A Different Take on How to Please God

—Romans 4 & Gen 15

  • Andrew Fountain – Dec 9, 2018

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A Different Take on How to Please God

  1. The story of “Joe”
  2. What Joe discovers in the Bible
  3. What it looks like in practice

Romans 4

  1. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
  2. …faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.
  3. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. 24It will be counted to us who believe in him…
  • Gal 3:6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”
    • (the quote is from Gen 15:6)

Romans 4:3

  • This is how he had always been taught how to read it:
  • “Abraham had faith and on the basis of that faith God transferred the righteousness of Christ to Abraham, and Abraham’s sin to Christ, who paid for it on the cross.”

Romans 4:9

  • “Abraham’s trust was counted to him as righteousness”

Romans 4:9

  • “Abraham’s trust was counted as having met the obligations of the covenant”
  • Jesus has met our legal obligations
  • So that God can count our trust as all he requires

So to sum up

  • What Joe discovered:
  • He was loved by God whatever, because of what Jesus has done
  • To please God, day by day, all he had to do was to trust him
  • That is all God was asking

It gives Jesus the most pleasure when

  • The Roman centurion who trusted in Jesus’ ability to heal his servant at a distance
    • Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
  • The Woman who trusted Jesus for her daughter
    • Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
  • Little children who simply trusted

Then Joe remembered

  • Heb 11:6 Without trusting God it is impossible to please him
  • Rom 14:23 For whatever does not come from faith is sin.

So now Joe had an answer

  • An answer to his question “Is God pleased with me?”
  • He is pleased with me when I simply trust him
  • This is not a “work” because the very faith is a gift
  • So what does this look like on a Monday morning?

So what is faith/trust?

  • Primarily it is allegiance (God or idols)
  1. Rest/Dependence (Abraham rested in the promise of a son)
  2. Obedience is the fruit (Abraham left his home country “by faith”)
  3. Perseverance—not giving up on trusting God (Abraham waited 25 years)


  • God so loves it when you trust him!
  • It brings him great pleasure