Todays readings.. 2 Samuel 15, Jeremiah 19, Romans 3, 4
“HE GREW STRONG IN FAITH”
Paul’s message to the Romans, chapters 3 & 4 which we read today, contain the ‘heart’ of the divine message of salvation, yet how few perceive this. The foundation springboard truth is the point Paul made to the Galatians “that God … preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” [3 v.8] Here in Romans, this is enlarged to give us a fuller picture , that all should “also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had …” [4 v.12] In this way they demonstrate that they truly believe.
Paul then makes the point that “the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.” [v.13] and he adds, most significantly,.” it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace …. to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, [v.15,16]
We meditate on this – the wonder of “grace” – instead of trying to observe the detail of the Mosaic law and the many failures to do so we read in the Old Testament – climaxing in the motivations of those who called for the crucifixion of Christ. Let us follow in the footsteps of the followers of Jesus, who, like Paul, ” walk in the footsteps of the faith that … Abraham had.”
Abraham, as “he grew strong in his faith … gave glory to God” and in “hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations that God was able to do what he had promised.” [v.20-22] And what had God promised? That he would have a son and heir was only the start!
Abraham “in hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations” [v.18] May we, with him, be “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” and grow “strong” in our “faith“ – following “in faith”, as Paul was obviously doing. Let us, with Paul, be ” fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” [v.21] and grow really “strong in faith” – amid the faithlessness – and increasing spirit of hopelessness – all around us in the world.
As a ‘footnote’ – let us note how Abraham is mentioned in the very first verse of the New Testament – isn’t that significant!