Saturday, March 11, 2017

Grace that stretches over centuries

Cross, against sun and reflection on water
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Romans 4:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' " Romans 4:3

In his typically logical style, Paul sets out here to show how Abraham's and David's faith and God's grace and forgiveness combined to guarantee their salvation even though they lived millennia before Christ.

It wasn't works, Paul says using Genesis 15:6 as his proof text. Wages for work would be considered a debt, not a tally on the grace side as this is (Romans 4:4).

The work under consideration is circumcision. But Abraham believed before he was circumcised. Circumcision was only a sign of his faith, implemented later to mark those who were of his faith line (Romans 4:9-11). Some who weren't circumcised also had this faith (Romans 4:12)

It was faith. The column accounted for righteousness in the ledger of a life was faith in God's forgiveness says Paul, quoting David from Psalm 32:1,2. It was God forgiving, covering, not imputing committed sins to our account.

The implication for his readers—including us—is that salvation comes to us this way too. It is all grace flowing from Jesus' death for us. It flows back through the centuries to believers like Abraham and David, and forward to us. Our faith is in Christ and His death in our stead, which means our sins that should condemn us to death are similarly forgiven, covered, not imputed to our account.

I believe only eternity will bring home to us the immensity and blessedness of this truth.

PRAYER: Dear God thank You for your plan of salvation, enacted in a moment of time, but with efficacy for all people who have ever lived. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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