This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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ROMANS 4:16-25.... Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants--not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all. As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed. [Gen. 17:5]
The promises and provisions of God are received as we learn to have the kind of faith that believes, trusts and relies upon Him completely.
18[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. [Gen. 15:5] He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah's [deadened] womb. [Gen. 17:17; 18:11] No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.
This explanation of Abraham’s faith is an excellent example for us to follow. He was totally convinced that he could not produce a child by his own ability, and as a result relied completely upon God to bring forth a child from his ninety-year-old wife. We too need to realize that we have no ability to save ourselves, but must rely totally and completely upon Christ to be saved. There is also a second example of Abraham’s to follow and that is that we shall grow strong and be empowered by faith as we give praise and glory to God.
22That is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God). But [the words], It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone, but [they were written] for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in (trust in, adhere to, and rely on) God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification (our acquittal), [making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God].
We have many promises of God throughout the Bible, not only of salvation but many other things as well. So we have God’s own written confirmation that if we have the kind of faith that Abraham had, Christ’s righteousness will be credited to us as our own.
ROMANS 5:1-5.... Therefore, since we are justified ( acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one). Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
We have in these five verses an admonition that we find frequently throughout Scripture, song and verse; keep in mind the joy and glory that we shall experience when we go to be with the Lord. No matter how difficult our present circumstances, we can always look forward to and rejoice in that which shall be ours in the presence of God. Secondly, we can gain from our present experiences whatever they may be, and again we find this instruction throughout the Word of God (Rom. 5:1-5; Phil. 4:4-9; Col. 3:1-4; 2 Pet. 1:1-11).
So Paul first reminds us to constantly rejoice in having peace with God and a hope of eternal salvation. Then he says, moreover, or in addition to that, look at your troubles as an opportunity to exercise your faith in order to gain the profitable attribute of endurance that can see you through any and every hardship. Then, as Peter would say, exercising your faith, use your newly gained endurance to develop or produce a mature, or fully developed character which will in turn produce joy and the love of God.
GENESIS 25:7-8.... The days of Abraham's life were 175 years. Then Abraham's spirit was released, and he died at a good (ample, full) old age, an old man, satisfied and satiated, and was gathered to his people. [Gen. 15:15]
This then, is a model for the kind of faith that God rejoices in and honors. And if we follow the model it will also be true of us that we will be gathered to our loved ones who have already gone to be with the Lord, and that we will have known a kind of life that was fully satisfying regardless of the difficulties we may have had to suffer. The beautiful way that death is described here, should remove any fear of experiencing it; it’s not that we lose something of tremendous value, but that we are released from confinement to our present worn-out earthly bodies to inhabit a new eternal and perfect spiritual body – praise the Lord!