Showing posts with label Romans 4. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romans 4. Show all posts

Saturday, October 7, 2017

God's Promise Realized Through Faith - Romans 4:13-25

That famous promise God gave Abraham - that he and his children would posses the earth was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God's decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed.

If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an iron clad contract! That's not a holy promise; that's a business deal.

A contract drawn up by a hard nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise - and God's promise if that - you can't break it. This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his ways and then simply embracing him and what he does.

God's promise arrives as a pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them.

For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father - that's reading the story backward. He is our faith father. We call Abraham "Father" not because he got God's attention by living a faithful life, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody.

Isn't that what we're always reading in Scripture "I set you up as Father of many peoples?" Abraham was first named "father" and then became a father because he he trusted God to do only what God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.

When everything was hopeless Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples.

God himself said to him you're going to have a big family, Abraham!

Ceremonies and rituals serve as reminders of our faith. They instruct new and younger believers, but we should not think that they give us any special merit before God. They are outward signs and seal that demonstrate belief and trust. The focus of our faith should be on Christ and his saving actions, not on our own actions.

Paul explains that Abraham pleased God through his faith alone, before he ever heard about the rituals that would become so important to the Jewish people. We too are saved by faith. It is not by loving God and doing good that we are saved; neither is it by faith plus love or faith plus good works.

We are saved only through faith in Christ, trusting him to forgive all our sins. For more on Abraham, see his profile in Genesis 18.

The promise (or covenant) God gave Abraham said that Abraham would be the father of many nations and that the entire world would be blessed through him. This promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus was from Abraham's line, and truly the world was blessed through him.

Paul points out that the promise to Abraham to be the father of many nations extended beyond Israel to all the nations of the world. Abraham never doubted that God would fulfill his promise. His life was marked by mistakes, sins, and failures as well as by wisdom and goodness, but he consistently trusted God. His faith was strengthened by the obstacles he faced.

His life is an example of faith in action. If he had looked only at his own resources for subduing Canaan and founding of a nation, he would have given up in despair. But he looked to God, obeyed him and waited for God to fulfill his word to him.

Reference summary used from The Message Bible and The Life Application Bible, KJV, Tyndale Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday - Divine Power - 1/18/17 - Bible Study

Romans 4:16-22 ...The promise was through the righteous of faith. The strength of Abraham's faith.

Ephesians 3:20 ... Wherefore the apostle Paul desireth them not to faint at his tribulations, & prayeth that they may be able to comprehend the great love of Christ towards them.

Jude 24-25 ...God is able to keep you from falling.

II Samuel 22:33 ... David's psalm of the thanksgiving to God for his deliverance, & manifold blessings. (God is my strength & power; & he maketh my way perfect.)

Matthew 9:1-8 ... (Jesus healeth one sick of the palsy.)

Ephesians 2:2 ... (Ephesians 6:11 - to put on the whole armour of God, Ephesians 6:11-17) Ephesians 6:12 ... For we wrestle not against (blood & flesh) flesh & blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

John 5:8 ... (An impotent man healed on the Sabbath.) (Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, & walk.)

Ephesians 1:18-19 ... Paul's prayer for the Ephesians believers. The world fears the power of the trouble in the world, we belong to the God of the universe who has all power but also raised Jesus Christ from the dead. God's incomparable power is available to help those who believe.

Reference scripture used from The KJV Bible, SouthWestern Co., Nashville, TN