Justification by Faith Evidenced in Old Testament

1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?

 

  • this is Paul’s master stroke - 
    • first he connects Jews and gentiles through sin
    • NOW he connects them via Faith
    • He goes back to Abraham the Father of all the Jews and reveal him to be a man of Faith not works

 

 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

 

  • No part of salvation can glorify man. It has to be God that does it all
    • so that God can receive the Glory
    • So that no man can say he is above any other

 

 3For what does the Scripture say?"ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

 

  • Genesis 15:6
    • “Fear not Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great”.  I love the way God works Abram in this moment.  He uses his promise to stir Abram to request.  God want’s Abram to ask for a son.  God wants to give Abram a son.  God has already indirectly promised Abram he would have children, but he doesn’t come out directly and tell him that children were coming.  I believe this was another test of Abram’s knowledge of God’s character.  “Will Abram be bold enough and have enough faith to ask me for this?  Does Abram know me to be that generous?”  Abram was bold enough to ask and WOW did God respond!  “Look toward heaven and number the stars, if you are able to number them.”  then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be”. And he believed the Lord and he counted it to him as righteousness.”  (Gen 15:5-6)
      It was in this moment that Abram was counted righteous.  Faith rose up in Abram’s heart in response to the promise of God and grace was released.  Grace that changed the course of human history.  God and Abram then go through a ritual of covenant sacrifice that binds Abram and God together in this purpose.  Abram is given a vision of the captivity of his offspring in Egypt and God’s promise that they will be delivered.  This one moment of faith unleashed a promise of children, a promise of an inheritance of the land, a moment of prophetic revelation, and the deliverance of his offspring 400 years in the future.  Moses was called forth as a deliverer here in this moment of agreement with and faith in the promise of God.  Abram looked into the heart of Father God.  He saw the promise, he believed it, and out of this moment he and all his generations and eventually all of the families on the earth received it.
      How many promises are hidden in the heart of Abba that we have not loved Him enough or known Him enough to see?  How many things are kept in his generous heart because we have not looked past our insecurities and our failures and into his gracious and loving soul and believed that He just might be better than we thought he was? 
  • John 6:29 - Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

 

 4Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.

 

  • If you have earned your salvation -YOU receive the Glory - it is your due

 

 5But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 

 

  • to the one WHO DOES NOT WORK
  • but believes
  • in Him who justifies the ungodly - Our beautiful savior - the justifier of the ungodly
    • We put our trust in Him
    • We do not attempt to ADD anything
    • We simply receive His justification

 

6just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

7"BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.

8"BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”

 

  • Check this - David Saw justification by faith 3000 years before Christ!  He saw that this was the way God was going to work
  • By FAITH
    • his lawless Deeds have been forgiven
    • his sins have been covered
    • the Lord will NOT take his sins into account

 

9Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, "FAITH WAS CREDITEDTO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." 10How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, oruncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;

 

  • So IN Abraham the Jews and Greeks are made one
  • Here is a man who was not (yet) circumcised
  • Not a jew because there were no jews yet
  • Not saved by his works

 

 11and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, 12and the fatherof circumcisionto thosewho not onlyare of the circumcision,but who alsofollowin the stepsof the faithof our fatherAbrahamwhich he had while uncircumcised.

 

  • Circumcision was a sign of what had already happened inside the man
  • God changed him first and the - “works” were simply a seal of the righteousness he had received as a gift
  • God did this in Abraham BEFORE he made the Hebrew Covenant so that the way could be made for both the children of Abraham AND any other who would have faith in God to save them in the future

 

13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law,but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.

 

  • It is either the law or faith it cannot be

 

16For this reason [it is] by faith, in order that [it may be] in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 

 

  • This is what Jesus meant when he said “God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones
  • The descendants of Abraham are not only of His Blood - but of His Faith - men and women who carry the DNA of belief in a God who justifies the ungodly
    • So Abraham is our Father
    • Father Abraham had MANY sons - I am one of them and so are you!

 

17(as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, [even] God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

 

 

 18In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations accordingto that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.” 19Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; 

 

  • He believed what God had said
  • Even though He looked at his own body and his wife’s and KNEW the truth that what God had promised was IMPOSSIBLE

 

20yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith,giving glory to God,

 

  • He did not waiver - He refused to doubt God’s promises

 

 21and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

 

  • He trusted in the character and nature of God
  • If He SAID He would do it
    • then HE CAN
    • then HE WILL
  • This is the kind of person God can use to change the world!
    • William Carrey - “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”
      • He was the Father of the missionary movement that carries on to this day

 

22Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 23Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25[He] who was delivered over because of our transgressions,and was raised because of our justification.

 

  • God began this in Abraham but it carries on to today - God put that in His word so we could follow Abraham’s example
  • This is a nice little couplet
    • He was given over for our transgressions and raised for our justification
    • He was punished and died because we were sinners - but he was raise from the Dead because he was the savior

Comment