Second Sunday in Lent (February 25, 2018)
13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)
16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
Romans 4:13-25 New Living Translation (NLT)
We continue our journey to the cross. It is the second week of Lent and we remember the sacrifice that Jesus paid for our sin.
We are reminded that we are not counted righteous because of our obedience to the law of God. We are only reconciled to God because of our faith. Abraham was counted righteous because of his faith. Paul writes, “If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.” The promise is only received by faith.
Paul also writes, “Abraham believe in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.”
Paul makes the argument that Jesus died for our sins and that we are raised to life to make us right with God. Let us be reminded that Jesus counts us righteous, not because of the good things that we have done, but because of our faith in Jesus who died for our sins and was raised to life.