FAITH THAT COUNTS, CREDITS AND SAVES!
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Romans 4 : 1-25
“Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him …” – Romans 4:23-24
We see some banking terminologies (Faith that counts, credits and saves ) that have been used with ‘Faith’. When it comes to the Kingdom of God, we can figuratively think of a concept called ‘Bank of Heaven’. The moment we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we start our heavenly Bank Account. Faith (in the living God) is our identity to open such an account and the souls we bring to the Kingdom are our deposits and savings in that Bank of Heaven. Have you thought of it this way?—If there are no deposits, the account will become dormant (non-operational)! So this is an awakening call to every believer to add deposits to the heavenly bank so you and I will be counted worthy when we stand before God. Having this as the back ground let us meditate on today’s scripture.
We see in the beginning of verse 22 the word "therefore." "Therefore, it (faith) was also credited to him (Abraham) as righteousness." Paul wants us to know why faith is credited to Abraham and to us as righteousness.
Chapter 4 is pivotal in establishing that justification is by God’s grace through faith alone.
Rom 4:1 – 8 demonstrate that justification is a gift and cannot be earned by works.
Rom 4:9-12 argue that since Abraham was justified before he was circumcised, circumcision is not the basis of justification.
Rom 4:13-17 proves that since Abraham was justified many years before Mosaic Law, then justification cannot be based on Law.
Rom 4:18-25 summarise Paul’s argument by concluding that Abraham was justified by his faith and not by works.
So it says that faith is counted as righteousness. We see this in Rom 4:3: "Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness”; again in Rom 4:5, "His faith is accounted for righteousness”; and finally in Rom 4:9: "faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness".
We come across another word, ‘Imputation.’ God "imputes" his righteousness to us through faith because of Christ's obedience—the ‘imputation’ of God's righteousness in Christ. It's a glorious truth that will change our life if we see it and taste it for what it is. Here in this context we must understand the difference between the two words ‘Imputation’ and ‘impartation.’ God ‘imparts’ to us gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit; whereas God's own righteousness, is not imparted to us, but imputed to us. It is credited to us-as Romans 4:6 &11 say-“put to our account”; it is reckoned to be ours. We should emphasise this valuable truth as God’s providence when speaking the gospel and in our missionary teachings.
Paul says in Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith". Paul says that the gospel has power because it brings us justification through faith in Christ. It is also our confidence that the work of Christ in whom we have our righteousness is complete and perfect. It does not get better with time; we are united to Christ at once, the first time we put our faith; not progressively. When God says to those who believe in Christ, "I credit your faith as righteousness, it does not mean that your faith is righteousness but that your faith connects you to God's righteousness.
Prayer: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely;
and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved
blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it”.
(1 Thess. 5:23-24)
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