A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Chapters 4 begins with a discussion as to why Abraham is a good example for us. It was his faith, not his efforts which saved him from God’s judgment. Paul summarizes in 4:13 and 16:
“It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. . . . Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of all. As it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations.’”
Paul’s point is that both Jews and Gentiles can call Abraham their father, but only if they have the same faith in God as he. No longer can any Gentile be considered unworthy because of race. Everyone is unworthy – both Jew and non-Jew. It is only by God’s grace (undeserved favor) that we have any hope of escaping his judgment, and as Paul will carefully and clearly point out, the manifestation of that grace is in the death of Jesus Christ as the atonement for our sins.
Only through Christ do we have forgiveness and thereby access to God. He has made peace with God on our behalf by paying all penalties due to be applied to our account once we have confessed Him as Lord and placed our faith in His works on our behalf. Any emphasis on our own works as somehow giving us status with God is an insult to Him and what He has done once and for all.
In this way, Christ is the new Adam. In one man, Adam, sin entered the world, and through one man (who is also God) sin’s effects are removed from our lives and we are put right with God. As Paul says:
“Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”
What gives you confidence before God? The only valid answer must be faith in Jesus Christ and a knowledge that even though you are a self-centered, sinful person, God will pardon you anyway based on your recognition of your need for His forgiveness, a sincere repentance (or turning away from sin), and a personal acceptance of His grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as His provision for an eternal relationship.
Today, thank God that your hope and security does not depend on you. Ask Him to help you enjoy this day in the knowledge that whatever else is true, His love is everlasting and yours through Jesus Christ.
A. Eugene Pearson 2013