Today we read Romans 4, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I’ve turned to it on more than one occasion to help build my faith. In this chapter Paul points to the fact that our righteousness before God must be by faith, not works. He clearly states that no one can work their way to God’s righteousness. If God is perfect and obedience to the Law is what makes us righteous, then no one can ever be righteous! It must totally be God’s work and received by faith.
Paul then gives two illustrations to prove his point that God’s righteousness can only be given by faith. First, the example of David. After his gross sins of adultery and murder with Bathsheba and Uriah, he pleads with God for forgiveness. God grants it. Paul’s question: was God’s forgiveness for these gross sins given to David because of his works of righteousness or by God’s grace through faith? Obviously, it’s the second. David could never have worked hard enough for God to forgive sin. It was by FAITH.
The second illustration is Abraham. God made a covenant with Abraham and declared him righteous (Genesis 15:6). Was Abraham’s righteousness now earned by works? If so, what did he do to earn God choosing him as his instrument to bless the world? No, it was given to him by FAITH. Moreover, with the promise that thru Abraham all the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3), was that a promise received by works? If so, Abraham was 100 years old when a son was finally given and Sarah, his wife, was well beyond child-bearing years. What could they have done to “earn” this son? He was a total gift, a complete grace gift, given by God’s grace and received by Abraham’s FAITH.
Our righteousness is totally by FAITH. Moreover, any other temporal blessing, like the gift of a child, or any other blessing from God, is totally a grace gift to us received by FAITH.
Therefore, if God has promised you something, don’t give up! Continue to believe. Remain humble, for it’s all from God’s sovereign hand. And wait expectantly.
God is good. He rewards FAITH. It’s always been that way. It always will be!
Prepare your heart for a great Holy Week! Jesus is alive!!