One of the key teachings in Christianity is that salvation is a result of our faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross, not our ability to obey and follow God (, ). It’s referred to as the doctrine of ‘justification’. However the life of a Christian is bombarded with challenges and situations that can test our faith, that can rock our assurance in what Christ has done and will do for us. So how do we ensure that we stand up against the doubt that will come our way? How do we allow the assurance of our salvation to remain firmly rooted in our hearts?
The answer is to give glory to God no matter what life throws at us. Does that mean when shocking things occur we give glory to God? No, we don’t give God glory for sinful things or situations as a result of sin. Rather we give God glory by trusting in Him despite the shocking and awful things that happen. This illustrates that we know God has things in control, that He is working in all things for the good of those who love Him (). This will highlight to others that our faith is grounded in who God is and what He has done in Jesus and not what life’s circumstances delivers.
In , we learn how Abraham’s faith was credited to his righteousness. In other words, as Abraham chose to trust in God, God considered him righteous. Abraham trusted in God’s ability to deliver him to the promised land, to father a child despite his aging body. He didn’t trust in his ability to follow God but in God’s ability to be faithful and deliver. As I was reading I noticed a word in that holds a key to how we can allow our faith to grow in God.
Any ideas what that word is? “As”. Abraham grew in faith as he gave glory to God. Time of unbelief lead him to waver occasionally from God’s direction for him, however, ultimately His faith and obedience matured as he chose to trust in God to give Him the glory no matter the reasons for doubt in his life. Abraham was convinced that no matter what happened God would deliver on His promises.
I think this is a key way in how God works in our life. He just doesn’t role out the red carpet for us… how would that make us grow? We just don’t automatically grow in our joy and love for Him and then become obedient. God wants to develop our faith, to mature it. That only comes by first trusting in Him, by obeying His direction no matter how we may feel, in first choosing to give Him the glory. As we do that God will nurture our faith in Him, building the joy and love that will inevitably develop.
What a blessing it is to be able to trust in Jesus, to rest in the fact that no matter what happens in our life that we are eternally safe in Gods hands as we continue to trust in Him. We will all stumble at times, but as we choose to trust in Him, to repent and trust in what Jesus has done for us, to trust that God is working in all things for the good of those who love Him, our assurance in our salvation and faith in God will grow… And God will get the glory. Amen!!!
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
4:1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.