Unlimited: You Are Justified Through Faith Alone
Jan 2, 2020 831
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6, NIV).
That’s the pattern for all of us. Abraham was not declared righteous because of any of his good works, although he had done many. Neither did ceremonial nor ritualistic works justify him, for he was declared righteous before his circumcision.
He was not even justified on the ground of his faith, for it was far from perfect. Remember that before this, he had distrusted God and lied about Sarah, saying she was his sister. And after God had declared him righteous, didn’t he fail when he used Hagar to produce a son? Abraham was not justified as a result of his fragile faith.
Abraham was justified as a result of the coming Seed, Jesus. Faith was no more than an outstretched hand. Faith is not the basis of God’s gift. Everyone is justified by means of faith, that is, through faith; but not because of, or as a result of, faith. Justification through faith means justification through Jesus.
And how we all need justification! Not one of us is what we should be, could be, or would be. The perfect law demands not merely perfect outward performance but perfect attitude of heart, perfect motives from a perfect heart. There is no way we can offer these to God. Even a repentant murderer is still guilty of his cruel crime.
The reward has to be all of grace. Therefore, it is through faith and faith alone.
– Des Ford (adapted)
Eli’s Reflection: When you take off your “pious glasses” and look at Abraham’s life, his life actually could be seen as one of continual failure, caused by unbelief. Why do you think that the Apostle Paul uses Abraham as his key example of faith and of how we are justified? What lessons can you take away for your own life?