February 23, 2018
All DayCategory: Adult Education
Justified and Righteous
When I saw the list of dates for the Lenten Devotional, I chose February 23, our wedding anniversary. When I saw the passage, I smiled. We have had the privilege of studying Romans this year at Bible Study Fellowship; We studied chapter 4 a few weeks ago.
I agree with David that we are truly blessed. Romans 4:1-12 tells us about Abraham being justified solely because he believed God and not because of what he had done. It also tells us about David's sins that were forgiven, again not because of what he had done.
The biggest blessing for an uncircumcised person is in verse 11. So then, he (Abraham) is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. This righteousness is for all of us who follow in Abraham's footsteps of faith.
Abraham did not live a life that he could boast about. He followed his wife's advice and slept with her handmaid. The consequences of this sin can still be seen today in the continuing conflict between Israel and the Arab nations. But Abraham kept on walking with God and trusting God ─ so much so that in Isaiah 41:8, God personally called him his friend.
By following his fleshly desires, David caused the death of a man. This sin also harmed his family and the nation. But David repented and in Acts 13:22, God called him, “a man after his own heart.” As our BSF leader said: “His sins could not undo his assurance of righteousness.”
Abraham, David ─ we are all sinners. There is nothing in which I can boast, except in the loving gift of the Cross. At the Cross I receive forgiveness when I repent. At the Cross the Lord will never again count my sin against me. How? Why? For through the gift of faith, I rely on Christ's good works on my behalf and on God's Spirit within me which enables me to live according to his will.
I have learned that through Abraham, a people of faith was born and I am one of them. God has justified and credited righteousness also to ungodly me. All praise and honor to our gracious, almighty and holy God!