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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast. ____ Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
A gift is that which we did not earn or work for but we simply received it. If we had to pay for a gift, it is no longer a gift but a purchase.
Salvation was purchased for us by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and presented to us as a grace-wrapped gift and all we have to do is receive it by faith.
Salvation is God’s grace and love. It requires no work from the recipient.
Romans 5: 7-8 (NIV)
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Salvation belongs to the Lord and all who believe in Him freely receive it by Faith.
Romans 3: 27-30 emphasis added
“No-one can boast because it is not by works that we have been saved but by grace through faith. There is no law according to works to be obeyed to be saved. Our forgiveness is not based on our works. It is based on what Jesus did and our FAITH in him. So, we are justified and saved by faith in Christ Jesus, not by our works.
And since we are not justified by our obedience to the written laws but by grace through faith. Both the Jews who had the law and the gentiles who did not have the law can be saved by faith in Jesus Christ. God is the God of both Jews and gentiles. There is only one God. He justifies the Jews (circumcised) by FAITH and the gentiles (uncircumcised) by the same FAITH.”
ABRAHAM, The Father of Faith
The Jews are known as the direct descendants of Abraham and Abraham is known as the father of the Jews. Abraham’s life was recorded in the old testament and as we have mentioned before in this series, the new covenant, the new way was already foretold by the prophets long before it happened. And God was already laying down foundations and shadows of what was to come. God in his relationship with many people in the old testament was very keen on faith. That is all God has ever wanted from his people. Total faith in him. Same in the garden of Eden, all he expected from Adam and Eve was faith in his word not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but the devil came, deceived them and they doubted God. They believed a lie instead and that began the fall of mankind.
But faith. Some people say it is the currency of heaven.
Maybe it is.
Hebrews 11:6 says, that “For without faith it is impossible to please God.”
In the old testament, Abraham was a great example of a man who had faith in God. God’s definition of righteousness was never by works. Abraham we know from reading his story was not exactly the holiest man. He lied severally that his wife was his sister. He slept with his servant even though it was his wife’s idea and then he chased the servant and her son away also because his wife said to do so.
He was not perfect.
Nevertheless, God considered him righteous in his sight.
Because he had faith in God. He believed God.
“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3).
Works and deeds do not make us righteous in God’s sight because then we could boast that we are perfect and self-righteous.
Faith and believe in God makes us righteous.
God looked at Abraham and says, he is not guilty but righteous because he believed me.
Salvation is given to those who do NOT work for it.
2 Timothy 1:9: He has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
Abraham is known as the father of the Jews but more accurately he is the father of faith.
Because he is the father of all who will come to put their faith in Jesus, either Jews (Circumcised) or gentiles (uncircumcised).
Romans 4: 10-12 Paraphrased
When God credited righteous to Abraham because of his faith, he was not even circumcised yet. It was after he believed God and was made righteous in God’s sight that God told him and his entire household to get circumcised. Circumcision was only a sign and seal of the faith that he already had when he was still uncircumcised.
So, you see that Abraham is the father of both the circumcised and uncircumcised who BELIEVE, have Faith (This is what matters). ALL are justified, saved, forgiven and made righteous by FAITH. God’s promise to Abraham was not based on his obedience of the law (there wasn’t even any law then) but on his faith.
If God’s promise to Abraham were based on the obedience of the law. Then faith is nothing and God’s promise is worthless (Romans 4: 14).
Romans 4: 23-25
Finally, pay attention to these words,
“The words “it was credited to him” were written not for Abraham alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness. For us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification and righteousness.”
You are saved and righteous in God’s sight because you believe (have faith) in Jesus Christ.
And this salvation and righteousness is a gift by grace through faith.
In the next part, we will answer the question, “If we are justified by faith is the law nullified and can we go on sinning since we are under grace?”
You are Eternally Loved.