Pastor Tim Pianta 65 Main Street, Tolga, Phone 0418882605 Email tolgacommunitychurch@gmail.com ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Friday, December 26, 2014

Faith

Romans 4:1-16; Gal 3:19; Deuteronomy 32:20
It is vitally important that every Christian study the life of Abraham, because one of Paul’s greatest revelations was that he was the ideal pattern for mankind’s justification with God. Paul came to understand that righteousness, and from that full justification could only come by God’s grace, through faith, apart from any of mankind’s human efforts. For Paul, Abraham was the proof of this. 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…Romans 4:16. Not only was Abraham, the Patriarch of the Jews, declared righteous by God specifically because of his belief apart from keeping a list of commandments (Genesis 15:6), but that declaration of his righteousness and right standing with God came centuries before the Law had been given through Moses. While there were many great men who served God after the Law was given--and while many, from a human standpoint, were righteous--only Abraham had the distinction of being declared righteous - independent of keeping a Law, and actually had God impute a foreign righteousness to him, based on his faith. Paul compares himself; he particularly kept the commandments of the Law, yet was dead in sin and committing murder in the name of a God he did not really know. He realised that men under the Law were still convicted by their shortcomings..
Romans 11:6 Romans 4:16; .
Romans 6:14; God has called us out to bear witness to the world on how to live.
I Peter 2:9 We are called out to declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.
Why then, if the Law seemed to cause so many problems, was it even given if no law is required to be reckoned just before God? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Gal. 3:19.
And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. Deuteronomy 32: 20.
Paul saw that the Law had been given because, the Jews of Moses’ time were not of the same spirit as their ancestor Abraham. They were faithless rebels, constantly needing a guide to keep them in line. Without such a guide, they were wanton sinners and eager idolaters because of their critical lack of faith, and so God gave them laws to keep them in line (Ezekiel 20:25). And even with the Law, their core nature never really changed, and throughout all generations of Israel the nation refused to even live by that Law: And yet they want to impose the law on others.
Malachi 3:7; “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.”
Paul quickly saw in the history of Israel an utter failure for the nation to be in right standing with God in the way its Patriarch Abraham was - about whom God had no complaint.
What was the difference? The one man obtained that right standing through faith, while the nation sought it through obedience, yet failed to achieve it because they thought it would come by keeping commandments: For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. “For Christ is the righteousness to every one that believes.” Rom. 10: 3-4. And so, in Romans and Galatians, Paul directs his readers to Abraham as the ideal pattern of justification with God. He achieved full justification with God only through faith--and that by faith alone, we inherit the blessing of righteousness that Abraham had.

Gal. 3: 5-12; 5 Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you do what the Law requires or because you hear the gospel and believe it? 6 Consider the experience of Abraham; as the scripture says, "He believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous." 7 You should realise, then, that the real descendants of Abraham are the people who have faith. 8 The scripture predicted that God would put the Gentiles right with himself through faith. And so the scripture announced the Good News to Abraham: "Through you God will bless all people." 9 Abraham believed and was blessed; so all who believe are blessed as he was. 10 Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, "Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God's curse!" 11 Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, "Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live." 12 But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, as the scripture says, "Whoever does everything the Law requires will live."
The real deal with Abraham is that he was blessed by God to be a blessing to the world – when we do not do that we are self indulging – we are about our selves' God called Israel to be a blessing to the world as the people of the promise – the promise includes being a blessing to the world.

Gal. 3:17-18; 17 What I mean is that God made a covenant with Abraham and promised to keep it. The Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, cannot break that covenant and cancel God's promise. 18 For if God's gift depends on the Law, then it no longer depends on his promise. However, it was because of his promise that God gave that gift to Abraham.

This is the promise we have today. God wants us today to lean the lessons of scripture – don't be self indulging – learn from the Lord's ministry to His Father – Be a blessing to the world.

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