CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 2 August Romans 1:02 - An Ancient Promise By Bob Flynn Romans 0 Comment Romans 1:2 - A Promise Kept "which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures," (NASB) "(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)" (KJV) "God promised this Good News long ago through His prophets in the holy Scriptures." (NLT) Proepaggellomai: to promise of old; promise before "Wasn't it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?" (Luke 24:26 NLT) "He is the One all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in Him will have their sins forgiven through His name." (Acts 10:43 NLT) "Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God's promise made to our ancestors." (Acts 26:6 NLT) "This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began." (Titus 1:2) "But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago." (Romans 3:21) A promise from before the world began (not a new age doctrine but conceived in the heart of God in antiquity) that has come to fruition in the lives of those who believe (not in a notional knowledge or a bare assent, nor in intellectual arguments, but in obedience) but in this the light of the Gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ. Even more, it is a promise kept at no small price. It required the spilling of the blood of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. A promise kept and a gift given. A covenant written that cannot be erased. Heavenly Father give feet to my faith in this the promise of old, your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me today in my obedience to this faith so that your light may shine upon someone yet in the same darkness where you rescued me. Romans 1:2 - A Promise Kept "which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures," (NASB) "(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)" (KJV) "God promised this Good News long ago through His prophets in the holy Scriptures." (NLT) Proepaggellomai: to promise of old; promise before "Wasn't it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?" (Luke 24:26 NLT) "He is the One all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in Him will have their sins forgiven through His name." (Acts 10:43 NLT) "Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God's promise made to our ancestors." (Acts 26:6 NLT) "This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began." (Titus 1:2) "But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago." (Romans 3:21) A promise from before the world began (not a new age doctrine but conceived in the heart of God in antiquity) that has come to fruition in the lives of those who believe (not in a notional knowledge or a bare assent, nor in intellectual arguments, but in obedience) but in this the light of the Gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ. Even more, it is a promise kept at no small price. It required the spilling of the blood of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. A promise kept and a gift given. A covenant written that cannot be erased. Heavenly Father give feet to my faith in this the promise of old, your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me today in my obedience to this faith so that your light may shine upon someone yet in the same darkness where you rescued me. Related Come and Welcome, to Jesus Christ, Part 8 Come and Welcome, to Jesus Christ, Part 8 What Force There is in the Promise to Make Them Come to Christ SECOND, “Shall come to me.” Now we come to show WHAT FORCE THERE IS IN THIS PROMISE TO MAKE THEM COME TO HIM. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” I will speak to this promise, First, In general. Second, In particular. [First], In general. This word SHALL is confined to these ALL that are given to Christ. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” Hence I conclude, 1. That coming to Jesus Christ aright is an effect of their being, of God, given to Christ before. Mark, They shall come. Who? Those that are given. They come, then, because they were given, “thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” Now, this is indeed a singular comfort to them that are coming in truth to Christ, to think that the reason why they come is, because they were given of the Father before to him. Thus, then, may the coming soul reason with himself as he comes. Am I coming, indeed, to Jesus Christ? This coming of mine is not to be attributed to me or my goodness, but to the grace and gift of God to Christ. God gave first my person to him, and, therefore, hath now given me a heart to come. 2. This word, shall come, maketh thy coming not only the fruit of the gift of the Father, but also of the purpose of the Son; for these words are a Divine purpose; they show us the heavenly determination of the Son. “The Father hath given them to me, and they shall; yea, they shall come to me.” Christ is as full in his resolution to save those given to him as is the Father in giving of them. Christ prizeth the gift of his Father; he will lose nothing of it; he is resolved to save it every whit by his blood, and to raise it up again at the last day; and thus he fulfills his Father’s will, and accomplisheth his own desires (John 6:39). 3. These words, shall come, make thy coming to be also the effect of an absolute promise; coming sinner, thou art concluded in a promise; thy coming is the fruit of the faithfulness of an absolute promise. It was this promise, by the virtue of which thou at first receivedst strength to come; and this is the promise, by the virtue of which thou shalt be effectually brought to him. It was said to Abraham, “At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.” This son was Isaac. Mark! “Sarah shall have a son;” there is the promise. And Sarah had a son; there was the fulfilling of the promise; and, therefore, was Isaac called the child of the promise (Gen 17:19; 18:10; Rom 9:9). Sarah shall have a son. But how, if Sarah be past age? Why, still the promise continues to say, Sarah shall have a son. But how, if Sarah be barren? Why, still the promise says, Sarah shall have a son. But Abraham’s body is now dead? Why, the promise is still the same, Sarah shall have a son. Thus, you see what virtue there is in an absolute promise; it carrieth enough in its own bowels to accomplish the thing promised, whether there be means or no in us to effect it. Wherefore, this promise in the text, being an absolute promise, by virtue of it, not by virtue of ourselves, or by our own inducements, do we come to Jesus Christ: for so are the words of the text: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” Therefore is every sincere comer to Jesus Christ called also a child of the promise. “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise,” (Gal 4:28); that is, we are the children that God hath promised to Jesus Christ, and given to him; yea, the children that Jesus Christ hath promised shall come to him. “All that the Father giveth me shall come.” 4. This word, shall come, engageth Christ to communicate all manner of grace to those thus given him to make them effectually to come to him. “They shall come;” that is, not if they will, but if grace, all grace, if power, wisdom, a new heart, and the Holy Spirit, and all joining together, can make them come. I say, this word, shall come, being absolute, hath no dependence upon our own will, or power, or goodness; but it engageth for us even God himself, Christ himself, the Spirit himself. When God had made that absolute promise to Abraham, that Sarah “should have a son,” Abraham did not at all look at any qualification in himself, because the promise looked at none; but as God had, by the promise, absolutely promised him a son; so he considered now not his own body now dead, nor yet the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that what he had promised he was able also to perform” (Rom 4:20, 21). He had promised, and had promised absolutely, Sarah shall have a son. Therefore, Abraham looks that he, to wit, God, must fulfil the condition of it. Neither is this expectation of Abraham disapproved by the Holy Ghost, but accounted good and laudable; it being that by which he gave glory to God. The Father, also, hath given to Christ a certain number of souls for him to save; and he himself hath said, “They shall come to him.” Let the church of God then live in a joyful expectation of the utmost accomplishment of this promise; for assuredly it shall be fulfilled, and not one thousandth part of a tittle thereof shall fail. “They SHALL come to me.” [Second, In particular.] And now, before I go any further, I will more particularly inquire into the nature of an absolute promise. 1. We call that an absolute promise that is made without any condition; or more fully thus: That is an absolute promise of God, or of Christ, which maketh over to this or that man any saving, spiritual blessing, without a condition to be done on our part for the obtaining thereof. And this we have in hand is such an one. Let the best Master of Arts on earth show me, if he can, any condition in this text depending upon any qualification in us, which is not by the same promise concluded, shall be by the Lord Jesus effected in us. 2. An absolute promise therefore is, as we say, without if or and; that is, it requireth nothing of us, that itself might be accomplished. It saith not, They shall, if they will; but they shall: not, they shall, if they use the means; but, they shall. You may say, that a will and the use of the means is supposed, though not expressed. But I answer, No, by no means; that is, as a condition of this promise. If they be at all included in the promise, they are included there as the fruit of the absolute promise, not as if it expected the qualification to arise from us. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” (Psa 110:3). That is another absolute promise. But doth that promise suppose a willingness in us, as a condition of God’s making us willing? They shall be willing, if they are willing; or, they shall be willing, if they will be willing. This is ridiculous; there is nothing of this supposed. The promise is absolute as to us; all that it engageth for its own accomplishment is, the mighty power of Christ and his faithfulness to accomplish. 3. The difference, therefore, betwixt the absolute and conditional promise is this: (1.) They differ in their terms. The absolute promises say, I will, and you shall: the other, I will, if you will; or, Do this, and thou shalt live (Jer 4:1; 31:31–33; Eze 18:30–32; 36:24–34; Heb 8:7–13; Matt 19:21). (2.) They differ in their way of communicating of good things to men; the absolute ones communicate things freely, only of grace; the other, if there be that qualification in us, that the promise calls for, not else. (3.) The absolute promises therefore engage God, the other engage us: I mean, God only, us only. (4.) Absolute promises must be fulfilled; conditional may, or may not be fulfilled. The absolute ones must be fulfilled, because of the faithfulness of God; the other may not, because of the unfaithfulness of men. (5.) Absolute promises have therefore a sufficiency in themselves to bring about their own fulfilling; the conditional have not so. The absolute promise is therefore a big-bellied promise, because it hath in itself a fullness of all desired things for us; and will, when the time of that promise is come, yield to us mortals that which will verily save us; yea, and make us capable of answering of the demands of the promise that is conditional. 4. Wherefore, though there be a real, yea, an eternal difference, in these things, with others, betwixt the conditional and absolute promise; yet again, in other respects, there is a blessed harmony betwixt them; as may be seen in these particulars. The conditional promise calls for repentance, the absolute promise gives it (Acts 5:31). The conditional promise calls for faith, the absolute promise gives it (Zeph 3:12; Rom 15:12). The conditional promise calls for a new heart, the absolute promise gives it (Eze 36:25, 26). The conditional promise calleth for holy obedience, the absolute promise giveth it, or causeth it (Eze 36:27). 5. And as they harmoniously agree in this, so again the conditional promise blesseth the man, who by the absolute promise is endued with its fruit. As, for instance, the absolute promise maketh men upright; and then the conditional follows, saying, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord” (Psa 119:1). The absolute promise giveth to this man the fear of the Lord; and then the conditional followeth, saying, “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord” (Psa 128:1). The absolute promise giveth faith, and then this conditional follows, saying, “Blessed is she that believed” (Zeph 3:12; Luke 1:45). The absolute promise brings free forgiveness of sins; and then says the condition, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Rom 4:7). The absolute promise says, that God’s elect shall hold out to the end; then the conditional follows with his blessings, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (1 Peter 1:4–6; Matt 24:13). Thus do the promises gloriously serve one another and us, in this their harmonious agreement. Now, the promise under consideration is an absolute promise. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” This promise therefore is, as is said, a big-bellied promise, and hath in itself all those things to bestow upon us that the conditional calleth for at our hands. They shall come! Shall they come? Yes, they shall come. But how, if they want those things, those graces, power, and heart, without which they cannot come? Why, Shall-come answereth all this, and all things else that may in this manner be objected. And here I will take the liberty to amplify things. Bunyan, J. (2006). Come and Welcome, to Jesus Christ (Vol. 1, pp. 254–256). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. (Public Domain) Romans 3:21 - BUT NOW - A Promise Fulfilled! Rom 3:21-26 Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction. (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary) Νυν? δ? (Nuni de, "But now") could be understood as either (1) logical or (2) temporal in force, but most recent interpreters take it as temporal, referring to a new phase in salvation history. (NET Bible Notes) But now there is a new way that is apart from (totally separate) the law that is not new, rather it is the fulfillment of an ancient promise recorded in the law and the prophets. What is this new way? Salvation in Christ Jesus! "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets," (NASB) "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;" (KJV) "But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago." (NLT) "But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed —" (NET) "Because He is righteous, the LORD has exalted His glorious law." (Isaiah 42:21) The page is now turned into a new era where the law is no longer a burden that displays our shortcomings. Rather God will bring salvation in Christ Jesus that will empower those who "live by faith" to be a fulfillment and thus "exalt His glorious law!" This new way is NOT another religion or system of rules but rather "liberty" (a deliverance) from the burden of sin! The word "without" or "apart" in the Greek is a very strong word (choris) that means totally separate from. We can see this concept in the verse from Hebrews 4:15 where the Scripture speaks of Jesus being tempted (or tested) in the same way we are yet was "without" or "apart" (same Greek word) absolutely separate from sin. Thus we have the beginning of the Divine Providence that has blessed us in the midst of our affliction (terminal sin) and instead has bestowed upon us a timeless blessing that cannot in mere words be described. It should however, be shared with those around us who are likewise in peril. "And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence, which lead me to the means I used and gave them success. My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness, or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done: the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless to us even our afflictions." (Dr. Benjamin Franklin, written to his son) Romans 4:14 - Faith Inoperative "For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;" (NASB) "For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:" (KJV) "If God's promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless." (NLT) "For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified." (NET) Once again we see that faith is the foundation upon which salvation stands. Obedience to the law was an impossible dream because we could not keep it. So the Lord Jesus Christ provided the way (by faith) where we are able to live without being forever condemned by the weight of our own sin. If we could have been justified by the law then faith would useless. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. (Galatians 2:21 NLT) For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God's promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave His law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God's law and God's promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God's promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. (Galatians 3:18-24 NLT) For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace. (Galatians 5:4 NLT) I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. (Philippians 3:9 NLT) For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:19 NLT) Rom 4:14 For if they which are of the law - Who seek for justification and acceptance by the Law. Faith is made void - Faith would have no place in the scheme; and consequently the strong commendations bestowed on the faith of Abraham, would be bestowed without any just cause. If people are justified by the Law, they cannot be by faith, and faith would be useless in this work. And the promise ... - A promise looks to the future. Its design and tendency is to excite trust and confidence in him who makes it. All the promises of God have this design and tendency; and consequently, as God has given many promises, the object is to call forth the lively and constant faith of people, all going to show that in the divine estimation, faith is of inestimable value. But if people are justified by the Law; if they are rendered “acceptable” by conformity to the institutions of Moses; then they cannot depend for acceptance on any promise made to Abraham, or his seed. They cut themselves off from that promise, and stand independent of it. That promise, like all other promises, was made to excite faith. If, therefore, the Jews depended on the Law for justification, they were cut off from all the promises made to Abraham; and if they could be justified by the Law, the promise was useless. This is as true now as it was then. If people seek to be justified by their morality or their forms of religion, they cannot depend on any promise of God; for he has made no promise to any such attempt. They stand independently of any promise, covenant, or compact, and are depending on a scheme of their own; a scheme which would render his plan vain and useless; which would render his promises, and the atonement of Christ, and the work of the Spirit of no value. It is clear, therefore, that such an attempt at salvation cannot be successful. (Dr. Albert Barnes) Romans 4:13 - Heirs "or the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith." (NASB) "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." (KJV) "Clearly, God's promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God's law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith." (NLT) "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith." (NET) "When God promised Abraham and his descendants that the world would belong to him, he did so, not because Abraham obeyed the Law, but because he believed and was accepted as righteous by God." (TEV) There are no grandchildren in the faith but only children. There is always only a first generation that comes only by the righteousness that comes by faith! "and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay." (1 Peter 1:4 NLT) "God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn't say "to his children, " as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says "to His child"—and that, of course, means Christ. This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking His promise. For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God's promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise." (Galatians 3:16-18 NLT) "And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God's promise to Abraham belongs to you." (Galatians 3:29 NLT) The promise, that he should be the heir of the world - Is the same as that he should be "the father of all nations," namely, of those in all nations who receive the blessing. The whole world was promised to him and them conjointly. Christ is the heir of the world, and of all things; and so are all Abraham's seed, all that believe in him with the faith of Abraham (John Wesley) Romans 3:28 - The Liberty of the Yoke Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude, etc. - Seeing these things cannot be denied, viz., that all have sinned: that all are guilty, that all are helpless: that none can deliver his own soul, and that God, in his endless mercy, has opened a new and living way to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19-20, etc: therefore we, apostles and Christian teachers, conclude, λογιζομεθα, prove by fair, rational consequence, that a man - any man, is justified - has his sins blotted out, and is received into the Divine favor, by faith in Christ’s blood, without the deeds of the law, which never could afford, either to Jew or Gentile, a ground for justification, because both have sinned against the law which God has given them, and, consequently, forfeited all right and title to the blessings which the obedient might claim. Dr. Adam Clarke Romans 3:28 Justification: Justification and righteousness are inseparably united in Scripture by the fact that the same word (Greek, "dikaios", means "righteous"; Greek, "dikaioo", means "to justify") is used for both. The believing sinner is justified because Christ, having borne his sins on the cross, has been "made unto him righteousness" (1Corinthians 1:30). Justification originates in grace; (Romans 3:24); (Titus 3:4); (Titus 3:5) is through the redemptive and propitiatory work of Christ, who has vindicated the law; (Romans 3:24); (Romans 3:25); (Romans 5:9) is by faith, not works; (Romans 3:28-30); (Romans 4:5); (Romans 5:1); (Galatians 2:16); (Galatians 3:8); (Galatians 3:24) and may be defined as the judicial act of God whereby He justly declares righteous one who believes on Jesus Christ. It is the Judge Himself (Romans 8:31-34) who thus declares. The justified believer has been in court, only to learn that nothing is laid to his charge. (Romans 8:1); (Romans 8:33); (Romans 8:34). C. I. Scofield "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law." (NASB) "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (KJV) "So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law." (NLT) "For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law." (NET) Nothing is more maligned today than the meaning of these few words! All manner of confusion, deception, error and even heresy have been born from wrongly dividing these words of truth. Let us consider that the reason this is so is because there is a dynamic tension present in the very concept of Grace. Jesus invites us to find rest by taking on His yoke. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in Grace, over emphasized the concept of liberty to the point of entertaining unintentionally antinomian thought. Liberty by definition is deliverance from oppression and not necessarily the freedom to do what we please. Yet if you preach Grace hard enough that is the very thought that comes to mind (thus the warning from the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:1 — should we sin more so that Grace might abound?). Grace, recorded in Titus, says that we should deny the realities of our fleshly nature and rather live according to our new nature: For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:11-13 NLT) The idea that salvation is a wonderful gift and yet cost us everything that we are remains a paradox but like God and country are not mutually exclusive concepts. Today we suffer because iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold (Matthew 24:12). But we my also abound in hope because the comforter has been given and lives within those who call Christ Savior and Lord. We are not free to follow the carnal desires of the flesh but rather are empowered to live abounding in the Spirit (2 Corinthians 8:7). I read in the newspaper this morning of a new church where you can believe whatever you want. People come there because the did not like the message elsewhere. We do not want to hear the real truth but instead search for a truth we like! One that will allow us to cling to the vile creatures we are and thus begin the slow downward spiral of self-deception that leads to eternal separation. We are saved because we were surrounded by the fullness of Christ's love for the lost. His love is providential and brings us to that place where we can say yes to His wondrous forgiveness and say no to the sin that so easily entangles us. The liberty of the yoke! Romans 4:16 - Justified by Faith "For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all," (NASB) "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all," (KJV) "So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham's. For Abraham is the father of all who believe." (NLT) "For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants — not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all" (NET) The conclusion of this argument: the salvation and justification of the posterity of Abraham (that is, of the Church which is composed of all believers) proceeds from faith which lays hold on the promise made to Abraham, and which promise Abraham himself first of all laid hold on. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when He said, "All nations will be blessed through you." So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under His curse, for the Scriptures say, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God's Book of the Law." So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life." This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, "It is through obeying the law that a person has life." (Galatians 3:7-12 NLT) For example, there was God's promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in His own name, saying: "I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number." Then Abraham waited patiently, and He received what God had promised. Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound Himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that He would never change His mind. So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:13-19 NLT) Comments are closed.