Community Group Study Notes
- Have someone in your group give a brief recap of Sunday’s message, highlighting the primary Scripture passages and main idea of the message.
- How did this message confirm and/or correct your previous ideas about righteousness?
- Read Romans 9:32. Reflect on your recent pursuit of righteousness. Have you been pursuing a righteousness of trust in God or a righteousness of trying to please God?
- Read James 2:20-24. How can we reconcile this scripture considering Romans 9:32?
- What is the danger of zeal without knowledge? How have you learned this lesson in your own life?
- What are some “guardrails” we can set up in our lives to avoid the temptation of self-righteousness?
- In what ways can you apply today’s message to your life?
- Spend time in reflection: In what ways have you been choosing work over faith? Each morning, spend time praising God for His mercy and grace, and approach your day and “works” with a posture of thankfulness. At the end of the day, reflect on the ways you approached your daily activities.
As we mobilize into the world, we need to be confident in what we believe. Read the Nicene Creed. Reflect on a few phrases within the Creed that particularly stand out to you. Write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God for the truth that is contained in this Creed.
I believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven by the power of the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is adored and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
I believe in one, holy, apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
My siblings and I referred to my maternal grandmother as Granny. She was a wonderful lady. She lost her husband when she was 48 years old, which means my mom lost her dad when she was 17. She never remarried. She was really resourceful. She was wonderful. We would come over to her house in Decatur. We lived in Marietta and it was about 45 minutes and we would come over there and she'd be out there with a push mower, mowing her grass. Even as she got older, she was just out there mowing grass and pulling weeds and doing all that stuff. When my brother and I were young, we would be in the backyard and she would pitch wiffle balls to us. She had a gun, like she had a good arm, like it was incredible. And I loved her and she was a wonderful woman. One of the things that we most loved to do is that she had... When she would take us in a ride in her car, she had a CB radio. You remember CB radios, like truckers using those. They can talk to one another. Her handle was Bubbles. It was so cute. Like, it's just this granny and she goes by Bubbles. And we loved it when we were in the car with her and she would occasionally let us use it. She wouldn't let us mess around. She told us it wasn't a toy and she would get on there and she would say, here's what I want you to ask and tell them asking for Bubbles and we were like, okay. So we would get on there and breaker, breaker one nine, and we would be able to talk. And she said, whenever they're finished telling you like, and she used it to determine is there an accident up the way or, hey, slow down, the police are up up ahead, so you need to be careful or there's a traffic jam or whatever, and they would talk to one another. And she said, as soon as you were finished, that what you needed to do is you needed to say 10-4. She didn't explain to us the 10 codes that were kind of birthed in the 1930s that the police used for different things, but she just told us that 10-4 means this. It means message received. So that when you said at the very end 10-4, you're confirming that the message was received. What my hope is today as we conclude the chapter nine in Romans where we've been studying and then move into chapter 10, that by the time we get to chapter 10, verse four, that you'll be able to say message received. Let's look at where we are in the book of Romans chapter nine as we continue on in our study of God's choice and we're looking at Romans nine, 10, and 11 over these weeks, and the apostle Paul begins this passage with a question. And here it is. It's just a very simple question in the very beginning of verse number 30, what then shall we say? So the reason Paul is asking this question, what then shall we say is because he's basically summarizing what has come before in Romans chapter nine. So Paul is saying, based on what we've looked at all the way through Romans chapter nine, and I've preached on that, Pastor Jonathan preached on that, what is it that we learn as a result, what then shall we say, because we've seen that God is sovereign in election and that he chooses based on his own wisdom, based on his own desire, that God makes these choices because he is God. And the choice that he made of the sovereign election of Israel was not based upon their race, it was not based upon their ancestry, it was simply based upon God's sovereign wisdom. But even the people that he chose Israel in his sovereign wisdom have chosen largely, not all, because there's a remnant within Israel that has believed God and trusted him by faith, but in large part, Israel has rejected what God has offered to them in the gospel of grace. And as a result, God has opened that offer of the gospel of grace to the Gentiles as well to be included in the family of God if they put their faith in Jesus. And even though Israel had all of these special privileges, they have still said no generally speaking to the gospel of grace and now there is this offer to the inclusion and expansion of the Gentiles. So what Paul is saying, based on all of that, what then shall we say, what do we understand based on that? And here's how he answers that question in verse 30 and 31. What then shall we say? That the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith, but the people of Israel who pursued the law as the way of righteousness have not attained their goal. This is a really kind of interesting statement and it's almost the irony of how righteousness is used in this passage of scripture. Now, let me make sure I'm clear here. When Paul is talking in this passage right here in these verses about righteousness. Oftentimes when we hear the word righteousness, what we think of is doing good morally, moral goodness. That's what we think of when we think of righteousness. And the Bible uses that phrase, righteousness, to describe moral goodness often, but it also uses the phrase righteousness to describe what it means to be in right standing before God. That's how Paul is using this phrase here. He's talking about people's right standing before God and he talks about the irony of it. The Gentiles, the non-Jews, were not pursuing righteousness. Now, the reason that I know he is not talking about moral goodness is because there were plenty of Gentiles that were pursuing moral goodness. If you look at the writings of the Greeks, even prior to this time, you would find that out very quickly, that in many ways they were pursuing the good life and they were pursuing morality and they were pursuing those types of things, but they weren't necessarily as a people pursuing what it meant to have a right standing with the one, true God. So the Gentiles were not pursuing that, yet they obtained it. And the Israelites were pursuing righteousness and good standing before God and they did not attain it. It's an irony so to speak when we look at it almost, but why is this the case? Well, verse number 32 tells us why not? Why did the Gentiles obtain it and the Israelites did not? Because the Israelites pursued righteousness not by faith, but as if it were by works. That's why, because they pursued it not as if it were by faith, but as if it were by works. Israel chose the works of the law over faith. And Paul had already said earlier in the book of Romans, this does not work. You cannot be justified in righteousness by the works of the law. If we go back to Romans chapter three, you'll see it. Paul says this in verse number nine and then in verses 19 and 20, he says, what shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage, talking about being a Jew, being an Israelite and he says, not at all for we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law. Rather through the law, we become conscious of our sin. You see, Paul was making it clear that no one was going to attain right standing before God by the law. The point of the law, the very point of the law was to expose sin and to cause Israel to seek the mercy of God by faith. But instead, what they tried is they tried the impossible task of living up to the standard of the law. They could never attain to that, yet that's what they were endeavoring to do. And Paul's saying, it's not about that. You're not going to be able to do that first and foremost, because you have been impeded by sinfulness. And so as a result of that, you'll never be able to live up to the standard, the threshold that the law presents for you in terms of righteousness and good standing before God. You cannot do it, yet you continue to try to do that. Paul says it's not about that, it is about faith and faith is not a work. You see, sometimes I've had people say, well, if it's not by works, but it's by faith, is faith itself a work. Like if it requires our faith to be in right standing before God, isn't that a work all by itself? No, it is not. It's not even close because God has already, listen to this, God has already extended his mercy and grace in Jesus to the world before the response of anyone. One author illustrated it this way. He said, let's just suppose for a moment that I put a million dollars in clean, fresh bills in your backyard and I buried them under some rocks in your backyard. I don't want the money. I'm not gonna take it back. It's in your backyard. So by faith in what I told you, you go and turn over some rocks in your backyard and you find a million dollars in clean, fresh bills. Let me ask you a couple of questions. Did your faith in me earn you that money, nope. Did your faith in me somehow twist my arm into giving you that money, nope. It was already there. What your faith in me did is allowed you to receive it and to enjoy it. Faith is not a work because God did all that in advance of our response. It wasn't contingent upon our response. Our faith is for the purpose of being able to receive and enjoy what God has already provided in Jesus. Does that make sense? See, that's important for us so that we understand that it is not by the works of the law, but it is by faith that we are actually saved. In fact, isn't that what Paul said in Ephesians, when he said it is by grace you have been saved, then what does he say, through faith. It's not of works so that no one should boast. We've been saved by grace. God has done this and we experience it, we receive it, and we enjoy that by faith. That's what we are being taught here that the works of the law cannot save, but ultimately we are saved by faith. So Paul here in this context, he's showing two types of pursuits of righteousness. One is a faith or a trust in God and what God has done in Christ, which the Gentiles were responding to the gospel by faith and the other is endeavoring to try to please God through the works of the law. So you've got trusting on one hand and trying on the other hand and he makes it clear that we become righteous by faith in what Jesus has done not by the works of the law. Then notice what Paul says. In continuing on in verse 32, he says about the Israelites, they stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written, see, I lay in Zion, a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame. I find it interesting here that this is what he talks about. Have you ever looked at people who are so distracted that they stumble or they trip or they run into stuff? Have you ever seen that before? Has it ever been you? Yeah, I imagine it probably has. We've got a couple of these on camera. Take a quick look. We've all been there, haven't we? We're just glad that we are not the ones on the surveillance video being shown to everybody right now. In these, their phone was the issue. They had their heads buried in their phone and as a result, they ended up stumbling or tripping or falling. But for Israel, what they were doing is they were looking intently into the works of the law so much so that they were trying to... They were trying to find a righteousness in there, this promise of righteousness, this promise of right standing before God, if they could just keep up with all of these things. And in fact, they were so serious about all of these things that they added more things to these things, more than what God had said, they started adding additional things to these things and had all kinds of laws that they were staring into as they walked around life doing what they were doing, but what happened was this, they tripped on Jesus. God designed it that way. And what we see here and what Paul does is he takes a mash up of Isaiah Eight and Isaiah 28 and he puts those together by quoting from them, saying they stumbled over the stumbling stone. See, I lay a stone in Zion that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall and the one who believes in him, so the rock is a him, will never be put to shame. You see, what he was doing here is he was saying that Israel was tripping over the son of God. Maybe you could jot this phrase down. We can't be made righteous by our trying, because in our trying, we are tripped. We can't be made righteous in our trying, because in our trying, we are tripped. And what is it that we are tripped over? We are tripped over Jesus. You see for everyone that's trying to earn their way to God, Jesus stands as a rock over which you will stumble and fall because if you could somehow earn your way to God, then what was Jesus doing at all? If you could attain righteousness on your own, if you could engage right standing with God by yourself, then what was Jesus doing being born of a virgin and putting on flesh as the son of God who became the son of man who taught us about what it means to be reconciled to God, who sinlessly went to a cross to die for the sins of humanity and who rose from the grave, conquering sin and hell and the grave. If we could somehow attain righteousness or right standing before God based on our works, based on our own, then what in the world was Jesus doing? When you try to get right standing before God on your own, you are going to trip over the son of God, who stands as a testament to say, I came because you cannot find standing with God outside of me. Do you know what that even says to us in God's sovereignty, listen to this. That even God putting Jesus as a stumbling stone for those who were trying to earn their way by the works of the law, even that was a grace to them, even that was a grace to them, that he gave them the opportunity to stumble and maybe pay attention, to maybe see. Oh, this righteousness is outside of myself. Oh, this salvation can't come from myself. And in fact, this was even prophesied of Jesus. When he was young, remember Simian saying he will be the cause of the falling and rising of many. That's what he said over just young baby Jesus. So this idea of stumbling or tripping over the stumbling stone is even a grace to the Israelites if they would but see. Paul continues in chapter 10, verse one, he says brothers and sisters, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. So he's already decided and discussed that Israel as a whole has rejected the gospel of grace, not all because there's a remnant of Israel that has not. But that in large part, Israel has rejected the gospel of grace. And so Paul says my prayer, my heart felt prayer for them. My heart's desire is that they may be saved. It's interesting because in Romans chapter nine that we started in, Paul said, I could wish, if it were possible, I could wish that I would be a cursed for the sake of my kinsman in the flesh or the people of my same race and ethnicity, the Jews, the Israelites. He says, if it were possible, I would be anathema. That was the idea of being doomed to destruction, beyond redemption if it were possible for them to be saved. And here he echoes the same heartbeat when he says my desire and my prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. Now, maybe you hear that and you're wondering since God has given his own sovereign choice to choose them and only a remnant of Israel has actually believed, but in large part, they have rejected the gospel of grace. And if Israel has done that rejection, then why are we still praying for them? Isn't this God's sovereign choice? Why would we even be praying at this point? Well, understand this. First of all, Paul is praying and he understands two things about God's sovereignty that we need to understand. The first is this is that corporate election of a people is not the same thing as the individual salvation of those people. God chose Israel for his purposes, but that doesn't mean that every individual Israelite is in right standing with God by faith. But he also understood this, that God ordains both the ends, who will be saved, and the means, how that will occur. And do you know how that occurs? God asks us to pray. God asks us to share the gospel. God asks us to have lives that demonstrate the glory of who he is. God has ordained in his sovereignty both the ends and the means. That's why Paul, whenever he went to a new city, would first go to the synagogue and would reason and preach and offer to them the gospel of grace in Messiah Jesus. Paul would do this and now he's just acknowledging that even in God's sovereignty, Paul is still praying for the Israelites that they may be saved. And then he says this in verses two and three. He says for I can testify about them, the Israelites, that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Hear what Paul is saying here, he's saying that he knows that they are zealous for God, but that their zeal is without knowledge. Now Paul's not just talking outside of a people group that he's saying, hey, look at these people. Paul's saying, no, I know exactly what this is like. I am an Israelite. This was in fact my own testimony that I was zealous for God, but without the knowledge of God's own righteousness found in Christ. In fact, Paul talks about this in the book of Philippians, listen to what he says. He says, though I myself have reasons for such confidence in the flesh. If someone else thinks that they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more. I was circumcised on the eighth day, I'm of the people of Israel, I'm of the tribe of Benjamin. I'm a Hebrew of Hebrews. In regard to the law, I'm a Pharisee. Listen to this. As for zeal, I persecuted the church. As for righteousness based on the law, I am faultless or so he said. Isn't that an interesting phrase that Paul uses there? Look at it again. He says, as for zeal, you wanna find somebody who's zealous, I persecuted the church. How about righteousness based on the law? I kept that, I fulfilled that. Then he says, but whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ, because you know what Paul recognized? Paul recognized eventually that you cannot be saved by the works of the law. That it only comes by faith in Jesus Christ so that he was a person who had zeal without knowledge of God's righteousness. Paul's not just pointing out the problem with Israel, Paul is talking about what was true of him, and that's why he finishes with a flourish in chapter 10, verse number four, and says this, Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness or right standing before God for everyone who believes in him. Christ is the fulfillment or the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Paul's just making a summary statement of his argument there as he talks about the Israelites and talks about the Gentiles and talks about faith and talks about the law. So when we look at this passage and we unpack it, what are some takeaways for us? I think maybe the way that I would say it, because it seems as if Paul is kind of doing this to some degree, that what he's doing is he's really offering some warnings. And so what are some warnings about how we view the righteousness, how we view right standing with God? What are some warnings we could heed and take away? Here's the first. That spiritual privilege can be dangerous. Spiritual privilege can be dangerous. I want you to pay close attention again to chapter nine, verses 31 and 32. He says, but the people of Israel who pursued the law as the way of righteousness have not attained their goal. Why not, because they pursued it, not by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. This is Israel that we're talking about. They were the ones who were privileged. Remember we talked about in chapter nine, they had the covenants, they had the temple worship, they had the divine glory, they were adopted and chosen. And they had the receiving of the law. All of this were privileges that were afforded to them and what they tried to do is they took that law and they tried to attain righteousness or gained the promise of righteousness through the works of the law. Even though they had all these spiritual privileges, it ended up being dangerous for them because they took those privileges and they made them something that they weren't intended to be. I wonder if we do the same sometimes, or if we're tempted to do the same. We kind of maybe think that we attend faithfully, we come to church faithfully. So we equate that with right standing before God. I show up to church all the time. I'm in right standing before God, or maybe we think about it based on our family. My family is a Christian, I came from a Christian family. So I must have right standing before God. My grandfather was a pastor. So I must have right standing before God. My aunt taught VBS so I must have right standing before God, or maybe we think it's based on our history. I've been coming to this place for decades as if that somehow gives you a right standing before God. These are all good things. These are all privileges that we have, but they can be dangerous if we misplace them in thinking that that in and of itself is what constitutes our right standing before God. It does not constitute right standing before God. Just because you stand in a garage does not make you a car. Just because you go to McDonald's does not make you a Big Mac. And just because you show up to church does not make you in right standing before God. This is where we have to be careful because we can misappropriate things that we begin to say it's as if we are trying to attain by our works our right standing before God, and that cannot be the case. We know all the buzz words in the Christian community. We've even made mostly lifestyle choices that are indicative of that, but none of those things get us to a place of right standing before God. I wonder sometimes, I say this with a humble and a broken heart, I wonder sometimes how many people darken the doors of church buildings all over our country who have never been regenerated by the spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ as their only salvation, but have thought to themselves because I've done A and B and C. Because I've comparatively better than some other people who aren't doing A and B and C, that somehow I'm in right standing before God as if you could somehow twist his arm by your deal. Listen, my brothers and my sisters, my friends, loved ones, that cannot be. We must be careful because spiritual privilege can be dangerous. It was dangerous to the Israelites who had all of these special spiritual privileges and it can be dangerous to us if you are putting your hope for your right standing before God in anything other than faith in Jesus. What he's done on your behalf, not what you can do to earn your place, that's our only option and hope. Secondly, another warning. Sincerity isn't enough. Sincerity is not enough. Look again with me in verse number two of Romans chapter 10. Paul says for I can testify about the Israelites that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. My friends, sincerity is not enough. Paul is talking about zeal without knowledge. Some people think to themselves, as long as I am sincere about what I believe. As long as I am passionate about what I believe, then that's enough. And that leads people from some religions to take pilgrimages to certain places that if they will just take this pilgrimage, it will show how sincere they are about their belief. It's why some go into a specific river that is located in a specific place that is deemed to be holy and they wash themselves in that river because it will give everybody the understanding that they are sincere in what they believe or their religion says that they are to self-mutilate in some ways. And you will see their authenticity and their passion, and you'll see their sincerity or if they'll fast from foods for a period of time, you'll see their sincerity. If they'll climb stairs on their knees to show their sincerity, if they'll attend mass or they'll attend church and you'll see their sincerity and you'll see their passion that somehow that that's enough. And the culture that we live in reinforces this. The culture that we live in almost, almost says that sincerity is righteousness. That's why we congratulate so easily the movie stars who talk about their new ageism or their scientology or whatever, and see how sincere they are, see how much they believe these things. Or maybe it's not even a religion, but it's kind of one that they've made themselves, which is kind of boundless sexual freedom and people say see how sincere they are and they're not hypocritical in what they believe. But what if, what if we're sincerely wrong? See, sincerity is not enough because we can be sincerely wrong. Sincere people who engage sincere religions that does not account for faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to be in good standing with God, those people are sincerely lost. Sincerity is not enough. Third warning, self-righteousness is lethal. Self-righteousness is lethal. Listen to what verse number three says, Romans 10, since they did not know the righteousness of God and oh boy, and sought to establish their own. That's self-righteousness, they sought to establish their own. This is lethal to the soul. You see, God's righteousness is about grace through faith. Self-righteousness is about our works to try and justify our own goodness. These work in opposition to one another, they cannot be reconciled. That's why when we seek to establish our own righteousness, it is contradictory to God's righteousness. And no matter how zealous we might be, it will not work. And now we have all kinds of opportunity on social media to try and reinforce our self-righteousness all day, every day. We put up some statement that kind of shows to people how moral we are and how good we are and how much like we do it and we see all the likes and the comments. Oh, you're exactly right. Yes, all the other people that don't think like that are stupid and you self-justify. And if you don't get enough likes and you don't get enough comments, you just amp it up. Here's a pic of me giving money to a homeless man. I'm no hero, I'm just doing the right thing. We're just reinforcing our own self-righteousness and asking other people to help reinforce it with us. And you know what it is? Listen, it's lethal to your soul. I'm not saying that helping a homeless man is not a good thing, it is a good thing. But when you use this work to try and justify your righteousness and standing before God, you're missing it. This will not work. It's lethal to our soul. Jesus told we don't understand how much mercy we really need. Jesus told a story of Pharisees and a tax collector in Luke chapter 18, he said to some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed God, I thank you that I'm not like the other people, robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give a tenth of all I get, but the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn't even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said God, have mercy on me a sinner. I tell you that this man rather than the other went home justified before God, for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humbled themselves will be exalted. Self-righteousness is lethal to our soul and will never ever bring us into right standing with God. We must fall on the mercy that God has given us in Jesus. That's why the last thing that I want to remind you of is this, that Jesus is our only hope for right standing with God. Jesus is our only hope for right standing with God. Listen to what verse number four says in chapter 10, Christ is the culmination. That word in the Greek language is the word telos and it means and some of your translations say this, the end. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. He is the fulfillment. He is the culmination. He is the telos. He is the end of the law, that Jesus is everything and it is only by faith in him that we can be saved. The law cannot save us, only Jesus can. Works that we do cannot save us, only Jesus can. The law exposed our sin and showed God's holiness and counseled us to live by faith and pointed us to Jesus and we cannot be saved apart from Jesus. No zeal, no amount of works can earn right standing before God, only the perfect son of God can fulfill the law, die in our place, rise from the dead and give us hope to stand before a holy God who judges sin, because Jesus has dealt with it at the cross and now by God's grace giving Jesus to us and our faith in him, we can now stand before God, not in our own power, not in our own righteousness, but because of everything that Jesus has done on our behalf. So my brothers and sisters, put away works to try and be saved. If you are trying, I hope you trip on Jesus because he stands as the rock that testifies that you can only be saved through him so put your trust in him. He is your only hope, 10-4? Let's bow our heads together. We'll be dismissed in just a moment, but you may be here and you heard testimony from one of the beautiful ladies who was baptized. She said, I remember Pastor Jerry giving an opportunity that for those that needed to respond in faith to Jesus, want you just to come by the fireside room and we'd love to talk to you about what that means and her life was transformed because of the power of the gospel. You may be here and you may have tried a bunch of other things. Let me tell you something, just because you've met the pastor doesn't mean you've met the master. Just because your name is on a church role does not mean that you are on the lamb's book of life. You will only be saved by Jesus through faith in him, not of our works. And if you need to settle that issue this day, know this, that God's grace has been extended to you, he loves you, he so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life. And my hope and my prayer is that you will have the courage to leave your seat in just a minute when we dismiss and you'll come right across the atrium and you'll talk to one of our friends in there, one of our prayer partners, and just say, I need to receive Jesus by faith. This is what will change your life. This is what puts you in good standing with God. You cannot do it, only Jesus can and it is by his grace through your faith. He's already done it. He just wants you to receive and experience the gift that he's given. I pray you'll do that. Father, I pray you would save people this day. Draw them to yourself by the power of your spirit for your glory. I pray in Christ's name, amen.