Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

Justification By Faith And Not Works

Galatians 3:6-9
So also Abraham ‘believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (NIVUK)

It is hard for religious people, or anybody who tries to live a good life, to believe that God is not impressed by their lifestyle.  Surely, they say, if they try hard to be good, then God will reward them with blessings and heaven.  Where they are right, is in assuming that God loves what is good; where they are wrong, is that God hates what is bad.  The problem is not how to do some things that please God, but how to remove all those things that offend God.  No religious law is able to make anybody good or take away the curse of a sinful past.
Abraham was not all good.  Read his story and discover how he disobeyed God by moving away from the Promised Land to get food (Genesis 12:10), he lied to preserve his life (Genesis 12:11-20), and he committed adultery to secure his future (Genesis 16:1-5). And his son Isaac followed a similar pattern of ungodly behaviour (Genesis 26:7-9). Yet Abraham was declared to be righteous – why?  Righteousness was granted to him because he believed God’s Word at the critical points in his life and believed that He would atone for his sin (Genesis 22:13-14).  And so God covered over his sin. Abraham was not justified by his behaviour but by his faith (Genesis 15:6).

Abraham, the leader of the patriarchs set the pattern for the Bible story.  Believing God, taking Him at His word and trusting Him was the only way to a relationship with God.  In the same way, people of any culture and background can become ‘children of Abraham’ and ‘children of God’; welcomed by God … if they believe in Jesus.  

We do not have to have a Jewish background in order to be children of God; all those who put their faith in Jesus are welcomed by Father God.  Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56).  Abraham had faith to believe that God would bring salvation, and although he never met Jesus, he saw Him.  The same is true for every true child of God.  Trust Jesus today to take away your sins and give you His new life (www.crosscheck.org.uk).

Gracious God. I am so glad that You have forgiven my sins when I believed in Jesus. But I am sorry that I do not value my relationship with You as I should; sometimes slipping back into a religious legalism which make me proud and makes You sad. Please give me fresh eyes to see the importance of trusting in Jesus and to spread that good news to my friends and colleagues. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Bible Book: 

© Dr Paul Adams