“Keep The Faith” – One Year Bible Reading – July 18

Old Testament:  1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34

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1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11  VIPs

I used to think it was cool when I made the honor roll and my name was printed in the newspaper.  Imagine having your name in every Bible ever printed.  Jesus said that God was conscious of every sparrow falling to the ground and knew the number of hairs on our heads (Mat. 10: 29-30).  So here are the names of everyone serving Him in the Temple and the commanders of his armed forces.  The names of David’s inner circle are also given.  Ahithophel, Hushai, Jehoiada, Abiathar and Joab are all names we recognize from our studies.  

David was handing over to Solomon a pretty tight ship.

New Testament:  Romans 4:13-5:5

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Romans 4:13-5:5  Keep The Faith

Paul is trying to make clear that righteousness in God’s eyes is by faith in Him not by keeping the Law.  Boy, has Paul made a turn-around!  He thought he was righteous through keeping the Law but has realized he couldn’t become righteous that way and neither could his heroes, David and Abraham.  But he now sees that the Law didn’t even exist in Abraham’s day and Abraham had a relationship with God.  Abraham couldn’t violate the Law because it didn’t exist when he was alive! (v. 14).

Paul said that the only way God could bestow the gift of grace on everyone was to do it the same way as He did with Abraham.  Abraham hoped against hope that God would fulfill His promise to him to be a father of many nations despite the fact that he was old and Sarah was past the age of bearing children.  So Abraham is our model.  We should all trust God for salvation.  It is the only way to receive a gift in grace.  Jesus died to pay for our sins and was raised from the dead so we could live in righteousness (v. 25).

In chapter 5, Paul says that since we are not righteous through our faith that we have a relationship with God.  That is the purpose of the Bible, to tell us how we can relate to God.  Paul says this should make us happy but we should also be happy when we suffer.  The reason for this is that suffering leads to perseverance like it did in Abraham.  That perseverance leads to our having character which leads ultimately to hope.  We can be satisfied with hope because hope is the way we know the love of God which comes from the Holy Spirit.

I don’t like to quote others in this blog unless I feel it will really help the reader.  I certainly don’t like to add long quotes.  The issue of whether faith is an act on our part has been so controversial that I think it necessary to add this quote from J. Vernon McGee’s commentary on Romans which I think is a very good explanation of how faith results in our righteousness before God.

“In other words, Abraham simply believed God.  He took the naked Word of God at face value, and he rested in it.  [Classic Commentator William R.] Newell puts it like this: ‘There was no honor, no merit, in Abraham believing the faithful God, who cannot lie.  The honor was God’s.  When Abraham believed God, he did the one thing that man can do without doing anything!  God made the statement, the promise, and God undertook to fulfill it.  Abraham believed in his heart that God told the truth.  There was no effort here. Abraham’s faith was not an act, but an attitude.  His heart was turned completely away from himself to God and His promise.  This left God free to fulill that promise.  Faith was neither a meritorious act by Abraham, nor a change of character or nature in Abraham; he simply believed God would accomplish what He had promised: ‘In three shall all the families of the earth be blessed’ (Gen. 12:3).  God counted, reckoned, it to him.  God put it to Abraham’s account.  He imputed it over to him for righteousness.  It was righteousness, but that is how God reckoned it.”  p. 5561  Romans

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