- Paul’s point is being made that righteousness cannot be attained by works/law but only through faith.
- He uses Abraham as an example. Abraham was considered righteous by faith, not works, before he was given the law of circumcision.
Abraham could not be made in right standing with God through working for it (in the flesh) because he could attribute his right standing to his own toil. It had to be given freely, as a gift by God, so that only by faith could Abraham be considered right before God.
- Right standing with God is something that is freely given to anyone who has faith (not circumcision), making Abraham his or her father, through faith and nullifying any other attempted avenue to righteousness before God (circumcision).
- God told Abraham he would be the father of many nations, which was an offer only accepted by faith, since he and his wife were too old to have children, let alone nations.
- So anyone who comes after Abraham, can’t be made righteous by circumcision or abiding by the law, because then the promise God made to Abraham would be pointless. Anyone who comes after Abraham is only made righteous by faith.
- The law brings wrath because it is impossible to live up to the law and it’s impossible to be righteous by the law. Therefore, anyone trying to be righteous by the law is a recipient of wrath, as it’s the only alternative.
- That is why faith is paramount, because God’s grace (removal of our sins, right standing with God) rests on the promise made to Abraham, which he accepted with faith.
- Abraham had no unbelief in God, even knowing physical circumstances didn’t make sense, that is why it took so much faith and ultimately that is why he was made righteous.
- Him being made righteous was not just for his sake, but for everyone after him who has faith in God because He sent Jesus to die for us so that we too could have faith in what happened on ad after the cross.
- Paul makes one glaring point: Abraham’s faith was believing that God could do what He said He was going to do, even though it made absolutely no sense in Abraham’s physical world (too old to have kids). Faith in our lives should be just as grand. Faith starts with Jesus, knowing that he lived the perfect life according to the law and the prophets, and that He paid the price for our sins by dying, but that God raised Him from the grave so that we too could participate in the promise made to Abraham – righteousness before God. Faith in daily life ranges from small things, to BIG things. It’s not about having faith that God will just provide the next place to live or the next job, but that we have faith that He has a great plan for us and knows what is best for us and we live it out accordingly. It takes faith on our part, but faith is shown by the action we take in light of that faith. Abraham didn’t just say, “Sure, God, I believe you,” and then go on living his regular life. He behaved in light of what he believed. We too should not try to work our way into heaven, but have faith that God is in control, is worthy of praise and worship (by our daily lives and actions), and that He loves us beyond imagination.
Dear God, King in heaven who is worthy of praise, worthy of lifestyle change, worthy of life circumstance change, so worthy that if we don’t praise you, the rocks will! GOD, please teach us to be more faithful to you, please teach us to love you more, please teach us to know you more, please teach us to act in accordance to the great calling with which you called us. We love you and want to love you more, because you are worth it. Thank you for your Son, thank you for giving us a free gift of grace, thank you for loving us enough to direct us even using uncomfortable and unrealistic circumstances. Amen.
Posted on Tue, May 19, 2015
by joel king