Romans 4:14-15 ( posted 3-5-13 )

“ For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. “

 

Before continuing on, I just want to say in regard to the verses in my previous study, Paul told us that Abraham is the father of not only believers in Jesus who are circumcised but also of believers who are not circumcised;

“  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. “    Romans 4:11-13

Even though physically through lineage Abraham is technically the father of many, having children through women other than Sarah, Paul still said that not all physical descendents of Abraham are actually children of Abraham.

“ Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. “   Romans 9:7

Because of what Paul is telling us in the verses of our studies, the real and only actual children of Abraham are those who  believe in Jesus as Abraham did.

“ Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. “      Galatians 3:7

This is in reference to the faith of Abraham.

“ And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. “    Galatians 3:8-9

Yes my friend, Paul said Abraham had heard the gospel;

“ …preached before the gospel unto Abraham,… “

The implication given is that it was God Himself who preached the gospel to Abraham.

There will come a time during the 7 year tribulation period when an angel will preach the gospel to the world;

“ And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, “   Revelation 14:6

 

Let’s continue.

 

“ For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: “

 

This is another confirmation that outside of faith in Jesus the promise to Abraham is void.

Not only is the promise to Abraham void but faith in Jesus is also void, which means nobody would be righteous, since Abraham was declared righteous by his faith in Jesus.

Technically, God’s grace is void outside of believing in Jesus.

Paul said clearly;

“ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast. “   Ephesians 2:8-9

Without faith everything is void…even our salvation.

This is why it is necessary to continue in the faith, not just believe once and make no commitment to Jesus to stay with Him. It is true He will never leave us but we can leave Him.

Faith is always in the present and ongoing tense…never a one time momentary experience. It is a lifestyle.

 

 

“ Because the law worketh wrath: “

 

The Law, as well as any law of the land only promotes wrath to those who break it.

There is no freedom with incentive to do good.

When Jesus said the truth will set us free He did not mean it will give us freedom to sin and misbehave.

Jesus meant that the truth will give us the freedom to do what is good and give us incentive to do what is good and pleasing in God’s sight.

 

One example in trying to obey something in the Law and it turning into anger and hostility is when Isaiah quoted God saying;

“ Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. “    Isaiah 58:2-11

 

Paul said that the law actually strengthens sin;

“ The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. “ 

1 Corinthians 15:56-57

 

 

“ for where no law is, there is no transgression. “

 

The Greek word “ parabasis “ translated “ transgression “ means violation, breaking, transgression.

Paul is not saying that without the Law there was never any such thing as sin.

Cain murdered his brother Abel long before God said in the Law, “ Thou shalt not kill. “

Cain knew he had done wrong.

If you remember in our earlier studies in Romans Paul told us that God put the knowledge of His truth in us;

“ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. “    Romans 1:18-21

So, the laws of God is something we all have already known by our conscience that God put in us.

 

However, Paul is not only referring to the Law but rather any law in general.

While laws of the land punish and keep nations somewhat living respectfully decent among its citizens, laws still make law breaking citizens resentful and even hostile.

 

While even though a believer in Jesus is in God’s grace, there is still a law of Christ;

“  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. “     Galatians 6:2

this law does not promote hostility and resentment.

 

My friend, Paul was not promoting the idea of nations discarding the idea of having laws.

Paul told us God ordained this to be.

 

Paul made this statement in the verse of our study;

“ for where no law is, there is no transgression. “

to show us the difference in our response to God’s grace as opposed to the Law or any law of any nation in general.

Here in America, our laws actually do make people so resentful that they will break the laws in hope of not getting caught, such as driving faster than the posted speed limit, going ahead and driving under the influence of alcohol, watering lawns in excess of the lawful restrictions.

Not only does the secular part of our society break the laws of the land but evangelicals do the same, even those who are paid to enforce the laws do as well.

Laws entice resentment in human nature.

This is what Paul meant by this statement.

I will continue with verse 16 in the next study.

Wayne Brown

Romans 4:9-13 ( posted 2-21-13 )

“ Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. “

Let’s continue.

Paul is telling us plainly that Abraham was blessed, imputed with the righteousness of God, sealed with this righteousness, and made the father of all human beings who, like him, believe in God’s Son Jesus even before Abraham was circumcised and even before the Law.

All this happened to Abraham at the age of 75, 24 years before he was circumcised and 430 years before Moses wrote the Law.

“ Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. “     Genesis 12:1-4

 

“ After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. “    Genesis 15:1-6

 

It was not until Abraham was 99 years old that he was physically circumcised.

In other words, Abraham was saved for 24 years before circumcision came along.

The Hebrew word “ qum “ translated “ establish “ means confirm, continue, decree, make good, strengthen.

In other words, God told Abraham His already existing covenant He made with him 24 years earlier He would make good on and continue it… but now in his flesh.

When I was a child there was this thing about true friends becoming what we called “ blood brothers ”.

We would cut our flesh, usually on a finger or part of the hand and rub our blood into each other’s blood.

This was a sign we did of a permanent continuation of an already established relationship and friendship.

Circumcision in Abraham’s flesh which came 24 years later after God had already sworn the promises to Abraham and imputed His own righteousness to him based on Abraham’s faith in him, not works, was a more personal sign of the continuance of an already existing relationship between Him and Abraham.

 

My friend, this is another declaration of Paul that entrance into Heaven cannot be earned.

While rewards can only be earned, as unfortunately some of us who believe in Jesus and His blood will not receive when we stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ as Paul said;

“ Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. “    1 Corinthians 3:13-15

entrance into Heaven cannot be earned.

The only reason we will be in Heaven standing before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ will be by God’s grace in response to our faith in His Son Jesus.

Paul said;

“ For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. “    2 Corinthians 5:10

Notice Paul, even telling us that we have been imputed the righteousness of God by faith in God’s Son Jesus said we will still be judged even as born again followers of Jesus for both the good and the bad we do in this earthly body.

“ whether it be good or bad. “

The Greek word “ kakos “ translated “ bad “ means injurious, wicked, evil, worthless, harm, depraved.

Interesting and worthy of our attention.

Even having the righteousness of God imputed to us through our faith in God's Son Jesus, we as believers in Jesus will still have to give account for what we say and do in this earthly body...whether we like it or not and whether we believe these verses or not.

This is one reason Paul told us to examine ourselves to see if we really are in “ the faith.”

“ Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…“   2 Corinthians 13:5

In doing this we will also keep an eye on our motive, the reason we do what we do for the Lord or do for anyone else.. not to mention our behavior toward others and what we say to others or about others.

The Lord is nobody’s fool.

 

I will continue with verse 14 in the next study.

 

Always keep your faith in Jesus!

 

Wayne Brown

Romans 4:4-8 ( posted 2-11-13 )

“ Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. “

 

Let’s continue.

 

“ Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. “

Paul is simply telling us that if a person could earn God’s righteousness then God would not be giving it from His grace but rather that He would be giving it because He owed it to the person.

God owes no human being anything nor will He ever.

God is not obligated to do or give anything to any human being.

God is not in debt to any human being nor is He in debt to any of His creation.

 

Paul later said in his epistle;

“ And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. “   Romans 11:6

 

 

“ But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. “

Always remember from our earlier study that God’s grace is in response to putting our faith in His Son Jesus…not merely believing in God’s existence.

If you remember in my earlier study Paul said;

“ But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; “    Romans 3:21-23

Technically, most people actually do believe God exists or some kind of deity with different views of the deity.

Even atheists who claim they do not believe in God still use His name in their cursing and blame Him for trouble in their life…the same God they verbally claim does not exist.

Therefore, since most of the human race believes in God’s existence, this is why Jesus told His disciples believing that God exists in itself is not enough to make it to Heaven.

Jesus said we must also believe in Him;

“  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. “   John 14:1-6

 

Even though Paul said;

“ But to him that worketh not, “

he was not undermining what Jesus said when He said that to believe in Him is in itself a work.

If you remember in my earlier study in the book of John, Jesus said;

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. “    John 6:26-35

Yes, Jesus said even to believe in Him is a work;

This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Jesus did not meant it to be an effort or work as something we can do to earn God’s grace…but it is still a requirement to receive God’s grace.

Just as Jesus told His disciples believing in God is not enough to be saved, but that they also needed to believe in Him, so merely believing from either Biblical or secular historical account that Jesus once existed and lived here on planet earth is not enough to be saved either.

Jesus said we must believe in Him.

And not just believe in Him but ongoing, continually believing in Him.

The Greek is always in the continuous present tense.

Faith is not a fluke.

This is why Jesus described real faith - that is, believing in Him as labouring, a work.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:

This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

 

 

“ Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. “

 

Paul is quoting when David said;

“ Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. “    Psalm 32:1-2

 

Since Jesus paid for our sins, “ imputation “ is when God makes clean anyone who repents and believes in His Son Jesus.

 

Always keep your faith in Jesus.

 

I will continue with verse 9 in the next study.

 

Wayne Brown

Romans 4:2-3 ( posted 1-29-13 )

“ For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. “

 

Let’s continue.

 

“ For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. “

 

Paul is saying that if it was possible that Abraham could have earned justification with his own self righteousness, he would have had reason to boast about himself but his boasting would result in only amusing himself.

God would not have accepted Abraham nor would He have acknowledged Abraham’s so called righteousness.

Abraham’s only self proclaimed justification would have been from what he determined in his own mind of himself to be, not from God.

In such a condition as this, after Abraham would physically die he would have found himself on the other side of the gulf where the rich man was;

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. “    Luke 16:22-31

.

This condition is also to be compared with doing good deeds with a wrong motive.

Just like Abraham would not have impressed God nor would God have allowed Abraham into Heaven after physical death with his own self proclaimed justification of himself, so as with these people Jesus describes God is not impressed nor will He give these kind of people rewards;

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. “   Matthew 6:1-6

 

My friend, any attempt to earn Heaven on our own merit and any attempt to do anything for the Kingdom or for anyone with an impure motive is in vain and will not get God’s attention.

 

 

“ For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. “

 

430 years before Moses wrote the Law, Abraham was justified without trying to live up to the Law as it did not even exist anyway.

“ And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. “   Genesis 15:6

This belief in God was not merely believing that God existed, since Abraham already knew God existed.

What Abraham believed in was that God would keep His promise. As a result of Abraham believing God would keep His promise God justified him and made him righteous in God’s eyes.

And not only this, since righteousness and justification only comes from putting our inner faith in God’s Son Jesus and His shed blood, this is what Abraham also believed in because without believing in God’s Son Jesus and Jesus’ blood, there is not justification of sin nor is ther imparted righteousness from God.

Remember in my earlier study when Paul said;

“ Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. “    Romans 3:22-26

 

Yes, amazingly enough, 430 years before the Law existed which later in itself revealed to us about Jesus and directed us to Jesus, somehow Abraham already knew about Jesus and believed in Him or else Abraham would not have been justified nor made righteous.

Believing God exists is not enough to be saved.

This is why Jesus told His disciples to believe not just in God but believe also in Him;

“  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. ”    John 14:1

 

Remember in my earlier study on the book of John when Jesus said that Abraham knew about Him;

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. “    John 8:56-59

 

Noah obviously knew about Jesus since he found grace in the Lord and grace only comes from believing in God’s Son Jesus.

Jesus said clearly;

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “    John 3:17-18

 

I will continue with verse 4 in the next study.

 

The Lord Jesus bless you!

Always keep your faith in Jesus!

 

Wayne Brown

Romans 4:1 ( posted 1-15-13 )

“  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? “

 

Let’s continue.

 

“  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, “

 

The Jews claimed Abraham was their father and then shortly after saying this to Jesus they claimed God was their father;

“ They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. “          John 8:39-41

 

In the verse of our study Paul includes himself as referring to Abraham as his father.

Technically, Abraham is a father of many nations.

 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. “     Genesis 17:5

 

 

“ as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? “

 

Paul just got through making it clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

We will learn as we go through this chapter that Abraham was made righteous by his faith years before he was circumcised in the flesh and 430 years before Moses wrote the Law.

The covenant God made with Abraham was already established through Abraham’s faith.

The fleshly ritual of circumcision was merely a seal, not a work to earn righteousness and salvation.

“ And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. “    Genesis 17:11

Notice God referred to the already established covenant He made with Abraham  24 years earlier;

“ and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. “

Yes my friend, God talked about the already existing covenant He had made with Abraham 24 years earlier when Abraham was 75 years old before He even mentioned circumcision;

“ As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. “      Genesis 17:4

 

“ Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. “       Genesis 12:1-4

 

“ In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: “    Genesis 15:18

 

Abraham believed God’s promised covenant and because of his faith he was made righteous;

“ And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. “    Genesis 15:3-6

 

 

“ …hath found? “

 

It is obvious that Abraham found that salvation and righteousness only came by grace through faith, not works or rituals.

When we, like Abraham and David acknowledge that we are sinners and acknowledge we cannot produce righteousness on our own effort worthy of Heaven, we, like Abraham, find out just how full of grace God is that He would make us righteous enough to make it to Heaven by just believing in God’s Son, Jesus.

 

I recently had a relative die.

Talking about the possibility that he might be in Heaven someone made this comment about the relative - “ He never did anything wrong and never hurt anyone’s feelings. “

My friend, if we look at ourselves as never having done anything wrong, then we will never acknowledge ourselves as being a sinner nor will we ever repent.

Repentance is not a work, it is a change of heart and admission of guilt

God requires this acknowledgment before we can lay claim to believing the gospel.

Jesus said quite clearly;

“…repent ye, and believe the gospel. ”    Mark 1:15

In that order.

Remember the publican Jesus referred to;

“ And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. “  Luke 18:9-14

 

The point is, we will not receive God’s grace if we have faith in ourselves and our own righteousness.

But if we admit to God we are sinners and put our faith in Jesus we will receive God’s grace… as the publican did, and as Abraham and David did.

 

Also keep in mind that long before Abraham, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord;

“ And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. “    Genesis 6:5-8

 

Even though God destroyed all humanity at that time, He did spare Noah and his family because of their faith.

 

 

I will continue with verse 2 in the next study.

 

Wayne Brown