Like Abraham - Thursday October 08, 2015
For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith." Romans 4:3 NLT
Paul, in writing a letter to the Romans, expected that his Jewish audience there would ask how this Gospel message fit with their ancestral traditions embedded in the Old Testament.
For an answer to that question, Paul turns to their Jewish patriarch and spiritual leader, Abraham. He explains that Abraham was also justified by faith 2,000 years earlier (before Moses) just as Christian are justified by faith today. He quoted Genesis 15:6: "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
Some say James 2:21, which says that Abraham was justified by works, is in contradiction to Romans 4:5. There is no contradiction. Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac served as an outward proof of the reality of his faith. We can see Abraham's invisible, internal quality of faith through this external act of sacrificing his son. It is in that sense that James says that Abraham is justified by works. Indeed, the story of Abraham sacrificing his son appears in Genesis 22, many years after he was declared righteous through his faith in Genesis 15.
Paul's Jewish readers in Rome would have clearly understood the Gospel teaches that they were saved by faith alone and not by the works of the Law. They realized there was no difference between the salvation message of the Old Testament and the New Testament, and their hero, Abraham, was also saved through faith.
Got any Jewish friends to whom you can pass on the good news?
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SCRIPTURE REFERENCB-ES: Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible B) The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are from the Holy, Bible, New International Version, copyright B) 1973, 1978, 1984 by InternaB-tional Bible Society; (NKJV) are from New King James Version B) 1982 by Thomas Nelson; (NLT) are from the New Living Translation, B) 1996, Tyndale House Publishers; (ESV) are from English Standard VersionB., B) 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers; (TM) are from The Message B) 1993 by NavPress Publishers.