an outline worth stealing

My morning sermon this Sunday (8/14) was based on an outline I found in a footnote to William R. Newell’s commentary on Romans 4.14. The footnote was so profound that I thought it shouldn’t lie dormant in the commentary but be fleshed out in a whole sermon.

I thought I’d share the entire footnote with you as well. I’d encourage the preachers in the audience to steal it too. It is well worth preaching.

Here is Newell:

The reason God hates your trust in your ‘good works’ is, that you offer them to Him instead of resting on the all-glorious work of His Son for you at the cross.


  • What it cost God to give Christ.
  • What it cost Christ to put away sin — your sin, at the cross.
  • What honor God has given Him ‘because of the suffering of death.’
  • What plans for the future God has arranged through Christ having made peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile ‘things upon the earth and things in the heavens, unto Himself.’

Now, when that uneasiness of conscience on account of which you keep doing ‘dead works,’ you neglect all God is, has done, and desires, for you, and substitute your own uncertain, fearful, trifling notions of ‘works that shall please God.’ You would make God come to your terms, instead of gladly accepting his great salvation and resting in the finished work of Christ.

It is ominously bold presumption, when God is calling all to behold His Lamb, to be found asking God to behold your goodness, your works! 1

You are saved by works, but not your works! The Works of our Lord Jesus Christ are the saving works.



  1. William R. Newell, Romans: verse by verse, p. 143, footnote. []


  1. Amen.