Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Faith of Abraham

“God justifies the believer - not because of the worthiness of his belief but because of His worthiness Who is believed” 
(Richard Hooker, English Pastor, 16th century) 

If you ask the average individual how a person can “get to heaven,” the answer is usually, “By being good, doing your best, being sincere, or following some set of guidelines.”

Do these answers surprise you? Have you ever asked where they come from? Does it boggle your mind that after nearly 400 years of the gospel being preached in this country that people believe that heaven can be earned? What does the good news of Jesus Christ really say?

You would hope that through the constant preaching of the foundation of Christianity – that men are saved not by any works but by faith alone in the atoning work of Jesus Christ – would be both understood and believed by even the common man. Yet that is not the case.

This foundational truth is a stumbling block for the human heart. The human heart since it is ego-centric and vainly proud refuses to reject the notion that a man can be saved by his or her own works. Whether it is keeping the law, submitting to sacraments, doing good works, or efforts of self-reformation - men think they can make themselves acceptable to God. Yet, the sad truth is that there is nothing one can do to make one’s self acceptable to God.

“Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What were his experiences concerning the question of being saved by faith? Was it because of his good deeds that God accepted him? If so, he would have had something to boast about. But from God’s point of view Abraham had no basis at all for pride. For the Scriptures tell us, ‘Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.’ When people work, their wages are not a gift. Workers earn what they receive. But people are declared righteous because of their faith, not because of their works.

Now then, is this blessing only for the Jews or is it for Gentiles also…Abraham is the spiritual father of those who (Gentiles) have faith but have not been circumcised. They (Gentiles) are made right with God by faith.” (Romans 1:5, 9, 11 - The New Living Translation)

How about you? Are you trusting in your sincere good works to be declared righteous before God? This is a spiritually fatal error. This is the broad road or way that Jesus said leads to destruction. How horribly sad it is that there are many people who have and are currently walking down this path toward their destruction.

Take a minute, bow your head, repent of trusting in your own efforts and turn in faith, trusting in the fully sufficient and efficacious atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Remember Pastor Hooker’s words – you are not declared righteous based on the worthiness of your beliefs but you are declared righteous based on the worthiness of who you believe.

11 comments:

Eddie Eddings said...

Great stuff here Gregg!
...and kudos to you for the Weekly Blog Spotlight! That is a wonderful thing to do.
I tip my hat (or helmet) to your altruistic endeavors.

Seams Inspired said...

Excellent and beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Sunday! Larri at Seams Inspired

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Wonderful well written post Gregg,as always.


Thanks for your visit and lovely commment,

Have a peaceful Sunday.

Yvonne.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Amen! It's the object of your faith that's important and if the object of you faith is your good works you will die in your sins and be separated from a God for all eternity.

Kansas Bob said...

Absolutely! Faith in God and not faith in faith.

WhiteStone said...

"efficacious"
A beautiful word when used in describing the atoning work of Jesus.

Gregg said...

Eddie Eddings - thanks for the comment and thanks for the kudos. Calvinistic Cartoons is scheduled to be up next!

Seams Inspired - Thanks and I hope you have a great Lord's Day also! Hope you saw the note, next post for Romans will be Tuesday.

Yvonne - Thank you!

OG - You are right, it comes to the object of one's faith.

KB - Right on!

White Stone - it is a beautiful word isn't it? Too bad it is referred to infrequently anymore.

Brian Ray Todd said...

Sounds very similar to what I once heard about a heretical belief called Semi-Pelagianism, and Pelagianism. Is this what we are seeing today?

LibbyLibbyLibbyLibbyLibby said...

While I believe nothing I can do can save me... nothing... only by the grace of Christ and by His blood am I saved, I still always feel compelled to get out there and do.. DO... not because it will save me because it can't but because God asks us to do things...He asks us to Go and preach and teach and care and love and to be active in our life and to do good works... faith without works is dead. So while we can't ever ever ever think anything good we can do will save us, we need to do good works because God deserves us to do what He asks us to do .... and its usually sacrificing something of ourselves to do it.

arlee bird said...

The pastor at our church has been conducting an extensive Sunday morning Bible study about Abraham and it is a fascinating topic.

I agree that good works will not save us, but according to my understanding true sincere faith will result in good works. Can it be that if a person thinks they have faith and are saved but do not have any good works to show for it that their assessment of their own salvation could be faulty?

Lee
Tossing It Out

Lloyd said...

Thank you Gregg for your post on the truth of God's gift of salvation. There are so many believers out there that are burdened because they feel that they can lose their salvation. What a burden to carry... God's blessings too you. Lloyd