A wonderful Carribbean cruise turns into a sick, gory ordeal as Hurricane Alley lives up to its name. A few friends, some, experienced sailors, slip their moorings and ease out into the ocean. Days later the survivors have experienced the terror of being abandoned on an open inflatable boat, with no supplies, with no communication, in shark infested water. Amazingly, rescue arrives quite unexpectedly. The remaining crew are lifted to safety and live to tell the story. In Romans 3:27-4:25, we have a teaching that can be illustrated by this rescue story. God is justifying wicked people. He is doing it by giving the gift of faith, by which wicked people receive His package of salvation. It is a rescue that comes from outside of the individual, by grace. Just as salvation came to this doomed crew, by grace, when all hope was lost. The point is this: If you have understood justification through faith to mean, "I performed the act of believing and therefore God justified me", then this message should open up new thought for you.
However, if you have understood justification through faith to mean, "God graciously came and gave me faith when I was faithless, and then justified me as a result of that faith", then you will appreciate the wonderful picture of rescue in this message.