John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (See also Galatians 2:16.)

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (See also Romans 3:21-25.)

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


MEMORY VERSE: Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. —Habakkuk 2:4


CENTRAL THOUGHT: As in the example of Abraham, righteousness and justification and everlasting life are given by God to us when we hear His word, believe in the risen Savior and give our will, or assent, or confession to our belief.




John 3:16 “Believeth in him”: believeth into Him; indicating the point reached or entered.

Romans 4:22-24 “Imputed”: reckoned; passed to one’s account; credited.

Romans 5:1 “Justified”: cleared of all charges; declared righteous.

Romans 10:11 “Ashamed”: dishonored; disgraced; put to confusion; frustrated; disappointed.




John 3:16, declaring the simple message of salvation—”Whosoever believeth”—and probably the most memorized and quoted verse of the Bible, has interestingly been explained as describing the love of Christ, which Paul in Ephesians 3:13 prays may be comprehended by all holy saints. Its breadth—the world. Its length—He gave His only begotten Son. Its depth— whosoever believeth. Its height—everlasting life! Here we have God’s part described: loving and giving; and our part—believing and having. As we noticed in Word Definitions, this believing is not only a mental belief; it is a heart faith that gives us entrance into Christ and His salvation.

When God brought Abraham out to view the night sky and declared to him again His promise of a seed, a posterity that could not be numbered, Abraham believed God’s promise. Without sight, without visible proof, he simply counted it as done. Paul, relating the story in the epistle to the Romans, detailed Abraham’s faith: he didn’t consider his nor Sarah’s inability to conceive a child; he didn’t stagger through unbelief; he was not weak, but strong in faith; he gave glory to God; he was fully persuaded that there would be not just promise but performance.

Paul reiterates in chapter five that justification, or the declaring of our now-righteous standing before God, is by faith. Out of that simple faith, we have peace. Our conflict with God is over. The strife has ceased.

We consider again the verses from the first lesson, this time with the emphasis on our response to the Word which God has sent. Coupled with our faith, the Word generates life and salvation into us!

Without this heart belief, we can never please God, but when we believe, as Abraham did, that what He has said in His word regarding our deliverance, forgiveness, and cleansing, He will do; and show that belief by diligently seeking Him—seeking Him until He rains righteousness upon us—He will perform the wonderful miracle of salvation.

Our memory verse became the watchword of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther wrote in 1545: “At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, ‘In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’’ There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous

lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which a merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’ Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. God’s Part/Our Part: Explain the importance of each.

2. Father of Faith: Abraham has been given this title. Explain why.

3. Proof of Faith: What proves to God that we believe He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him?




The material in our lesson today may seem elementary to some. True, this teaching is the very foundation, the essential basic understanding for coming to Christ. Yet we need to frequently remind ourselves of this truth because it is very easy for any of us to slip into the idea that salvation comes because of things that we do. We may say things like, “You can’t partake of that and be saved.” “That woman isn’t saved because she dresses immodestly.” “In order to be saved you must give up _____.” In reality, not partaking of worldly things, dressing modestly, and giving up this or that thing are results of salvation, and not the cause of it.

Repentance, or turning away from sin, is a vital part of hearing and receiving God’s revealed Word, believing from the heart that Jesus is the only Savior, and giving assent to that faith by confessing openly that you are trusting Him for salvation. Truly a person should in his or her repentance bring forth the fruits of repentance.

It is possible, however, to do many “righteous” things or “give up” many things, while still not having in the heart a true dependence on Christ alone for salvation. We may begin to look down on people who are still in their sins, as if we are “better.” Why did Jesus need to come in the flesh and bear our sins in His body on the cross as sacrifice for our sins, if we could just “do right” to be saved?

Many people are deceived into thinking they are right with God—justified—if they belong to a church. Others may say, “Yeah, I need to get back into church,” as if that is all the salvation they need. Still others maintain very admirable deeds of compassion, such as caring for the homeless, sheltering animals, giving aid to foreign countries, or guiding troubled teens. They may say things like, “I know I sin like everybody else, but God will let me into heaven because my good traits outweigh my bad ones.”

All of these flawed ideas fail in presenting a person justified in God’s sight. Only the righteousness which is by faith in Christ alone and in His shed blood will avail.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Faith is not stagnant. It is not a one-time act of believing in God and thereby reaching the summit of spiritual attainment. It is not merely that one confesses, prays, believes and that’s the sum total of their experience. It is just the beginning. Our initial faith in God carries us over the threshold that connects our natural life to the spiritual life of God and sets us up for a greater exploration and understanding of that which is divine.

Several scriptures enlighten us to this principle. We must be careful not to overemphasize the initial act of faith nor under emphasize the continued process of faith that is so vital to sustaining our relationship with God.

We live by faith. It is the essential ingredient of a godly life. Without it we die. Our natural life begins at birth and progresses from that point. We grow from one stage to the next. But not without careful attention to that which sustains life—so it is with us spiritually. We must be born again, not of the flesh but of the Spirit. This spiritual birth is initiated by faith and its progress is sustained by faith.

We walk by faith. This requires forward movement—progression from one point to the next. Once we have believed we must continue steadfastly in our belief—against all odds and against all opposition or the entire process becomes futile.

Our faith is the power cord of our spiritual life. It connects us to God, Himself. The greater the faith, the greater the connection. If we lose the connection we lose the power and the privilege of knowing and pleasing God, for without faith it is impossible to please him.

—Bro. Darrell Johnson