8 March 2015 Sunday Morning Service

Bible
OT Genesis 32 : 1 – 22
NT Romans 3 : 21 – 4 : 8

Genesis
32:1 Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
32:2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.
32:3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
32:4 He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my master Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.
32:5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.'”
32:6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”
32:7 In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well.
32:8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.”
32:9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’
32:10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups.
32:11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.
32:12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.'”
32:13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau:
32:14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,
32:15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
32:16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.”
32:17 He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?’
32:18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.'”
32:19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.
32:20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.'” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.”
32:21 So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.
32:22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.

Romans
3:21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
3:24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–
3:26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
3:27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.
3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
3:29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,
3:30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?
4:2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about–but not before God.
4:3 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4:4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.
4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
4:6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
4:7 “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
4:8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”