Page 9 - January 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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to bless all humanity, and how intricately   in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope
        precise was the unfolding of the truth that   of the glory of God” (Rom 5:1-2 ESV).
        this blessing would ultimately flow to
        Abraham’s spiritual seed by faith through   The Progress of Faith
        One who was, in reality, his physical seed   Although the historical account of
        by birth.                            Abraham’s life in the Old Testament
                                             does not gloss over the instances when
        The Peace of Faith                   he faltered, it is both encouraging and
          Three New Testament passages (Rom   instructive to observe his gracious spiritual
        4:3; Gal 3:6; Jas 2:23) reiterate the statement   appraisal by the Holy Spirit in the New
        in Genesis 15:6 that Abraham’s faith was   Testament. Hebrews 11, the great “Hall
        imputed to him as righteousness. While the   of Fame” of faith, depicts his entire life
        emphasis is different in each, it is sufficient   as a journey of faith. From the moment
        for now to note that Abraham was justified   he responded to God’s call to leave home
        before God because he trusted in Him.  and kindred in Ur of the Chaldees, he was
          The biblical concept of justification   constantly moving – not just forward, but
        is not merely negatively the removal   upward – towards the heavenly city of
        of guilt, but positively the attribution   promise, designed and built by God.
        of righteousness to an otherwise guilty   While Abraham’s faith reached forward
        person (Rom 4:5). The KJV translation, “it   and upward, it also rooted downward.
        was counted … as righteousness,” suggests   First, when called to forsake familiar
        the financial origins of the word and   surroundings for an unknown land,
        implies the application of a credit balance   Abraham obeyed. Then, seeing how God
        to a table of accounts. Upon believing,   had blessed his obedience with material
        Abraham’s account was positively credited   prosperity, even preserving him from
        by God with righteousness. Similarly, upon   his own folly, on receiving the promise
        believing, every child of faith is positively   of a son in old age, Abraham believed.
        attributed with  righteousness, not just   Discounting obvious natural obstacles –
        in the sight of God, but by the righteous   the “deadness” of his own and his wife’s
        reckoning of the offended God Himself.   bodies – their physical weakness was more
          Drawing upon David’s experience in   than compensated by his strength of faith.
        Psalm 32, Paul describes the blessedness   Finally, on being asked of God to slay the
        of the person in conscious enjoyment of   one in whom all his aspirations centred,
        such a standing before God. Although   Abraham laid all upon the altar, reckoning
        in classical Greek  makarios  (blessed)   that the God who had given him a son
        described the state of freedom from daily   from the deadness of Sarah’s womb could
        cares and anxieties, in the New Testament   raise him again from the deadness of the
        it is used to describe not merely freedom   tomb. His story demonstrates the central
        from the burden of guilt but the fortunes   importance of the believer’s walk of faith
        of the bountiful grace to those in Christ.   – of personal experience with God.
        “Therefore, since we have been justified by
        faith, we have peace with God through our   The Proving and Power of Faith
        Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have   God does not allow His people to be
        also obtained access by faith into this grace   tested to the breaking point (1Co 10:13).
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