Why Do We Learn About Abraham?
Romans 4:23 – 25
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
When we read Romans chapter 4, we read concerning our God’s dealings with Abraham, a man who lived nearly as many centuries before Christ that we are now living Anno Domini.
How does this man, living so long ago, in a land that for most of us is so far away, affect us today?
In the verses cited above, the Apostle of the Gentiles explicitly tells us what God’s dealing with the father of the nation Israel has to do with us. It is groundwork to show that our justification by faith (righteousness put to our account by God Himself by His grace when we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ) has precedent in history and that God is in no way violating any of His own principles in doing so.
We, however, have a far greater object of faith than that which Abraham had. While Abraham put his faith in God’s promise of a future for his family greater in number than the stars in the sky, we have Jesus Christ and His own finished work of redemption for us. This is the gospel that saves us.
Our gospel is not a changed life, a better society or social structure, or material blessings. While a changed life is the inevitable result of the believer’s baptism into Christ (Romans 6), it is not the gospel. A better society also could be the temporary result of many lives changed as the result of this, but preaching this as the gospel is built on the wrong foundation. The better society does have its foundation in the Word of God, but that, friends, is the gospel of the kingdom. The kingdom promised was rejected, and all that seemed to be left was inevitable judgment upon the children of the kingdom, but the longsuffering of our Lord prevailed over His wrath and He instead sent a new message with a new apostle with the gospel of His grace, and that is the gospel that we preach today while the kingdom is waiting.
The material health and wealth, “prosperity gospel” also has a foundation in Scripture, but again, it is not the right foundation. It is pretty clear from Deuteronomy chapter 28 that Israel indeed had a prosperity gospel. Again, in the kingdom, peace and prosperity are promised to the world living under the righteous rule of God’s Christ, as spoken by all of the prophets since the world began (Isaiah 2, 11, etc.). But again, these are conditions of the kingdom and not promises to us living in this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). We are promised deliverance from this evil world and the judgment that will fall on it, but the kingdom will not be established until after this judgment, when the Word of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords comes in wrath making war on this present evil world that has rejected Him (Revelation 19:11–16).
But our gospel is based on belief in an accomplished fact: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3–4).
Jesus Christ was delivered for our offences, and He died for our sins. His death was a propitiation for our sins, and because of it, satisfaction of God’s righteous indignation and wrath against sin is settled for those that believe this gospel. And the proof of satisfaction is in His resurrection. He was raised again for our justification. A dead Christ could be no satisfaction. But that He lives: Praise God for our living Savior!
The free justification by God’s grace is freely offered to all, and it is given to all that believe on our Lord Jesus Christ according to this gospel. It truly is that easy, but is not that what grace is all about? It is the gift of God, not the reward for a job well done. It is a gift to us based on the “well done” work of Christ in shedding His own blood for us to make satisfaction (propitiation) with God so that from now until eternity, no word against us will stand. It is God that justifies (Romans 8:33), and Christ, the Son of God, the one to whom all judgment is given (John 5:22, 27), has died for our sins, has rose from the dead, sits at God’s right hand in heaven making intersession for us enthroned as Savior while grace reigns during this present dispensation of God’s grace (Romans 8:34).
Now this present dispensation of God’s grace has no promised duration. It could end at any time. What is more, your life, the vapor that it is, and that all of our lives truly are, could also end at any time, and the dispensation of His grace to you ends then if you remain in unbelief. After this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
As you have read the preceding words, realize the weight of the words following and do not delay acting on them:
2 Corinthians 5:21 — “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Christ was made sin for us. When we believe in Him we are then put into Him and are made the righteousness of God in Him. Only in Him.
“BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED”
Charles Miller View All
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.
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Once again another excellent piece Chuck! Thank you for your diligent study and pointing us to what Christ HAS DONE for us and not a Jesus who can do for us. Huge difference!
Truly salvation is of the Lord!
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Good article, Chuck. Keep writing. We enjoy your thoughts.