everything seems so weak. Can we really bank or guarantee on anything?
In 1861, a man named John Wanamaker started a clothing bazaar in Philadelphia. Have you ever heard of Wanamaker, the store? He was a Christian, a committed Christian. He began to do some extraordinary things with his store because of his conviction that we should do to others what we would have them do to us, the golden rule. And he thought that he ought to bring that right into his store, that we should treat the customers the way we'd want to be treated if we were a customer. Up to that point, most shop owners and mercantiles had worked on this principle, "let the buyer beware." Ever heard of that expression? And so they would have their articles of clothing or whatever it is they were trying to sell and they knew what the true value of it and the worth of that and the quality of it, and it was up to you to be aware. Furthermore, no one had any idea how much these things were worth to the shop owner and so you would come in there and you would dicker and bargain over the prices.
John Wanamaker changed all that. He was the first one to put a simple thing called a price tag on all of his articles of clothing. Never been heard of before. The price was set before you got there. The shop owner was to assess the value of the article and put a price tag on it. And you came in and if you wanted that, you would pay that price. That removed all the dickering. And then you could compare one shop to another and see whether you were getting a good deal. But soon, another radical concept rocked the mercantile world.
A notice appeared in the newspaper one morning that Wanamaker had put in there, and this is what it said: "Wanamaker and Brown desire to say, that the quality of all goods sold at their clothing bazaar will be guaranteed. Any article that does not fit well, is not the proper color or quality, does not please the folks at home, or for any other reason is not perfectly satisfactory should be brought back at once. And if it is returned as purchased within 10 days, we will refund the money. It is our intention always to give value for value in every sale we make. And those who are not pleased with what they buy will do us a positive favor to return the goods and get their money back."
Well, his rival shop owner said, "He's going to be out of business in one year." Money back guarantee? But yet, it was soon they who were changing their practices. He was the one who focused the attention on the quality and was willing to put his own character behind a guarantee, but that's the whole issue with a guarantee. It is only as good as the character and the quality of the man who makes it. Are there any guarantees in this life?
Benjamin Franklin cynically said, yes, death and taxes are guaranteed to us. Death and taxes. But we have a word from the Lord this morning that says more than death and taxes are guaranteed. Eternal life. And even more than that, that we should be heirs of the world. I'm going to open that expression up to you this morning. Is guaranteed to us. Look down, if you would, to Romans 4:13-17. "It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by the law or heirs faith has no value and the promise is worthless because law brings wrath and where there is no law, there is no transgression. Therefore, the promise comes by faith so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring, not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all as it is written, 'I have made you the father of many nations.'"
II. Overview of Romans 4: Abraham Justified by Faith
Now, in order to get our bearings and understand the context here, let's take a step back and look at the big picture. The gospel of Jesus Christ is most clearly laid out in the Book of Romans. That is exactly why Paul wrote this letter. He came to preach the gospel. He was a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, an apostle called for that purpose. And he's writing Romans that we may understand the message of the gospel. So often these days, people think they understand the gospel. They don't know what it is. It's found in Romans. And Paul said in Romans 1:16, he said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel, the righteousness from God is revealed, the righteousness that is from faith to faith, just as it is written, the just or the righteous shall live by faith." He then expounds over the next two chapters, the fact that every single one of us needs to be saved by faith alone because we're all sinners. None of us can stand before the righteous throne of God's grace.
None of us can stand before God on Judgment Day on our own righteousness or on our own merits, for all have sinned and lack the glory of God. And if anyone is to be justified, we are to be justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. That's what he's been explaining. So we are not going to be justified by our works, by our efforts, by our striving, by how good we are, We're going to be justified by faith alone. Then he brings up in chapter 4 an example of what it means to be justified by faith, and that is Abraham. Abraham is our example of faith. He is our father of faith. The way that Abraham was justified or vindicated before God's justice is the same way we will as well, by faith.
And the way it works is that God makes a promise to Abraham, and Abraham simply believes the promise, that's all. Abraham simply believed the promise-giver and the promise, and at the moment of belief in the promise, God justified it. God read his heart, He saw his faith and He justified him by faith alone. That's the purpose of Roman's chapter 4. Now, in the verses we're looking here, we're talking about the expanding of that promise and the relationship between law and the promise. It was not through law that he received the promise. It's not through law that he believed it. It's not through law the promise was given to begin with, but rather simply by faith. And that gives a guarantee to the promise, that's the whole section that we're looking at here. And now we've set it in its proper context.
III. What is the Promise?
Well, let's take a step back and look at the nature of this promise. What is the promise that God made? First of all, what is a promise? Isn't a promise a verbal covenant? It's a statement of intention about the future. I promise you that I will behave in such and such a way or that I will do this or I will do that. And again, the promise is only as good, like a check, the promise is only as good as the account that stands behind the promise.
You write a check, if there's no money behind the account, the check bounces, and so does your reputation as a faithful check writer. If you're going to make a promise and do not keep the promise, your reputation as a faithful promise keeper goes down, and that's the way it is with all of us. Every one of us have had promises made to us that have been broken. And so therefore, we tend to distrust promises, don't we? But why is it that the promises get diluted or broken? Human promises are diluted or they're nullified by the wickedness of our own hearts. We may intend something, but we do not see it through. We may even have lied. We may have promised something we never intended to do.
Second of all, human promises are diluted by our changefulness. We may have intended to do something good, but then we change our minds, our hearts change. We shift around, we blow around. We are divided beings, aren't we? There's a pulling within us. Sometimes in one direction, sometimes in another. And so we'll make a promise, but we will not see it through. Human promises are also diluted by our own weakness and frailty. We may not have lied, we may have intended, we may not have changed our mind but we lack the power to bring the promise about. Isn't that the case? We don't even know if we'll be alive tomorrow.
So how can we make any promise about the future? So you can see the weakness of a human promise, diluted by our own wickedness, diluted by our changefulness and diluted by our lack of power to bring it about. But God is not that way. Amen. He is not that way. God never changes. God says very clearly, Numbers 23:19, a great verse. Numbers 23:19 stands behind any promise that God makes. "God is not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?" That is our God. When He makes a promise, He keeps it every time. Numbers 23:19, God never lies. God never changes His mind and God never lacks power to bring about the very thing He's promised. And your salvation, your guarantee that I'm talking about today, depends on that. It depends on the changeless character and nature of eternal God. If you're a child of God, it is my prayer, you'll walk out of here today with a sense of the guaranteed certainty of your salvation on the changeless character and nature of God. He's made the promise. He's made many, many promises. He's going to keep every one of them.
Well, let's look at the promise that God made to Abraham. What did He say? In Genesis 15:1-7, He says this. "After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.' But Abram said, 'Oh, sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estates is Eliezer of Damascus?' And Abram said, 'You have given me no children, so a servant in my household will be my heir.' Then the word of the Lord came to him. 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.' He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the Heavens and count the stars, if indeed you can count them.' And then He said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'" That's a promise. Did you hear the promise? This is how many offspring you will have. "Abraham believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness." He justified him at that moment. He also said to him, verse 7, "I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."
Two aspects to the promise:
So there's two aspects to the promise. Many descendants and a promised land. These are the two aspects of the promise that God made to him. Many descendants, He said, "So shall your offspring be." "Look up at the stars and count them if you can." You can't count them, Abraham, "So shall your offspring be." Made him a promise, and that he would be the father of many nations, not just one descendant, but a whole world full of descendants, father of many nations. He establishes this in Genesis 17 when he changes his name from Abram to Abraham. He says God said to him, "As for me, this is my covenant with you. You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram, your name will be Abraham for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful. I will make nations of you and kings will come from you." And Paul picks up on that in our passage this morning in verse 17, where it says, "As it is written, I have you made you a father of many nations."
So this is the nature of His promise, the first part of it, namely that he would have numerous descendants. Now, Paul gives us a greater or a broader understanding of this, that all we Gentiles who are believers in Jesus Christ by faith look to Abraham as our father in faith. He is our father as well, our father in faith. And so he is the father of many nations. That was the first aspect of the promise.
Possession of the Land
The second aspect of the promise was possession of the land, the land that he was traversing on, the land that he was pitching his tent on. He said, "I will give it to your descendants. It's going to be your Promised Land."
But in our passage today, Paul lifts our eyes up above that promise, the Promised Land, to something far more glorious. He uses an expression that's not found in the Genesis account, in which he calls Abraham heir of the world. Not just to the Promised Land, that he would inherit the Promised Land, but heir of the world. Because as it turns out, Abraham did not receive the Promised Land in his lifetime, did he? He did not receive it. He looked ahead by faith to something that hadn't come to him yet. This is all made clear in Hebrews 11:9-16. Very plainly, it says there, "By faith, Abraham made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country." He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who are heirs with him of the same promise. They didn't settle down in the Promised Land. It wasn't their true home. "They were aliens and strangers," it says in Hebrews 11, "In that Promised Land." But it says in verse 16 of Hebrews 11, "Instead, they were longing for a better country, a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."
God is not ashamed to be called your God because you're hoping for something better than this. You're waiting for something better than you can see with your eyes on this Earth. You're waiting to be an heir of the world. You will inherit the Earth. Isn't that incredible? You stop and think about that. You are an heir of the world just as Abram, Abraham, all those who have followed him in faith, we are all heirs of the world. Jesus said this, didn't He? Matthew 5:5, remember the Sermon on the Mount? Blessed are the meek for they will, what? Inherit the Earth. Isn't that just one place? This is many places. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you will inherit the Earth, but not this Earth. Not this one. We know about this one in Romans chapter 8, it's chained to corruption and futility, isn't it? It's chained to corruption and futility. No matter how beauteous it is, it is not the world you will inherit. 2 Peter 3:13 says, "In keeping with His promise, we are looking forward, looking ahead to a new heaven and a new Earth, the home of righteousness, or where righteousness dwells." That's the Earth that Abraham will inherit. That's the Earth that you will inherit as a believer in Christ.
Recently, I got a book which goes through all the country, the United States, all the national parks, and just kind of unfolds the beauty there through photography, the Rocky Coasts of Maine, Acadia National Park. They're so majestic with the pine trees and the rocks right up to that cold blue ocean, all the way down to the much lighter blue of the Florida Keys. I don't know if you ever seen that, the white sand, and there's the bridge. It seems to go right through the ocean, but there's a little spread of sand on either side. Just recently on our vacation, we crossed the mighty Mississippi River, which graces the cover of, I think, Time Magazine, or at least last week it did. Ancient Mississippi, a powerful river. And then the strange colors and the depths of the Grand Canyon, how many have you seen it? I've never seen it. I wanted to see it. I thought I could drive from LA to the Grand Canyon in one day, you can't do it. The country spreads out. It gets really big once you cross the Mississippi River. Where I'm from in New England, the states are real small. But out there, they get very big. You can't just drive from LA to the Grand Canyon. I want to see it someday, though.
And then how much more the great Denali National Park in Alaska, a strange place, almost like from another country, rolling mountains and hills. Not a soul to be found there unless they were helicoptered in to do some hunting and perhaps some skiing. A very remote and distant place, but part of this Earth. None of it compares with the glory that is coming. None of it. And your feet will walk that holy soil, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ. You are going to inherit the new Earth someday. It's not the pastor of First Baptist that's saying this. This is God who has promised this to you, that you'll be inheritor of the world.
What is the promise? Well, to Abraham, it was a real and symbolic promise, a real promise to him, but also symbolic of future glory that would come, numerous offspring, a Promised Land. A Promised Land in Canaan and his descendants did inherit it, although they were eventually evicted because they could not obey the law. And that's relevant to where we're going. They couldn't obey the law and they were evicted from the Promised Land. That is the nature of the promise.
IV. How is the Promise Obtained?
Now, the question we have to ask here is, how is the promise obtained? How do we receive the promise? That's kind of important, isn't it? We're talking about big things here, important things. Well, how do we receive this promise? Negatively, it does not come through law.
Positively, it does come by faith. That's what the text says. Look at it. In verse 13, it says, "It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world." Now, the law here means a command and obedience to the command. It's not the law of Moses that's in view here. How do we know that? Because the law didn't come for another four and a half centuries. It's not that law. It's just God giving you a command and you obeying the command that God's given. That law does not produce the promise. It does not grant the promise. That is not the law here. And it is not through law that Abraham and his offspring received this promise. Positively, it is by faith, verse 13, specifically, through the righteousness that comes by faith.
What is at stake? Becoming an heir of the world. We've been talking about that. Well, according to Peter, I told you, that that new Heavens and new Earth is the home of righteousness or where righteousness dwells. I'll read it again. 2 Peter 3:13, "In keeping with His promise, we are looking forward to a new Heaven and a new Earth, the home of righteousness." What does that mean? If you're unrighteous, you can't live there. You don't belong there, if you're unrighteous. You will not be welcome there. And so, on what basis will you enter that new Earth? On the basis of a righteousness that is not yours. On a basis of a righteousness that comes by faith, the very thing we've been talking about all this time. A righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus Christ; that robe of righteousness, which will cover you on Judgment Day, will also escort you into the new Heavens and the new Earth.I can't wait to see it. Covered with the righteousness of Christ, living in a place where righteousness alone dwells. I look forward to it, can't wait to see it. And what is going to give it to me? Simple faith. That's all. Not any obedience of the law. Now, the question you have to ask now is,
V. Why is the Promise Obtained This Way?
"Why is the promise obtained this way? What is God getting at, so that He assigned all of this to faith and not to anything else? Why faith?"
God Wants the Glory and He Wants You to Have the Guarantee
We're going to talk more about this over the next two times, but I think the issue comes down to this. Two things. God wants the glory and He wants to give you the guarantee. I think that's what we're getting to from this text. God wants the glory and He wants you to have the guarantee. Now, let me unpack what it is I mean by that. First of all, the nature of law is, no glory for God and no guarantee for you. Do you see that? No glory comes to God, if it's by law, and no guarantee comes to you. The law is absolutely no platform to obtain righteousness. For the law invalidates or nullifies faith. Look at verse 14, "For those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless." In other words, if you get it by law, the promise is worthless. I'll explain what that means in a minute, but look at how law works. Law looks inwardly to the self. Law looks inside. Can I do it? God's given a command, now can I do it? I will do it. I'm determined to do it. I'm going to try to do it. And then, this will never happen, but then, "I did it. Now, give me what I deserve." That's how it works. That's how law works. There is no glory for God in that. The focus actually is totally on self and self-effort, self-achievement. Faith, however. Where does faith look? Does faith look to self? Absolutely not.
The standard posture of faith is, "Give to me what you have promised." Do you see that? It's a reception of what God has promised. It's a looking out of yourself to the power of God to accomplish what He has promised. That is the nature of faith. "Can God do this?", is the question that faith asks. "God can do this," is the answer that faith gives. He will do this for me. And then when it's all done, "God did it. Glory to God in the highest." That's how faith works. The focus isn't on self at all, but on what God can do in fulfilling His promise. And so who gets the glory when you get saved? God gets it. Isn't that where it belongs? We've already disqualified ourselves from that glory. We've been through that, Romans 1, Romans 2, Romans 3. All have sinned. There's no glory coming on your own. The glory has to come from the outside. By faith. Now, if God made law-keepers heirs, let me ask you a question. What would we need faith for? Would you need faith? If you could get it by law, would you need faith? Let me ask a deeper question. If you could get it by law, would you need Christ? Would you need Christ, if you could get it on your own?
Paul answered that one in Galatians 5:2. He says, "Mark my words. I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised," that is, obey the law of Moses, as though that's your righteousness, "If you let yourself be circumcised, Christ would be of no value to you at all." You don't need Jesus. Why did He come from Heaven to Earth and die on the cross then if it can be done by law? It can't be done by law. Therefore, law nullifies promise. If the promise is conditional on law keeping, by the way, you'll never get it. Do you know yourself well enough to say 'Amen' to that? Do you know that if it comes down to whether you obey the commands of God, you're not getting it? If you don't think that, I would urge you to come back to the cross and realize just what God has done there. You're trusting in yourself and your own efforts. You should know yourself well enough by now to know that if it depends on law, you'll never get it.
Now, we were talking a little while ago in a staff meeting and Bill told us a story about a woman that she knew in Oklahoma City. This woman was in poverty. She had a number of children and difficulty. I think the husband was disabled and they had been supporting and caring for her and just providing for her financially, in many cases, showing the love of Christ to her. Well, one day, she came in with a new outfit, a new dress. Her hair had been done. She looked great and she started talking. She started making promises. She said, "I'm going to buy the choir new robes." Well, obviously, the people were amazed and wanted to know what had made this transformation. And she said, "Well, I just received the incredible word that I have won $1 million. A letter came in the mail and said, 'Congratulations! You have won $1 million!' Said so, right on the outside of the envelope." Well, that was before the lawsuit with the clearing house publishers, clearing house thing, where they're not allowed to do that from then on, because there's a little word "if" on the inside. From then on they had to put the word "if" on the outside of the envelope. It was tragic, isn't it? A little humorous but tragic. This woman had gone into some debt buying the new clothes and doing some other things because she'd based it on a promise which was conditional, and she did not meet the conditions.
Her number had to line up with a string of numbers that were found on the inside. And lo and behold, it didn't, she did not win the $1 million. She did not meet the condition. So it doesn't really matter how grandiose the promise, if there's an if connected to it which you will not meet. See what I'm saying? We're wasting our time. But God has removed that because of the issue of grace and how grace works. By the way, if you don't believe what I'm saying, think about this. Look at Adam and Eve in the Garden. Adam and Eve had never sinned. They had no sin nature. They had no surrounding sinful culture. They had one simple command from God. How did they do? They failed. You have an indwelling sin nature, a surrounding sinful environment, and many commands from God. How will you do? Will you succeed? If it's by law, you will not get the promise. The law only brings wrath and verse 15, it says that, because law brings wrath and where there is no law, there is no transgression. Law also nullifies grace. Paul says in Galatians 2:21, "I do not set aside the grace of God for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing." If you could do it without grace, without Christ, then why did Jesus die?
Now, remember, I've said that the big issues here are glory for God and security for you, guaranteed for you. Well, grace does both, isn't that beautiful? Grace gives glory to God for your salvation and gives guarantee to you as the believer. Look what it says, verse 16, "Therefore, the promise comes by faith so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed or made sure and certain for you who believe." Now, what is grace? Grace is God's sovereign decision as a King to give incredible riches and blessing to you who deserve eternal condemnation. That is grace, His determination as a King to give unbelievable blessings to people who deserve the opposite because of their rebellion against Him. Grace does not depend on anything it sees within you. God isn't searching you to find something to be gracious toward, that's not it. Grace is all about something inside God. He determines to be gracious. Faith is a pipeline established by God into the heart in which blessings just roll down, it is a gift from God, part of the salvation which He gives, I've said it before, I'll say it again. Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are you saved through faith, through faith, through faith and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God." Faith is a gift of God.
So God establishes the pipeline and then just rolls blessings down the pipeline called faith as you get your eyes off yourself and look up and receive what He's given, and there's guarantee in all this. Glory for God, guarantee for you. There's a kind of a chain here, grace, faith, guarantee, that's how it works. Promise comes by faith, it may be by grace, it may be guaranteed, you should just leap for joy at the word guarantee, leap for joy at it. Nothing can take it away from you. It's absolutely guaranteed that you will inherit the world. God's incredible love is so strong, He wants you to understand the certainty of the promise. And so God labors in so many verses to give you the security. John 6: 39 and 40. This is Jesus' words as your good shepherd. "This is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but shall raise them up on the last day, for my Father's will is that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life and I will raise them up at the last day." What can break that? Is there any power on Earth strong enough to break that? Now, if all of this comes by faith, do you understand the connection? Do you understand what that means? It means your faith will never fail. I'm going to talk more about this next time, but your faith will not fail.
The things you believe today, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, the things you believe today you'll be believing on your deathbed, because God is going to make you stand firm by faith. 2 Corinthians 1:21, "It is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ." He can do this. It says the same things in Romans, "To the Lords, to his master, he will stand and the Lord is able to make him stand." The Lord is able to make a stand. Your faith is strong because God is going to energize it. Sometimes you may feel my faith is getting weak. God sees. He knows. He will give you what you need. He's going to strengthen your faith. We'll talk more about that next time. Now, the central issue in all of this is not your salvation, it isn't. For you it may seem that way, and I understand that because I'm a sinner too and I look forward to these things, I'm glad to receive them. What is the central issue here, though? Isn't it the glory of God? Didn't He exist before the world was made? The central issue here is God's glory, and God is glorified by this kind of salvation. Next time we're going to look at this. But the magnitude of the promise glorifies God. The obstacles to the promise glorify God, we'll talk about this next time. Abraham is an old man, but he believed God anyway. The obstacles glorify God. Faith itself, its nature glorifies God. The guarantee glorifies God, but confidence in the law does not glorify God.
VI. Summary and Application
Now, what application can we make to this? What can we do with this truth? First of all, can I just say praise God to you? Praise God for the magnitude of the promise. Praise God for what He's promised you, that you are going to live someday in a home of righteousness, and He's going to fit you for that. He's going to get you ready for it. Praise God for the magnitude of that, all sins forgiven, power over death through Christ's resurrection, eternal friendship with God, a rich inheritance as the heir of the world and fellowship with others who are also heirs of the world and, by the way, unlike now, we won't be fighting over it. Well, what hill do you want? What do you want? Like Abraham and Lot dividing it? Not going to be like that. "You take it." "No, you take it." "I want you to have it." That kind of thing. Such a oneness and a unity which we do not experience on this Earth because of our selfish sin nature. But in Heaven, and on Earth, a new Heaven and new Earth, perfect unity. Praise God for the magnitude of these promises.
Number two, trust God that He's going to do it. Trust God that He's going to give you all these things simply by faith. Get your eyes off of yourself. Don't look at your own capabilities, but look to the God who made the promise. We break promises all the time, but God never breaks His promise. Number three, understand the grace, the faith, grace guaranteed connection. There's an absolute guarantee here, because this comes by faith. Nothing was in you that motivated God to do this and nothing will be in you which will turn His love away from you. God will sanctify you through and through by His power.
And then finally, and this is very direct. Cease striving for Earthly things. Do you understand the logic? You're going to get it anyway. It's all going to be yours. Why struggle for it now? It's corrupt now anyway. You can't hold on to it. There's a filter called death and you can't pull it through. Let it go. Use it for God's Kingdom. Pour yourselves out. Use every hour, every minute, every dollar, every effort for the Kingdom of God. You're going to get it anyway. Didn't Paul say that, 1 Corinthians, he said, "All things are yours…" so stop squabbling over things now. They're all yours through faith in Jesus Christ.