Joey Chive25 March 2009 at 8:30pmPosts: 180 (0 today)Status: offline
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about ? but not before God. What does the Scripture say? ?Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.?
Abraham was the first Jew, the one whom Israel called ?father?. It is strange that the one Israel holds up as their progenitor, the one so highly esteemed by them, was the first believer. Abraham totally contradicts Israel?s method of salvation by works. They should use someone else to lift up and take pride in. Paul, in Rom 4:1, calls Abraham our
forefather. He is the first Christian, for he was the first to trust in imputed righteousness.
What did the patriarch of Israel discover about the matter of salvation? Is the teaching of Jesus Christ something new, or does it go back to the beginning? If Abraham was declared righteous because he was good enough, then he had something to boast about, but not before God. No man can boast before God. We can boast before men. We can deceive people into thinking we are fit for heaven, but we can?t fool God. So what did Abraham find out? First, we must realize that the promise of salvation through faith, and credited righteousness, was before the old covenant, before the law. So the promise out-ranks the law, and is it?s superior. The old testament part of our bibles is not just old covenant law, it is also a more ancient, more important revelation of righteousness by faith. This is what Abraham discovered ? the gospel. The gospel was before the law, and the first Jew was declared righteous not by the law, which didn?t even exist yet, but by faith in the promised seed of blessing, the coming Messiah that would give His life for the sins of the world. If Abraham didn?t have the right to boast before God, then surely we do not have that right. Let us never praise self, but rather give all our praise to Jesus, the only Savior!
People will say this, and books will say that, but what do the scriptures say? They say that we are righteous because we believe, and because God credits goodness. This is what the scriptures say, and this is what we must say also.
People want to follow the law, at least in part. They feel that they should contribute to their salvation. They try to outwardly obey the tablets of stone, even though the tablets are faded away (2 Cor. 3:7-11). These people exist in the past. They follow the ministry that brought death. The ten commandments is the ministry that brought death (2 Cor. 3:7). God made the face of Moses shine, and then fade when he came down with the tablets, to show that this ministry of death was only temporary. Like Moses? face, the old law also faded away, to make room for the ministry of life. Believing in Jesus, and being saved by Him, is the ministry of life. Abraham saw Jesus? day and was glad. He was also made righteous by his faith in Christ?s ministry.
The glory of grace should blind us to the glory of law (2. Cor. 3:10). When you put grace next to the ten commandments, you can only see grace, you cannot see the law. The glory of Jesus Christ surpasses the glory of Moses, so that Moses no longer has any glory. The ten commandments have faded away. The grace of forgiveness in Jesus will never fade away. This is why we are given righteousness by faith without works.
The hope of grace makes us both humble and bold. We are humble because Jesus saved us and we did not save ourselves by our own goodness. We are bold because we stand firm in Jesus? righteousness and not our own, and Jesus never fails. If we will not shipwreck our faith by placing it somewhere else, we will finish the race.
Abraham foresaw the justification of the Gentiles by faith, howbeit in a shaded way. The gospel was announced in advance to Abraham, and he believed it, and was considered righteous (Gal. 3img src="/_global/images/icons/smiley.png" />. When God told Abraham that ?all nations would be blessed through you,? and when Abraham believed God, Abraham was saved. Abraham believed in the Messiah to come. And anyone who wants, can also have justification by faith in Jesus the Messiah.
In this portion of scripture, faith is opposed to works. Paul, through the inspiration of Jesus, is announcing the good news. He is saying that we can be saved the same way Paul was saved, the same way Abraham was saved, and the same way everyone is saved, by faith without works, by simple trust in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. So we say, ?Christians believe God, and it is credited to them as righteousness.? Amen.