Tag: righteous by faith

The level ground of faith!

Scripture reading for July 16th: Romans 3:9-31

I have heard it said that we all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ!  There are no big “I’s” or little “you’s” when it comes to our need for salvation and finding the grace that comes from our Lord’s sacrifice.  In Paul’s letter to the Roman, he stressed that all need this grace and explains why!

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.  The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)

These verses from the Old Testament quoted here show the universal rule of sin in the lives of human beings.  Sin has permeated all men and is the cause of evil speech, violence, war, and rebellion against God.  Put another way, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  There is no Jew who has kept the law of God and no Gentile who has not violated his conscience!  (Romans 2:14-15)

But thanks be to God that He has provided a remedy!  “But now a righteousness from God apart from law, has been made known, to which the law and prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:21-22)  Faith is the great equalizer.  God has chosen to give the gift of His righteousness to all who will put their faith in what Jesus has done for them.

Repentance requires that we acknowledge our need to change our minds and hearts.  If we have a godly sorrow over our sins and turn from them to Christ for His cleansing, the gift of righteousness is ours by faith!  This is true for all men and women everywhere.  Faith is the level ground where the grace of God flows freely!

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Abraham, Sarah, and Ishmael

Scripture reading for January 6th: Genesis 15-17

A great deal has happened in the lives of Abram and Sarai in the last three chapters.  They have been to Egypt and back. They have rescued Lot from invaders.  They gave the first tithes to Melchizedek, an unusual man who was a king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of “The Most High God”.

Next, since she was still barren Sarai suggested to Abram that he have a child by her maid Hagar in order to fulfill God’s promise.  Hagar bore him a son and now felt superior.  Sarai became  jealous and mistreated her.  The child Ishmael, became a source of trouble in the house. (Genesis 16:12).  (In fact, we are today experiencing trouble in the Middle East and a war on terror from Ismael’s offspring!)

Genesis 17 recorded another visit by God to Abram and Sarai.  Abram was then 99 years old and Sarai was 90.  God confirmed His promise to them by covenant.  Part of a covenant is a change of names.  Abram means “Exalted Father” and Abraham meant “Father of a multitude”.  Sarah’s new name meant “Princess”.  God took Abraham’s name too!  He became know as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God also gave them a physical sign of the covenant, circumcision.  This mark in the male organ carrying the “seed”, would remind Abraham of God’s promise and mark his offspring as special.  This sign also helped keep the line pure and free from venereal disease, thus protecting the offspring.

Faith simply says “yes” to God and obeys!  Abraham is known as the father of faith because he believed God and God credited him with being righteous!  (Genesis 15:6)  We are made right with God exactly the same way!  By faith in Jesus we are credited with righteousness too.  Our sign of covenant is that we get the Name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who circumcises our hearts and marks us as belonging to God.  God writes our name in the Book of Life and we have an eternal inheritance in Him!  We are truly blessed through Abraham and Sarah and their seed, Jesus Christ!

“Having believed, you were marked in Him (Christ) with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His Glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14

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